Name: Erica & Harry
Location: Bizzi & Partners' New Setai Hotel/Condo on 36th and Fifth Avenue
Size: 2500 square feet — 3 bedroom condo & 58th floor
Years lived in: 3 months
Phoebe and Jim Howard were inspired by the film Something's Gotta Give and its glamorous couple, Erica and Harry, when designing an apartment in the Setai for this year's Designer Visions: Cinema Style.
The crux of the design, and the film for that matter, is to merge two independent and somewhat divergent personalities into one home.
The Howards chose not to compete with the extraordinary view of the skyline and NYC's pallette. Instead, they used very complimentary hues — in soft blues, mushroom tones, and silvery grays. The sitting room and study offer stark contrasts and exude the extremes of the genders served. But the rest of the apartment works to neutralize these two extremes. The dining room is incredibly inviting and the breathtaking views follow one throughout the space.
House Tour Survey:
Style: We blended the styles of the characters Erica and Harry from Something’s Gotta Give. Erica's classic, timeless, relaxed Hamptons house with Harry's sleek, masculine, and bold New York apartment. We tried to imagine the characters hiring us to successfully meld their two different aesthetics and styles into something they could both love and live with.
Inspiration: The incredible sweeping views of New York undeniably drove the color palette and the overall look of the apartment. With views of both rivers and the Chrysler and Empire State buildings, we incorporated a lot of grays, sand and steel colors, and pulled blue from the water and the sky to soften any harshness and make the space more calming and serene.
Favorite Element: The high gloss ceiling in the living room. Often overlooked, the ceiling is the fifth dimension in a room. This glassy sparkling ceiling not only lifts and elevates the space, but it practically dances with city reflections at night and makes everything seem more festive and special.
Biggest Challenge: There were no challenges, other than the schedule and the installation. This was a wonderful opportunity given to us by House Beautiful, and we were very honored. We even had a blast working together!
What Friends Say: So far the general consensus has been that this feels like a very real space, one that you could just bring your toothbrush and move into. We tried to capture the casual elegance that most of our customers seem to be craving right now. They want the spaces to be beautiful, but also to function to fit their lifestyles. There is definitely a movement away from formality now, but that does not mean you have to sacrifice style and beauty.
Biggest Embarrassment: I wouldn't say we had any embarrassments, but we did have a lot of intimidation and fear to even try to expand on Beth Rubino's fabulous set from the movie. That set really took on a life of its own - I think it has to be one of the most popular movie sets of all time. To carry her wonderful vision forward was a little scary.
Proudest DIY: We had a lot of the pieces custom made for the apartment. All of the upholstery was custom made from sketches by Baker furniture in a new program called Baker Bespoke. They did a fabulous job with the tailoring and actually did it in a very short time frame. Jim also designed both beds and a custom etagere for the TV in the living room. We were both very pleased with the results.
Biggest Indulgence: We were very lucky to have some very good sponsors, who very generously donated their products to the project. Kohler, Ann Sacks, Silestone, LG, Sanderson, William Yeoward, Ralph Lauren, and many more. It was like being a kid in a candy shop, simply to pick out whatever we wanted, and then it was made available to us … What a dream!
Best Advice: Trust your gut instincts. Don't over-think or second guess yourself. Be confident about your choices, make decisions, and move forward.
Dream Source: We are lucky that because we own our stores - Mrs. Howard and Max & Company - we have access to many wonderful vendors and artisans. We constantly seek out new talent from around the world, and so I would have to say that our dream source is our own stores … that is where our true spirits live.
- • Wing chairs by Baker Bespoke
• Fabric by Mark Alexander for Romo
- • Sofa by Baker Furniture
• Fabric by Zoffani
- • Mercury Rug by Karastan
• Woodbury Clock by Simon Pearce
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