Inside the Feminine-Luxe Interiors of Manhattan’s Newest Hotspot
Having found success with their first Galli Restaurant in SoHo, chef Steven Gallo, along with partners Michael Forrest and Karen Gallo, sought out a second location for the casual Italian eatery in Manhattan’s trendy Lower East Side neighborhood.
The chef's wife, Karen Gallo, a young designer of women’s footwear and handbags, took the reign on the interiors of the new space to give the more masculine original location a feminine counterpart. Inspired by ladylike details, classic finishes, and a hefty dose of whimsy, Gallo created a chic space that falls perfectly in between uptown sophistication and downtown edge.
Featuring Gallo’s signature palette of black, white, and gold—many iterations of which were hand-painted by the designer—the space also incorporates mirrored accents and soft yet industrial details. “I wanted to create a very clean and simple mood—but with an attitude,” she shares.
“As a footwear and handbag designer, I brought my creative direction and design aesthetic to the space by creating a design that is feminine, with a slight nod to a neighborhood that has an urban and masculine feel,” Gallo says. “I focus on symmetry and clean lines. I love to play with the contrast between luxury and street style.”
“My inspiration for the new location was a strong woman with amazing taste and an affinity for prints and gold accents,” Gallo tells us. “This new location is the female version of the Galli SoHo location. I gave the man a girlfriend.”
The white marble bar and dark wood flooring give the space a classic feel, while floor-to-ceiling windows in the main dining room help keep things bright and airy.
“The contrast between different worlds, objects, colors, textures, and shapes is what drives me,” the designer tells us. “When I think about the essence of a female, I visualize white, gold, and soft lighting, and I balance that with different textures, materials, and colors.”
Using a combination of surface materials and textures enabled Gallo to create a layered space with just the right amount of balance and contrast. “The marble bar countertop and black and white mosaic floor tile create dimension and texture, and give the simple white walls attitude,” the designer says, “while the brass vintage lighting fixtures and dark wooden floor add a masculine touch.”
The palm tree motif paper lining one of the bar’s walls was salvaged from an ‘80s home in Miami to bring some Art Deco flair to the space.
Custom wallpaper in the restrooms was designed by Gallo herself as an homage to her New York friends. Menswear designer Maxwell Osborne, Details magazine style director Eugene Tong, and chef and Galli founder Steven Gallo are among the figures pictured.
Gallo can see this aesthetic easily translating into residential interiors. “I picture a modern loft or condo having this similar look and feel,” she says. “The gold and vintage accents are perfect for an open space, and the lighting would make a residential space feel cozy and inviting.”
Proving to be a pro when it comes to crafting chic interiors, Gallo credits her fashion background for her success. “Part of the magic is being able to translate my shoe and handbag aesthetic into interior design,” she says. Beautiful magic, indeed.
Can you see this chic look translated into a residential interior? Share your thoughts below!