NY House Tour: Ann's in Good Hands

NY House Tour: Ann's in Good Hands

Jill Slater
May 7, 2008

Name: Ann (and Martin, her designer)

Location: West Village

Size: 400 sq. ft. studio rental

Years lived in: 6 months


Ann is blessed by the fact that she lives downstairs from a talented designer who is embarking on a new career as an interior designer, Martin Hughes. "I want to help you express the beautiful, sexy person you are," Martin told Ann one day. And with that, he offered to whip Ann's apartment into shape....

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"You never know who is going to have such a profound impact on you," Ann told me. She agreed to Martin's irresistable offer, let him know her budget limits for materials, assured him that "nothing she owns has to stay" (except for her clothes and some art books) and otherwise, gave Martin free reign over every one of her home's 400 square feet!

It is a work in progress and worth every lengthy discussion on the philosophy of design, every carefully thought through decision, and every meticulously crafted element including the credenza that Martin made by hand for Ann's studio. "I looked forward to coming home every day," says Ann because there was always something new and wonderful awaiting her.

Ann's approach to design and her initial efforts at setting up her new place are all quite laudable. Because Ann considers herself skilled in interior design, it was hard for her to let go at first. But Martin takes the art of living to a whole new level and it shows already in his attention to detail. He believes that one should love one's home so much that one would be hard pressed to want to go out, even in New York City!

Martin has three basic tenets for good design: simplicity, texture, and scale and proportion. When an apartment is small, it's even more crucial to incorporate these ideas every step of the way. There's no opportunity for waste or laziness when creating a small home. He's also a big fan of romantic lighting--at the very least, dimmers everywhere. In the instances where Ann didn't initially like what Martin did, the new element eventually grew on her and she came to understand Martin's larger vision for the space.

But wait, this is just the beginning. Martin has many other transformations in store for Ann's studio including a 6 foot headboard, faux shagreen lining the credenza, and custom lighting. Stay tuned for the next installment...


Style: An updated/ contemporary 40's Hollywood Glam! "The style of a glamorous sophisticated urban woman" says Martin.
Inspiration: Inspirational color, all types of art , and history. The objective is a sophisticated yet cozy environment.
Favorite Element: The fabrics
Biggest Challenge: Creating more space than the apartment allows and trying to distill all of our great ideas into one. We talk for hours about design!
What Friends Say: They absolutely love it - everything is custom made
or hand made by the designer, including all of the new romantic lighing on
dimmers throughout.
Biggest Embarrassment: having too much clutter, needing to edit
Proudest DIY: its a surprise - coming soon!!
Biggest Indulgence: That might be the closet - leopard rug and hot pink
upholstered walls and custom storage and elegant lighting
Best Advice: To live with the environment before you make any type of
radical structural change - see how you live & how it works for you...
Dream Source/Approach: North Carolina for its fabulous selection of fabrics and
skilled talented /artisans and ironsmiths, woodworking, upholstery, etc.

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Do you have an idea for a house tour? Let me know! jill@apartmenttherapy.com
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