An Art Deco Dream Apartment in Manhattan
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Name: Devin VanderMaas, her boyfriend Ranga and Chelsea the cat
Location: Murray Hill — New York City
Size: 775 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, own
When Devin first saw this apartment, it reminded her of The Great Gatsby. Full of charming Art Deco architectural details, this isn’t the dark and dramatic kind of Art Deco style you might be imagining, though. Big windows and Devin’s mastery of a soft, neutral color palette make the small space seem bigger than it is.
An Ohio native, Devin first moved to NYC to attend NYU for undergrad. She then attended King’s College for her masters and returned to New York to pursue a career in the fashion industry. She currently works as a marketing director for a social occasion dress brand and has recently launched her own website dedicated to conscious aesthetics, fashion theory, and the politics involved in the fashion industry. I was intrigued by Devin’s perspective on the current state of the clothing industry (she is working to generate more transparency concerning the global textile industry) and I was able to see how her respect for craftsmanship infused her home’s style.
Devin and her boyfriend, Ranga, made some major renovations to their apartment, but it was important to them to preserve the integrity of the unit’s original design, so they went “the extra mile” to salvage what they could, including the original steel door frames, an architectural element that gives the apartment character, as well as being evocative of the building’s bygone era.
Her use of soft creams, whites, and blush tones work to create a soft and elegant mood throughout her home. The wall color moves between a light cream and a soft blush depending on the sunlight — and the overall effect is both cheerful and calming.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Contemporary Art Deco
Inspiration: French Vogue, The Great Gatsby, English gardens, American landscapes
Favorite Elements: I love the original steel door frames, original hardwood floors from 1924, and the antique wedding cake chandelier in the living room.
Biggest Challenge: When we moved in, the bedroom was facing Park Avenue and was very bright and noisy, while the living room and office were in the back of the apartment and were much quieter and darker. We did renovations to swap the rooms and re-position the bedroom closet. We had to take down a concrete wall and re-position the bedroom door, but wanted to salvage the original steel door frames. So we had to get someone to chisel out the steel door frames that were cemented into the wall and then repurpose them on the new wall. We also had to get a steel expert to replicate the original steel door frames to make a mold that matched as an entryway into the office. It was really important to me that we preserve the integrity of the original architecture and design, so we went the extra mile to save as much as we could. Now our living room is bright and vibrant and our bedroom is quiet and cozy. It worked out perfectly.
What Friends Say: My friends like coming over during the day on weekends because it is so cozy, light and airy. They think that because I work in the fashion industry and am usually overwhelmed by textures and colors all day, I like to come home to clean lines and muted tones. I think they are right.
Biggest Embarrassment: Chelsea’s (our cat) scratch marks on our furniture and rugs. We love her but don’t love her scratching.
Proudest DIY: My grandmother made our window seat cushions out of recycled silk curtains. She really is a creative woman.
Biggest Indulgence: The Fendi cocktail table and emerald green velvet Heritage chairs.
Best Advice: I grew up going on historic home and garden tours with my mom, grandma and uncle, and I suppose now when I think back to what I learned, I was taught to always look at a space for its potential rather than its face value and to always respect the integrity of the structure’s design era when it comes to renovating.
Nicoletti Sectional Couch — Bloomingdales
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Fritz Pull Up Tables — Bloomingdales
Decola TV Unit — Roche Bobois
Kailee Printed Rug — Pottery Barn
Window Seat Cushion & Pillows — Custom Made by Devin’s Grandma
Roman Shades — The Shade Store
Stainless Steel Roses — Custom Made by Devin’s brother
Holden Picture Frames — Ralph Lauren
Finley Ice Bucket — Ralph Lauren
Art — Purple/ Blue Rose Painting on Glass Jacob Wolff, Artist from ELX Art
Vintage Chandelier — Good Old Things
Wall Mirror — Pottery Barn
Briggs Floor Lamp — Ralph Lauren
Nolan Loft Floor Lamp — Ralph Lauren
Art — Leonor Fini ‘Portrait of a Girl’ Lithograph
Wooden Blinds — The Shade Store
Art — Painting by David Mudgedell
Grey Shade — The Shade Store
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