A note from our editors: 

It’s time for one of our favorite traditions! Each year, we spend the holidays reflecting on the stories and articles you loved most. It’s the “Best of Rue” and this is one of 2020’s top stories. Enjoy!

Previously published on October 6, 2020:

Chris Aswad, founder of Insight by Design, and Chris Pridemore, Director of Accounts at Tripleseat, were looking for a new place to call home in Manhattan and found an 800 square foot apartment in Morningside Heights that fit the bill. It was in good shape but overall had a bit of a ’90s feel that didn’t fit their personal style. That’s when interior designer Crystal Sinclair stepped in to transform their one-bedroom space.

As a couple, Chris and Chris love to entertain – Pridemore is even an expert mixologist – and travel often to Paris, a place that they have a special love for. With the redesign of their home, they wanted to bring in the spirit of the French capitol. “They were inspired by the charm, the class, and the forever en chic style of the city,” Crystal explained. “Chris had to have a glass/metal divider somewhere – which we incorporated into the kitchen – lots of brass and painted moldings!”

The apartment already had a few original details that fit the concept such as the herringbone floors and crown molding in the living room. Crystal, though, added several more to turn it into the “little jewel box” that her clients had their heart set on. She added a chair rail and hand applied decorative plaster moldings throughout the home, installed reclaimed beams in the kitchen as well as the plastered vent hood. “We added so much charm and depth,” she said.

The designer continued to layer elegant materials and pieces in the space – a marble countertop and fireplace, brass sconces, and zellige tile in the bathroom. Because of the limited square-footage of the apartment, it was crucial to have a custom banquette by Stitchroom and Armada in the living area, giving the homeowners a place to sit and enjoy a home-cooked meal. The rest of the decor was selected to add to the elegant bones of the home rather than detract from them.

In just seven months, from their first meeting to completion, Chris and Chris’ apartment was ready to enjoy. “They were delighted with the finished space and couldn’t believe the transformation that took place,” Crystal said with a smile. “I kept getting photos via text messaging of them enjoying and living in the space – which could not make me happier!”