Tour a New York Bachelor Pad That’s Far From Cliché
Jennifer Koen, VP of Business Development of pre-owned designer furniture marketplace Viyet—a go-to for interior pros and designphiles alike—takes us into a sophisticated New York bachelor pad and shares how to get the look.
Up-and-coming designer Joan Enger is game for a challenge! When a client turned to her after a major falling-out with his previous designer, she was prepared to work on a compressed timeline to get the space back in shape. But when she walked into the 1,500-square-foot apartment, she got a surprise: The bachelor client had barely any furniture to call his own. “The room had nothing,” Enger says, speaking of the living space. “There was just a desk from college, a TV mounted on the wall, and he was literally sitting on folding chairs. The client just said, ‘I really need help.’”
While this wasn’t great for the client’s day-to-day life, the lack of furniture was actually a good thing for Enger. “It’s harder when you have items in the space, because you have to work around it, making it more difficult to have a clear design decision,” she says. Enger soon embarked on the six-month project with a goal of fulfilling her client’s dream for a comfortable, homey space that was prime for entertaining.
In the entryway, chic grass cloth walls create a warm, inviting feel that immediately sets the tone for the space. To convince her reluctant client, Enger showed increasingly bigger swatches of the material so he could visualize how it would look, and eventually he came around. “He ended up emailing me later—which never happens—and said how much he loves the wall covering,” she says. “It totally changed the space, which needed that compression instead of all of a sudden walking in and seeing a bright white space and windows.”
A custom brushed-aluminum bar is a chic addition to the space. “The bar was literally designed from scratch,” Enger says. “We imparted a little warmth with rosewood inlays, so it doesn't feel like a big metal block.”
The apartment’s wall of curved windows, though undeniably gorgeous, presented a challenge from a décor perspective. “The curved wall felt a bit unfinished,” Enger says. “We knew that we wanted to include some type of seating in this area to appreciate the view, but it needed to be super-sleek. I scored this low-slung vintage Milo Baughman chaise at auction—it was the perfect solution and played into the curves perfectly.”
“The navy lacquered walls in the den were there when we arrived, but we loved them!” the designer says. “This room in particular is such a cozy, inviting space. A very chic man cave!” Another pre-existing piece? The sofa. Though it had great lines, the sofa’s original cushions were uncomfortable and required too much upkeep, so Enger had custom versions made, adding cashmere and leather pillows for comfort.
“I always tell people when they ask what makes a successful room, it’s texture,” Enger says. “I don't need a ton of pattern, but I definitely love mixing materials and textures. It needs a balance. In this space, there's lacquer, metal, and upholstery.”
Though the client definitely had a firm idea of what he liked, the design process was a harmonious one. According to Enger, this is typical between a client and designer. “In the beginning, it was more pushback, but then they see one good piece go in, they exhale, and the trust builds,” she says.