This article was originally published on June 18, 2014. Revamping a smallish apartment is a challenge on its own. When you add a decorator’s need to satisfy his client’s very specific style points, the difficulty only multiplies. For this apartment makeover, Thomas Altamirano brought his client's "witchy chic" fashion sense into the light to create a modern lair anyone could love.
My client Abby and I were set up by mutual friends who thought I could help Abby express her particular fashion sense throughout her apartment. I basically won the client lotto, because something just clicked with us — and we were able to make quick work of evolving her "modern macabre" style with a dash of retro femininity. From the building's bones to Abby's eclectic taste, there were a lot of details to uphold, but we kept an eye on staying sophisticated without sacrificing functionality. She does live in a New York apartment, after all. One has to maximize.
My concept was to frame and highlight existing architecture, which we did with dark-gray painted walls and graphic wallpaper. These elements would create a backdrop for all of the new and vintage modern furnishings and art. We had to consider the scale of the furniture, different finishes, and balancing statement paint choices with decorative accessories. It took a bit of chemistry, a lot of patience, and more know-how I'll tell you all about ahead. In the end, Abby ended up with a customized Brooklyn dwelling that melds its historic roots with her creative aesthetic. Her cats like it, too.
Photographed by Winnie Au