For Homepolish designer Marc Houston, Henri Rousseau’s “The Dream” served as the inspiration for a recently completed NYC apartment. After seeing its exotic backdrop, intense punctuations of color, and layers of transparency at the MOMA, Marc wanted to reimagine those elements while adding a crisp and cosmopolitan theme.

First, however, was an update to the shell of the apartment itself. The previous flooring was a cloudy, whitewashed two-strip product that Marc says “really did the space no favors.” He selected oiled wide plant European white oak and custom matching 7″ baseboards for synchronicity. “Together they inject a modernity, singularity, and soul that was previously lacking.” Marc also had to select lighting that would work with the existing cement ceilings. He says, “Given the existing concrete ceilings, opportunities for a balanced lighting scheme were limited to portables which would have created an uninspiring lighting environment. Since the expanses of blank walls demanded large canvases, which require appropriate illumination, the surface track enacts an elegant and graphic solution, snaking its way through the public spaces on a zoned single run almost like an architectural docent guiding one through the space.”

When it came to furnishings, Marc balanced customized pieces with vintage icons. “The streamlined wall-to-wall window seat in the living room incorporates a velvet upholstered bench flanked by integrated terrazzo end tables with custom bronze grommets for wire management and storage beneath for A/V components,” he explains. Across the open plan living area, a custom banquette is adjacent to the kitchen peninsula. In between are a vintage Swedish lounge chair reupholstered in a black and cream striated boucle with metallic thread woven in Morocco next to a black leather 1970s Stendig chair. Marc says, “A mix of iconic silhouettes and vintage furnishings establishes a sense of tradition and tempers the severity that can accompany a modern envelope. I was thrilled when my client enthusiastically humped aboard for a number of these items which are undeniable showstoppers.”

See the whole apartment in the slideshow!