Paul's Asian Tribute

Paul's Asian Tribute

Jill Slater
Oct 28, 2009

Name: Paul
Location: West Village, Manhattan
Size: 1,700 square feet, 1-bedroom rental
Years lived in: 4 years

While it may seem hard to believe, Paul gut renovated his spacious rental apartment. Clearly, it was in his interest as well as that of his landlord. And neither will regret it. Paul and his partner have an amazing home that fits their needs and aesthetic, while the landlord gets a valuable and eminently more rentable property.

Because the renovation is more of an aesthetic and quality of life investment rather than financial, Paul used low cost materials for fixtures and tilework. The emphasis was more on time than money. Paul is an architect and interior designer who owns a millworking company as well, so sourcing materials took very little time. Because Paul makes his living doing interiors, he could use more of his time, expertise, and connections than his money to achieve an incredible living space. When he does acquire new things, Paul looks for investment pieces that he can take with him when he moves. The art, and other pieces that accessorize the space, therefore, are the real investment.

Paul categorizes himself as an 'asiaphile' and believes his apartment works best at night. He likes to host parties, so the home is ready for visitors at any moment. (Paul's kitchen cabinets contain over a hundred wine glasses!) The floor to ceiling windows make the daytime a great time to enjoy the apartment as well, however.

The transformation of the apartment occurred over a period of six months. Paul stained the existing wood floor, extended the windows, built an enclosed bedroom and added a step up to the bathroom and kitchen to camouflage an existing significant up-slope. Paul's focus when choosing objects for his home are those that add a feeling of serenity and peacefulness. He said that he and his partner lived with 'greige' for 4 years prior to moving in, and they liked it so much that they've kept the beiges going for another four years in this apartment as well.

The apartment feels curated in a way that makes a visitor feel safe and well cared for, not to mention visually stimulated for hours on end.

Apartment Therapy Survey
Style: Personal. . . the particular design for my New York apartment is a deep toned, clean take on classic design. I have attempted to infuse the home with striking examples from many cultures, while being heavily influenced by Asian antiques. I guess you can say that I'm a bit of an asiaphile.

Inspiration: Mind, body and soul. To create an environment that transports oneself to a sanctuary within the City of all cities. It's the only viable way to recharge myself after spending the day giving my best moments of creativity to clients.

Favorite Element: Texture. Not only tactile, but the layering of cultures and eras, lighting and shadows, colors and forms. It's all about infusing a depth of character and substance into my surroundings.

Biggest Challenge: Convincing my partner that what was perceived as an unsalvageable rotting shell of a space (almost literally) could be transformed into an environment of extreme warmth and comfort.

What Friends Say: "Wow, even the cats (Hugo and Vassa, six year old British Shorthairs) match the color palette."

Biggest Embarrassment: That fact that we've allowed Hugo and Vassa to claim the dining chairs as their personal scratching posts — hopefully not visible in the pictures.

Proudest DIY: The fact that I directed the renovation and design myself entirely. Being my first true personal renovation, I was able to fully empathize with my clients.

Biggest Indulgence: Owning a custom architectural millwork studio in Brooklyn allows me to be able to fabricate any custom millwork that I envision. Whether it's the tailored simplicity of the kitchen cabinetry or the modern take of an antique chest for the dining room.

Best Advice: Design for yourself. I always tell friends and clients that my home design would absolutely be no different whether it was for me alone or to share with endless people — I might not have as many wine glasses if it were just for me though.

Beyul Asian Antiques —
Living room: Double Beijing cabinet, Immortal statues, Feng Shui disks. (212) 989-2533

DiPippa Design, Inc. Architecture, Design, Millwork
Kitchen: Cabinets, doors, window trim
Living room/ dining room: Dining buffet, Console table near sofa
Bedroom: Headboard
(212) 206-9383

John Boone Tailored upholstered elements and intricately detailed woodworking designs.
Study: Settee
(212) 758-0012

Ercole Collection of mosaic art furniture and accessories. Custom Work available
Living room/ dining room: Mosaic bar cabinet
(718) 797-4270

Aviva Stanoff. Custom Work available
Decorative velvet and silk pillows, Duvet Covers, Throws, Table Runners
Bedroom: Fabric on headboard
281 North 7th street, loft 5, Brooklyn
(718) 422-1262

Images: Jill Slater

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