“My clients are a young and energetic couple who were newlyweds when we started our work together,” designer Gianna Marzella of GiaMar Interiors told us. “They are both fun and stylish. They are native New Yorkers and embody the quintessential Manhattan lifestyle. We wanted to create a calming space to recharge when the opportunity to stay in presented itself. They love to travel and were inspired by the minimalism and serenity often embodied by modern hotel design.”
Located in New York City’s financial district, the two-story loft is in one of the first buildings in FIDI to be converted to full residential use. “It played a pivotal role in transforming New York’s financial district into what it is today,” Gianna explained. “A revitalized neighborhood filled with residences, restaurants, bars, and shops, which all now coexist with what remains New York City’s financial hub.” The couple contacted Gianna just after they’d purchased it. Though it was outdated (think lots of small, constricted spaces, an electric blue spiral staircase, and parquet floors), it was full of potential. The project ended up being a complete renovation that included a change in layout, the addition of a second bathroom, and staircase relocation. That said, one of the very best architectural features was left untouched: the huge windows. At nearly 18’ tall, they flood the apartment with sunlight and frame a beautiful, tree lined view of Historic Hanover Square and the East River. “Luckily, the couple was able to see the untapped potential of this unique space,” Gianna shared.
For the interiors, the designer pulled inspiration from the One Hotels in both Miami and Brooklyn, the Hotel Sanders in Copenhagen, and the Public Hotel in New York City, so the vibe of the home is very Danish in its aesthetic. “The lines are uncomplicated but very beautiful and sculptural in their forms,” Gianna quipped. There’s a uniform and neutral palette in the architectural finishes — bleached oak floors and white walls create an unfussy and airy backdrop for the streamlined and ever so slightly color tinged furnishings, while the simple white linens of the bedding echo the vibe of slipping into crisp hotel sheets. “The idea of this uniform palette and style was to turn the whole apartment into what feels like one giant hotel suite,” she explained. “Once space flows seamlessly into the next.”
The designer-client relationship was very much a collaboration. “I have certainly had many projects where clients weren’t sure what they wanted and looked to me for most of the answers, but she was heavily involved and I give her a lot of credit as to what the final outcome of this space was,” the designer recalled. “We have very similar styles and I must say agreed on almost everything. It was a fun process because there was almost immediate trust and a great workflow.”
The couple considers themselves minimalists, which is reflected in the design via the sleek lines of both the architectural design as well as the furnishings. Gianna explained, “Being minimalistic not only means owning less, but it also means only possessing objects you love. This is truly reflected in the furnishings and accessories. Every item was as important to them as it was to me. Often, people want to furnish and decorate quickly and be done with it. When one slows down and really gives every selection its proper consideration, the end product is a space with longevity.” In this spirit, there was no big reveal at the completion of the 18 month project — the space continued to evolve long after the clients moved in. “But once the final accessories were purchased, she made sure to tell me that they absolutely love their home every time they step into it,” Gianna concluded. “They are as happy there when it is just the two of them as when they have a house full of guests. To me, that is the goal. Home is the backdrop for the everyday. Its purpose is to recharge us and hold the stories of our lives. I am so happy they chose me to help them make that happen.