Contemporary pied-à-terre bedroom interior design by Darci Hether New York

one of the greatest joys i get from my job is working with amazing clients on completely transforming their spaces into a tranquil oasis that completely reflects who they are and how they want to live. but what happens between the time that we sign a new client and the moment of the big reveal? what does the process look like and what are some of the design challenges we face? i thought it might be fun (maybe even informative?) to pull back the curtain a bit and show all that goes into a gut renovation project.

case in point, i’d love to walk you through the renovation of this upper west side pied-à-terre that we completed a few years back. for part I of this renovation recap, i will focus on the main living area.

a little back story on our clients and their wish list:

their main residence is just on the other side of the hudson river in new jersey but, given their love of the arts and entertainment, they found themselves making frequent trips into the city which often included overnight stays at some of the city’s chicest hotels. when they finally decided to purchase a place in the city that they could call their very own they enlisted my firm in helping to make their dream a reality. top on the wish list: 5-star hotel-like digs, a beautifully equipped kitchenette to be used solely for mixing cocktails or making morning coffee (no oven!), a relaxing nook for reading or enjoying said cocktail, no tv, and a luxurious space for dressing for a night out on the town.

before: main living area showing a double-door closet and a smaller single-door closet

because storage was not a huge priority and the smaller closet on the far right of the room offered just the right amount of space, the first thing we decided to do was rip out the existing double-door closet. I wanted to make this area more of a focal point and to that end decided to recess a custom upholstered wall with wood headboard into the niche area that once housed the larger closet. additionally, we wanted to reduce the visability of all of the structural beams in the ceiling as well as add more overhead lighting. due to the fact that the ceiling were concrete and recessing lighting was not an option we decided to lower the ceiling over the bed area and aligned it perfectly with the “wing walls” that flank the bed. by lowering the ceiling in this area we accomplished two things: 1] we were able to hide two ceiling beams and 2] we created enough depth which would allow for us to add down lights.

during: the newly defined headboard wall is articulated by adding a dropped ceiling which not only allows for the addition of down-lights and perimeter lighting cove but also reduces the number of visible structural ceiling beams.

once all of the framing was in place and lighting was installed, it was time to add the custom mill work that would really help delineate the sleeping area from the rest of the open living area. i designed the back of the headboard to have enough depth to act as a shelf to hold decorative accessories as well as add dimension as a focal point of the bed area. to bring another layer of interest to the sleeping cove, i designed the walls flanking the bed to bump out from the face of the surrounding walls and clad them in the same wood as the headboard. the bump out walls included inset antique mirror within a bronze boarder and custom “floating” bedside tables.

custom mill work included inset antique mirror recessed within a stunning 1/4" wide bronze frame. wall sconces to be installed on the antique mirror.

by paying attention to all of the intricate detailing of this sleeping area we created a luxurious space to lay ones head, invoke the sweetest of dream and promise the utmost in relaxation.

let me know what you think of this “behind-the-scenes” post! and stay tuned for renovation recap, part ii & part iii of this pied-à-terre where we will look at the stunning renovation of the kitchen and bathroom.

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