Dana's Starkly Minimal Live/Work Home

Dana's Starkly Minimal Live/Work Home

Jill Slater
May 1, 2013

Name: Dana Dramov
Location: Flatiron District, Manhattan, New York
Size: 2,500 square feet 2-bdrm
Years lived in: 1 year; owned

According to Dana, "work never really ends. There's no separation between work and life." As such, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Dana's showroom  and where Dana lives are one and the same address.  

Although Dana spent her college years studying architecture, she ultimately found herself drawn to the world of fashion design. Upon graduation, she was sure about her choice of clothing over bricks and shortly thereafter moved to New York.

After a number of jobs in the fashion industry, Dana started her own fashion publicity and sales agency. Her parents, both renowned designers, worked with Dana to renovate a loft space in a former textile factory that would serve as both a showroom for her business and a place to live. 

Ironically, the previous owners hid all the industrial aspects of the space so prized by Dana and her parents. They pared away all the additions, walls, detailing, and extras, transforming it from shabby chic back to its bare bones.

Dana, like her mom and dad—a landscape architect and architect respectively—is a big fan of the minimalist aesthetic. The apartment consists of only the essentials, but of the highest quality. Dana had the pleasure of working collaboratively with her parents on the renovation. They paid attention to detail, to a painstaking degree. For example, to get a better idea of what the space would look like when completed, they drew life size floor plans on the floor of the apartment to make sure the proposed scale of each room and the position of the furniture felt right.

Even though Dana draws no lines between work and the rest of her life, the physical boundaries between living and working spaces are severe. Dana's company showroom takes center stage—nothing overshadows the clothing—while the rest of the apartment and its contents are found behind closed cabinet, closet, bedroom and bathroom doors. 

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My style changes depending on the needs of the space, but for this apartment / showroom, I would describe it as "thoughtful minimalism."  For the showroom space, I tried to create an environment where the clothing would stand out, which wouldn't make the space feel cluttered and which didn't overpower my clients' designs.  In this space, I thought a great deal about the details—adding marble to the windowsills, 4 ½" wide quarter sawn oak floors, and Soss hinges (which disappear when the door is closed and blend the door into the wall).  I also love the vintage-style movable peephole viewer built into the stainless steel secondary elevator doors at the showroom entrance. The definition of the spaces within the open studio is defined by color and texture instead of walls and partitions. 

Inspiration: I draw inspiration from the work of Luis Barragán, Christian Liaigre, and Jean-Michel Wilmotte.

Favorite Element: The clean and minimalistic interior is a great contrast to the view from my large windows onto the vibrant street life of New York.

Biggest Challenge: Minimalism requires excellent craftsmanship.  Finding and getting those who could execute with skill is always the greatest challenge. 

What Friends Say: The space is cleanly divided between the private space on the north side and the public space on the south. When friends come over, they always are impressed with the volume and size of the showroom, but also always ask where I live.

Biggest Embarrassment: Over the last few months, work is being done on the building façade so there are often scaffolding and construction workers outside my windows.  I wouldn't say I am embarrassed by it, but it can be terribly inconvenient!

Proudest DIY: My office table, which is actually an unused door wrapped in durable Italian writing felt.

Biggest Indulgence: My bathroom. I love that I can press a button and keep my mirrors defogged when there is steam from the shower.

Best Advice: The best advice I can give to a person looking to renovate an apartment is to have patience (which I don't have) or to take up kickboxing.

Dream Sources: Marrakech Markets and Patrick Blanc's home in Paris, which is the most magical place I have ever visited.

Resources of Note:


  • Design Within Reach, ABC Carpet


  • ABC Carpet (bed and carpet)


  • Duravit, Toto Toilets, Elle Marmi (Carrara Marble)

Thanks, Dana!

(Images: Jill Slater)

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