This 950-square-foot apartment is located in the heart of Manhattan, but is quite international in its aesthetic. Lucy Harris Studio designed the home for a single woman who had grown up across the globe and continues to travel frequently. Though she was putting down solid roots in New York, she wanted a place she could call home and have space to grow.

Lucy considered all elements of the client’s life before tackling the project — for example, she works from home so, in the photos, you’ll see an office that doubles as a guest room. Today however, the apartment has become a family home and the office is now a nursery. We’re taking a tour of the apartment’s original iteration, and Lucy is sharing some of the unique details (like the world class art collection and handcrafted pieces) along the way:

Tell us a bit about the property. What condition was it in when you were hired?
The apartment was in great condition when we started; it had been kept in good condition by the previous owners. We refinished and stained the wood floors and painted the apartment. We added in custom built-ins in the living room, flanking the fireplace, and floating shelves in a few rooms.

What design direction did your client give you, if any?
This client had a pretty clear vision. She wanted a contemporary Scandinavian aesthetic with some color but mostly a lighter neutral palette. She gave us this directive but was very open to some vintage pieces and a few darker and higher contrast pieces.

How did you bring that look to life?
We started off with our client as our inspiration. She has lived between Moscow, Paris, London, the south of France, the Hudson Valley and New York City for much of her life. She is young, travels a lot and has a great eye and sense of style. We wanted the home to reflect her personality – very warm, fun and full of energy. And we wanted to create a very unique vibe that feels fresh but in a comfortable, chic way. 

We sourced pieces from all over Europe and the United States to create a deeply personal interior that tells her story. We sourced sculptural pieces from contemporary American craftspeople to add another layer. In the foyer there is a two-toned mirror by Bower and vases by Cody Hoyt, all made in Brooklyn. On the mantels in the master bedroom and living room, we placed colorful glass sculptures made in Seattle by John Hogan. Large blue powder-coated vessels by Jonathan Nesci, made in Columbus, Indiana. We installed the art that she has been slowly collecting from European and American artists: Dalí, Mondrian, Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol and mixed them with fun more low key pieces that she has been given as gifts from friends or found on her travels.

As the project progressed, how did the design evolve?
I think the client had been very inspired by Scandinavian furniture and our original concept was a more straightforward mix of contemporary and vintage Scandinavian pieces. Once we started working, we brought in some contemporary and vintage Italian, French and American pieces and the space has much more depth and beauty for it.

Were there any risks that paid off?
We ordered a few pieces of furniture and lighting from Hem (dining table and chairs, pendant lighting in the study) to balance out some of the more expensive pieces. We were really happy with how they all looked spot-on with the aesthetic and added a nice minimalist touch without the price point of most minimalist pieces! 

It sounds like this was a pretty smooth process. Were there any challenges along the way?
The client wanted to move in as soon as possible. She had looked for the right apartment for a long time and didn’t want to wait. That meant we had to source items that were available with a shorter lead time, while still giving it a curated, layered feel with unique pieces that reflected this well-traveled client, who had a serious interest in art and design.

It took about six months and the client was thrilled. She moved in in time for summer and was able to enjoy the terrace.