If there's one enduring truth about New York City, it's that space is hard to come by. Even the most luxe Manhattan homes are limited in their square footage, so making a city abode feel open and spacious is a true art. Interior designer Matthew Cane is the mastermind behind many a Manhattan home makeover, bringing his chic and contemporary aesthetic to transform spaces of all sizes and in all nooks of the city—from a Gramercy Park apartment to a Brooklyn townhome—and most recently a triplex in Greenwich Village.
Built in 1900 and most recently renovated by a Scandinavian architect, the sleek triplex maximizes its square footage with a lofted master bedroom and kitchen tucked away beneath. Cane stayed true to the triplex's Nordic style and design features, maintaining the home's open and airy feel by highlighting the light-filled space's high ceilings, wall of windows, and clean, modern aesthetic. Head below to tour the Greenwich Village triplex and see what Matthew Cane has to say about designing the space.
"When walking into the space, you can't help but be in awe of the 16-foot ceilings in the living room with its matching wall of windows. I knew I wanted to play off of the height with strategic design elements that would make your eye travel up just as the wall of windows did to me. This inspired the idea to use color, lighting, and art to achieve the same eye travel action. Also, it provided help with the directive that my clients knew they didn't want any table or floor lamps taking up space and compromising the modern and clean aesthetic."
"Another big element for the space was making sure that furniture could be multifunctioning. Using black leather swivel chairs allows for views from both back and front of the living room. The acrylic coffee tables can be converted multiple ways (stacked, angled, L shaped, etc.) and can easily be moved to allow for a large open play area for the kids. Also, we knew we didn't want a bulky coffee table covering up the hide. The clear tables allow for you to still see through to enjoy the hide's ombré effect."
"My clients knew that they wanted to keep the space feeling as open as possible. Keeping the walls white allowed them to act as a canvas. That's when the idea to have a statement wall of black windows came into the concept. From there we carried black into the design with the light fixtures, seating, etc. Knowing we needed a pop color, I found this teal Kelly Wearstler Graffito fabric and knew it would be the perfect pop for the space!"
"Using black as our one featured accent color allowed me to really highlight the volume and height of the windows in the space. I used tone-on-tone for drapery to help keep them standing out. All of the drapery was custom made in a white sheer basket weave fabric and concealed to give the illusion of it floating with hidden ceiling mounted drapery tracks."
Shop the Look: Rove Classics Oval Tulip Table Calacatta ($2095).
"Having the dining table in close proximity, I knew we needed it to be a featured moment yet for it not to compete with other design elements happening in the living room. That inspired the oval marble Saarinen table, which provides an organic round shape to help break up the lines of the space. With the wall of black windows from the master loft above, the idea to use brass as a pop fit perfectly. A custom Apparatus Cloud fixture that hangs 10 feet down over the white marble table and white walls as our canvas allowed for yet another eye-traveling moment from multiple angles. A clear view from the kitchen highlights the beautiful glass globes and brass of the fixture."
Shop the Look: France & Son Standard Chair ($155).
"Since white walls were acting as the design canvas, I was able to boldly hang incredible artwork. Using organic and geometric shapes, artist Anna Ullman provided us with beautiful works that make a statement without trying too hard."
"Last were the additions of a few fun styling accents. We found some great pieces such as the brass squiggle, quirky coffee table books, matte petite vases, and florals to tie everything together."
"[The biggest challenge of the project] would have to be the master loft. We needed to fit a lot into a smaller space, so making sure we didn't overcrowd the room was important. The idea of floating custom matching vanities and mounted sconces allowed for more usable space and a balance of negative space within the room.
"The bed is a modern tufted storage bed that my clients had from their previous residence. It worked out well offering added hidden storage and staying true to the neutral palette. Using tone-on-tone gray linen sheets, a chunky ivory throw, and modern geometric black and ivory pillows added that touch of softness to balance out the space."
"We decided to stick with painting the windows all black and using custom white drapery in the master loft as well, inspired by the idea of creating a mirrored effect with the open living room below. The space isn't huge, so balancing scale with furniture and accents was key.
"A blackened open lined bench allows for additional seating, as well as a place for a few simple accents and storage underneath. The simplicity of the custom floating nightstands allows for usable bedside surface space, without being too bulky. As the nightstands float, negative space is left underneath allowing for another simple moment of stacked curated books with accents and florals. Against the white walls, another pair of custom Apparatus sconces commands attention with their simplistic shape, matte black metal, and black leather handles."
Shop the Look: All Modern Lexter Metal Dining Bench ($317).
"My client's son loves dinosaurs and art! Keeping with the black-and-white design story, I challenged myself on how I could incorporate this into a child's room without making it feel too cold or kid-unfriendly.
"An accent wall felt too heavy in my eyes, so that's when I started exploring the idea of decals for the space. I came across these incredible lightning-bolt ones, showed them to my client and their son—boom, sold! Using the bolts as a feature, I still needed to provide some shelving and storage. With the room's size constraints, I didn't want to hang heavy bulky shelving or cover up the decals. Going back to the 'see-through' idea we achieved with the coffee tables and floating vanities in the master loft, acrylic floating shelves were the perfect matched pair. Staggering them in an organic yet functioning way with an added pop of blue to the mix highlighted the bolts even more."
"I also wanted to play on with the element of surprise when removing something from one of the shelves and seeing the bolt decal behind. The addition of some cool prints, another roller acrylic storage piece, a train-grid rug, bear neutral bedding and, of course, some dinos topped off this space!"
Love Manhattan? Tour seven celebrity apartments in New York City.