photography by will ellis


did you know? even prior to the social distancing required over the last 5-6 months, our team managed city projects for clients who were out in the burbs, down in 30a, or heck, halfway across the world on a pleasure jaunt… okay, or for business.

the truth is that (at least before covid-19) our clients rarely lead static lifestyles. we designed spaces that welcomed them home after a long day (or extra long business trip). spaces that reflected their cultural experiences and travels. and we injected confidence and ease into every moment of the design (or renovation) process.

now… many people are leaving the city, and several of our clients have asked us to renovate their city apartments while they’re away. i can’t tell you how brilliant of an idea this is. being out of your space is the perfect time to get it renovated, remodeled and/or redesigned. you won’t have to lift a finger, and you won’t be forced to live in a construction zone either.

you get to enjoy your fabulous life and come back to the city to a drop-dead gorgeous space. (i’ll cheers to that!)

today, i want to show you our process for making this happen, because frankly, it takes real orchestrating to pull off. but first…


spoiler alert: projects we pulled off while our clients were away

pied-à-terre off 5th


photography by will ellis

located right off of 5th avenue and walking distance to the moma, this apartment serves as the perfect pied-à-terre. the client, whose primary residence is in the philippines, selected this building — museum tower — for its idyllic location and hotel-quality accommodations. our team perfectly balanced this client’s love of the arts with a desire for the utmost comfort.

pied-à-terre, upper west side


photography by emily gilbert

as frequent theater-goers who live in jersey, our clients found themselves constantly checking into upscale hotel rooms all over manhattan. tired of the transient lifestyle, these city-lovers decided there was only one thing to do — build the perfect pied-à-terre on the upper west side. our team blended brand new pieces with updated classic elements to add history and depth to this modern city haven.

bespoke bachelor pad on park ave.

admittedly, this client wasn’t completely out of the city. he came and went while the project was underway, leaving in long stretches for business trips and trusting the logistics to us. i recently featured this stunning project here.

darci hether new york bespoke bachelor pad managed from afar

photography by emily gilbert

so, how did we do it? come peek behind the scenes…


step 1: our approach to building client relationships

every project starts with creating a strong relationship with our clients. this means spending time with you upfront (in-person or via zoom). we ask questions and dig deep into who you are, how you live (or want to live), what your pain points are (countertops too low?). we’ll also explore your likes and dislikes, how and who you entertain… right down to what your favorite cocktail is. (believe me, this one matters later on.)

this process gets real personal real quick, but that’s the foundation of excellent design. yes, we ask questions like what side of the bed each partner sleeps on and what storage is needed for bedside tables. because these intimate details matter when crafting a bespoke space perfectly suited to your specific needs.

for most of our busy professional clients, having these conversations in person (even before covid) just wasn’t realistic. they spend their time on work trips, vacationing in the hamptons, and living life on their terms… which we wholeheartedly support.

these intro conversations (yes, even over zoom) allow us to support your priorities, design for your life, and get you as many items on your dream list as possible.

darci hether new york mood board flat lay lush textiles moddy black beige

photography by V. Carvalho

step 2: creating design concepts and soliciting feedback

the first step is creating and then presenting mood board images to our clients. this ensures that we have a full understanding of your desired design direction and your wants and needs. we’ll present our design direction to you for approval — again, in-person or via zoom.

darla hether new york mood board design concept images gold black taupe refined elegant interiors

once the direction is approved, we move to sourcing and selecting high-end fixtures, finishes and furnishings in preparation for our client presentation. since we design to completion, the entire design is established before we present it to you. this gives you a full picture of the stunning city space update you can expect.

with all of the pieces in place, we send material selections (architectural as well as furnishings samples) to you. two days later (typically), we have our client presentation via zoom. all of the material selections you receive ahead of time are clearly marked. we review them together, along with imagery of the custom furnishings and completed space plans.

if i’m being honest, this meeting is serious business… but fun, too!

darci hether interior designer floor plans measurement bespoke custom nyc apartment

photography by V. Carvalho

step 3: project task list

no matter where in the world you are, we’ll handle the process from start to stunning finish. what does that include? well, here is a quick snapshot of everything on our immaculately designed plate:

  • all project management – whether your city space project is a gut renovation or a decor job, we oversee everything!
  • site visits – from essential showroom trips to on-site visits so we can examine the work being done in your space. we are regularly on-the-go to keep projects running smoothly.
  • communication – between contractors, trades, and vendors, there are a lot of moving parts and people. we make sure to keep everyone abreast of each little detail.
  • ordering – from the time of placement to the delivery at our receivers and then the final installation, we place, track, follow, and install all ordered materials.
  • progress reports – every friday we send a “friday follow-up” email to our clients, communicating what is happening on their project so they can stay in-the-know at a distance.
  • final installation – our team is on-site for installations, even though the clients aren’t… we oversee all deliveries, location of furnishings, and hand-place the accessories and final touches ourselves.


photography by emily gilbert

welcome home: your reveal day

imagine the most exciting surprise party you’ve ever been invited to… that’s reveal day with the dhny team!

while our process can be completed with clients living remotely, there is simply no way to replicate the pomp and pizzazz of reveal day at a distance. so, when everything is in its place — all the decorative elements are on display, the artwork is hung, and everything is sparkly clean — we invite our clients to their city space for the reveal.

we greet our clients at their door, hand them a glass of bubbly (or their favorite cocktail… now you know why we needed that info, right?), and then together, we walk into their newly completed home.

our team takes a step back, listening to all of the oohs and aahs… sometimes even witnessing tears of happiness. and hey, no judgment. i might get a little teary too. it’s a magical moment for all of us.

if you can’t find the words to adequately describe your joy in the moment… don’t worry. we’re accustomed to receiving emails or phone calls a couple days later. you know, once reality sinks in. 😉

darci hether pied-a-terre upper west side modern classic elegance bespoke wallpaper sconces holly hunt sofa

from our pied-à-terre, upper west side, photography by emily gilbert

and there you have it. the dhny team’s process for managing and executing stunning city-chic projects without any stress added for you.

so if you’re ready to update that city home, let’s chat. no matter where you are in the world, we would be delighted to transform your ny (or 30a) space into a luxurious abode you’re proud to call home.

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