Designer Jennifer Hallock says this home, just two blocks south of Union Square in Manhattan, was a newly constructed “contractor’s white box.” Her clients, a married couple who’d spent their entire career as professors, were just about to retire and moved into the home to better accommodate their large body of books and collectibles. Additionally, they wanted the kitchen to be well-planned–they love to cook and entertain–so Jennifer put together a plan with convenience and efficiency in mind.

The designer sat down with her clients to work through how each room would be used: How many people do you entertain for dinners? Do you need a dedicated work area? From there, she focused on aesthetics. “The style is transitional with an intended light, airy feel for each room,” she tells us. “The palette is warm, and the furnishings are beautiful but also very comfortable and livable.”

The entry makes a strong first impression with a vibrant rug and interesting wallpaper. “The Denver Modern bench and Croft House mirror are my favorite elements here, and work perfectly together,” Jennifer says. Moving into the living and dining area, there are oversized windows with beautiful views of the neighborhood. They installed custom oak floating shelves to house the couple’s collectibles and books. “My favorite piece is the gorgeous Croft House credenza in the living room,” Jennifer says. “The oversized art over the sofa was created by me, as I am an artist as well as a designer.”

The guest bedroom was designed to function as an office, with a built-in custom oak desk and more of Jennifer’s artwork. The sofa is actually a trundle bed, which is just the right size for grandchildren to spend the night. Jennifer added an oversized iron and glass door, which reflects back the city views and adds a modern feel to the room.

In the primary bedroom, a fluffy rug helps establish a cozy, serene feel in the large space. “The beautiful custom closets are by Upbeat Designs in Brooklyn, and my favorite customization element of the whole apartment- the drop walnut ceilings,” Jennifer smiles. “We installed them to hide electrical and they really became the showcase.”

The design project took about 7 months in total, and the clients were thrilled with the finished product. Take a tour in the slideshow.