Lichten Craig Architects: Space Planning & Design

Lichten Craig Architects: Space Planning & Design

Sarah Coffey
May 6, 2010

Store History

  • Founded by: Joan Craig and Kevin Lichten
  • Headquarters: New York, NY

LCA's projects represent a wide range of spaces—some tiny apartments and others huge townhouses. They describe their work as a "confident and well-edited balance of elements—formal and casual, classic and modern." We sifted through a few projects for insights into planning a space and blending multiple styles.

Modern Townhouse, New York

Located near Carnegie Hall, this modernist townhouse falls within a Landmark Preservation district. The architects restored the front facade and renovated the interiors. In the heart of the home, glass pivoting doors open into a restored courtyard, creating an indoor/outdoor space that's well suited to entertaining.

While the "bones" of the home (floors, walls, and windows) have an austere modernist aesthetic, new additions like built-ins and furnishings with rich textures and colors make it a more livable, family-friendly place.

Lincoln Park Townhouse, Chicago

A husband and wife commissioned Lichten Craig to reconcile their decor differences, combining his modernist style with her family heirlooms.

When mixing styles, color can be an effective unifier. A palette of deep purple and green anchors the heirlooms, offset by white, which lightens the rooms and ties the more modern pieces into the mix.

East Side Apartment, New York

This home exists inside a 1929 Rosario Candela Art Deco building. The clients were intent on showcasing their Asian art collection, so the architects created a main gallery as a focal point for the space. The interiors combine multiple styles, blending lux Deco fabrics with French 1940s furnishings and Chinese antiques.

Good artwork can lay the foundation for an entire design plan. The couple's prized Chinese screen inspired the palette of ivory, cream, Chinese red, and dark brown with metallic accents.

Kips Bay Show House, New York

The 2009 Kips Bay Showhouse challenged designers and decorators to transform an apartment building's small, dark rooms into sophisticated spaces. The design program focused on using a lot of lux materials and finishes: lacquered millwork, upholstered walls, and bronze-clad furnishings.

While many decorators recommend using light colors in small spaces, deep, dark tones can make a small space feel more sophisticated. One high-drama element, like the black and white patterned floors, can help to anchor a small space.

Joan Craig and Kevin Lichten founded their architectural and interior design business with a commitment to residential spaces. Based in New York, they expanded into Chicago in 2004, when Joan moved with her family to the Windy City. To view their entire portfolio, click here.

Photos: Peter Margonelli, Bill Hogan / Chicago Tribune, Pieter Estersohn courtesy of Lichten Craig Architects

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