Designer Gala Magriñá has the unique ability to create spaces that are holistic and energetically balanced, but wildly aestheticly pleasing. Mixing cool, modern elements with organic details are a specialty of her eponymous firm, and this space on the Upper West Side is a great example. The designer tells us more.
Tell us about this home. Did the location influence the design at all?
The apartment is located in NYC’s Upper West Side and has gorgeous views of the city and Central Park. More than the neighborhood influencing the design, it was all about the view influencing the design. We wanted to make sure that the view remained the star of the show, so we chose a more modern organic style for the home—think soft tones and natural textures—so the design didn’t compete with the view.
What were the clients’ top goals for their home?
The homeowners are former commercial clients of ours. We designed a bunch of office spaces for them, so they were familiar with our style, and we have a great relationship with them. They are longtime New Yorkers and had lived in the space for a long time, and knew it needed a refresh. The existing finishes were mostly made of dark wood and the lighting was not great, so it made the home feel very dark and dingy, which made the spectacular views way less noticeable. They wanted it to feel the exact opposite of that—light, airy, and a place where they would be proud to host guests.
In a few words, how do you describe the style?
Modern organic urban oasis. The final home is a complete, night and day transformation, ultimately becoming a one-of-a-kind sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Beyond the typical delays the industry is facing at the moment, were there any unique challenges you faced with this project?
The only major challenge we had was the flooring. It was engineered wood, and we knew it would be risky to sand down and bleach to get a lighter floor. That said, we tried it and it worked! It was a huge relief once we saw the sample. You never know unless you take a risk!
You specialize in designing for wellness. How is that highlighted here?
Soft tones and textures help give off a very relaxed sanctuary vibe, and those were used throughout the entire home. Plants in every room and the use of round and biomorphic shapes and natural materials help bring nature in (biophilia), which we know does wonders for people’s mood and overall well-being. We always specify Benjamin Moore’s non-VOC paint, and also made sure there was proper lighting at suitable color temperatures in every room as lighting has a tremendous effect on people. We replaced all the built in HVAC units with new ones to ensure better air quality, and also replaced all windows with newer more energy efficient ones.
Gala shares her favorite details in the slideshow.