Dilapidated, inhabited by squatters, structurally unsound — these are not characteristics that you’d normally associate with your ideal home. But for this young family, these were the challenges that they had to face with the help of interior designer Meagan Camp. Their newly purchased apartment dated back to the 1800’s but was stripped of most of its original charm.
Its previous owners, who had been there since the 1940’s had made quick and cosmetic fixes over the years which lead to such issues as layers upon layers of painted walls and a weak joist holding up the bathtub which could have easily led to it falling through the floor into the apartment below. When Meagan took on the project, which took over a year to complete, she had to tackle important structural issues, most notably all of the electrical wiring had to be redone, which hadn’t been changed since the Second World War!
Aesthetically, the apartment’s architecture and decor needed a much more cohesive look. The homeowners’ previous homes had been a hodgepodge of various furnishings and styles, so this time around, they wanted it to look put-together. Meagan made sure to bring back the historical details of this space’s Upper East Side heritage. “This apartment is in a beautiful Uptown building, half a block from Central Park, and unfortunately had been butchered and neglected throughout the years,” she explains. “We painstakingly stripped every square inch of years’ worth of paint off the moldings, we sourced vintage door knobs with the same patina as the original door plates, and we added 18th-century replica medallions to every light fixture.” They also gave the hallways a more elegant effect by creating paneled moldings all of the way down.
In terms of the design itself, the family wanted style and functionality. Meagan worked with Material Design Build to create built in closets that included similar moldings and architectural details as the rest of the space to blend in. “The storage also had to be applicable to a modern way of living to include items such as sports equipment, bikes, camping gear, etc,” she said. Since playing with color was another must for the homeowners, Meagan decided to go for bolder tones for the bedroom walls while keeping the shared spaces neutral. With the historical replica medallions in place, she was free to include more contemporary light-fixtures such as the inexpensive flush mount in the bathroom from Pottery Barn.
In the end, Meagan’s attention to details made this historical renovation a success for a home that was meant for contemporary family life.