When it comes to living in New York, there are a few things that aren’t very common: an outdoor space, room to entertain, and a second kitchen. (Actually, we’re pretty certain that a second kitchen is simply unheard of!) But when interior designer Raychel Wade’s clients came to her, they had the unique space that could make it all a reality — they just need her expertise to make it all come to life.
The overhaul took about two months to complete, and is what design dreams are made of. Raychel tells us more:
Hi Raychel! We’d love to know a bit more about this super cool space.
The property is an old prewar single family townhouse overlooking the East River and Statue of Liberty. It has been divided into apartments and my clients occupy the top two floors, as well as the roof deck and the original loggia which has since been enclosed. They are a young, professional family with a small daughter. Loving to entertain, they were really focused on making sure the space could fit those needs while adding style and value. We all knew that the space had great bones and potential and they were excited to let me run with it!
What condition was the rooftop in when you came on?
When the family first moved into the home they quickly purchased furniture to make it usable and functional but it lacked any flavor and texture. Oversized sectional, plastic wicker table, folding chairs. The loggia was a glorified man cave with dark green walls and black ceiling, a dorm fridge and way too much bulky furniture.
A world away from what we see now! So, how did you come up with the design plan?
The conversation really started with the direction of getting some updated furniture. But we quickly realized we could add tremendous value by installing a proper kitchen and essentially creating an entirely new room. I mean, very few New Yorkers can say they have two kitchens! They entertain a ton, so an ice machine and wine fridge were must haves. For furniture they wanted a floor plan that accommodated big group dinners and parties while still being cozy and intimate enough for just the three of them. The rest was up to me.
How did you bring the vision to life?
Knowing that this was not their main living area, I quickly starting thinking about ways to take some risks. It started with a ceramic plaid tiled floor that I spotted at Artistic Tile and was brand new to the market. It was the winner and my jumping off point. Next I proposed a pink-ish cabinet color (Farrow and Ball Dead Salmon) and a fairly bold Breccia Capraia marble countertop. And I was adamant about painting the dark walls light and accenting the natural beams. In my design presentation they had hesitation about all of these choices, but it’s my experience that the elements the client is most afraid of is the very element they will end of loving the most.
When it was complete, they called me and said I could do no wrong in their books and were absolutely thrilled! It was a really touching moment to know they allowed me to take risks and trusted my expertise. In fact they were so happy were are just putting the final touches on a huge renovation of their master bath and main kitchen. Stay tuned!
High risk, high reward! Were there any other choices that felt risky at the start, but totally paid off?
I ordered a gorgeous outdoor sofa. Before ordering the movers were called in a for a survey to confirm it would fit up the four flights of stairs and when they arrive and got to the final step we were short one inch! They said there was absolutely no way it was getting up and I just wouldn’t accept that as an answer. The clients were having a huge party that weekend and not completing the installation was not an option. The solution rested in an electric saw on the sidewalk of the tree lined street and a lot of anxiety and tears. But we made it!