Name: Katherine (designer)
Location: East Village
Apartment Size: 2000 square feet condo
Favorite: "Working with a great client!"
Katherine is neither the owner, nor the resident of this apartment but rather its creator. Although you'd never know it, this was her first project.
Trained as an architect, with an incredible eye for scale, space, and style, Katherine successfully transformed a bulky 80's condo conversion into an open, bright, and fluid home...
The relationship between Katherine and her client was one of mutual respect and ease. Basically, he trusted her to make the right decisions and she did. Once in a while, Katherine gave her client a choice of such things as three different mosaic tile colors, but he would always pick the one that Katherine said she liked the best. Originally, the condo owner requested a modern space in which he could occasionally entertain. Although Katherine was more than willing to "make it modern," she insisted on adding warmer elements to the space to establish intimacy and to lessen the potential pitfalls of severity and sterility. For Katherine, modernism means an "economy of decoration" but not by "sacrificing the spatial experience."
The overall approach was to break down any and all existing walls, bring the storage to the perimeter and to flood the space with light. To maximize available space Katherine even removed the washer and dryer from the apartment. Every floor in the building has laundry facilities and Katherine figured that space was more of a premium than the bloated status granted to such modern perks as a washing machine. Instead of opaque barriers, rooms are often divided by signifiers such as an aluminum strip embedded in the wood, a frosted piece of glass, a porous book case, or shifts in flooring. Fluidity is particularly embraced in the transition from the kitchen to the adjacent bathroom. The two rooms share the same wall tiles and flooring, with a large piece of frosted glass as the only interruption.
As a designer, Katherine says, "I can't control how they live. I'm just defining the set for how they live." Because each client asks for something different, Katherine gets the opportunity she loves about her job-- "to learn clients' lifestyles and idiosyncrasies" and to give them a home that best fits those needs.