New Yorkers are notoriously short on two things: time and space. Living in this city of extreme constraints is at once invigorating and majorly challenging—making Manhattanites a special breed. In part, this is why we're so fascinated with homes in the Big Apple. These spaces are often a testament to acute efficiency—maximizing storage and minimizing any type of traditional "homemaker" task. New Yorkers are, after all, well known for using their apartments for little more than sleeping and—when they're not testing out the latest restaurant—occasionally eating.
Homepolish designer Jesse Turek understands this all too well. As such, when he was asked to outfit the one-bedroom apartment of a client in New York's Lower East Side, he knew he needed to deliver on three fronts: providing a respite from busy city living, maximize storage, and making the home as automated and efficient as possible. To achieve this trifecta, Turek relied on a palette of whites and warm woods, ample storage pieces, and the latest gadgets—like high-end sound systems and automated window shades—to create a refined and efficient space for his client. Step inside the apartment of every New Yorker's dream. This space is a lesson in tailored efficiency.
“Chris [the client] had purchased the space a little over a year ago, and he wanted a designer to help make his new home comfortable and reflective of his own personal style and taste,” says Turek.
Being brand new, the space didn’t require any renovations—so the designer instead focused his efforts on making the space extra inviting while adding in all the conveniences of modern living, like high-end sound systems and automated window shades.
“Aesthetically, I wanted the home to reflect Chris’s personal style, which is clean and modern with a relaxing vibe,” says the designer. To achieve this, Turek worked with a constrained color palette and placed an emphasis on creating adequate storage space for his client so that the open space could remain clutter free.
With his ultimate goal of creating the perfect clean space, Turek kept the color palette in shades of white and warm woods. “The warm tones are very masculine, which suited Chris perfectly,” he says. “The contrast of stark white and warm woods was the key to give the space a bit of drama.”
“The main living area was kept in a crisp white palette that allowed the walnut wood tone furniture and dark leather sectional to pop,” explains Turek. “We focused on the contrast of light and warm tones in order to achieve the clean and modern atmosphere.” While the cool gray tones give the space contrast, the warm tones give it a livable cozy feeling.
The designer used his knowledge of design and personal style to bring depth to his client’s home: “My own personal style is very eclectic and transitional. I enjoy mixing antique and vintage pieces with newer ones to achieve a lived-in space that's not cookie-cutter,” he says. “I think everyone should collect something and allow those collections to dictate the décor and vibe of the space. This will always bring a personal touch to the interiors and make a home feel warm, whether it’s modern, contemporary, or traditional.”
The most challenging part of the project? Getting the automatic shades to work properly. “We used an off brand at first, but they just didn’t seem to function properly, so Chris finally decided to go with Lutron shades, which are an amazing product and function seamlessly,” says the designer. The shades provide all the convenience of modern living, perfect for a busy bachelor.
An Eames lounge chair and a desk—which his client already owned—served as a starting point for the entire décor. With only two pieces to bounce off for inspiration, Turek created a relaxed respite from the busy city life outside. “I love the open feeling and how the city feels so present in the home because of the large windows,” says the designer. “Even though the city is just a glance away, the space feels cozy, with a calm stillness. This was ultimately the overall goal.”
“We continued the same feeling in the bedroom,” explains the designer, “but I wanted it to feel like a spa retreat—so I added yoga pillows on the bed and the wood stool.”
To give the bedroom personality, Turek arranged his client’s sand collection, stored in several glass bottles, on the floor-to-ceiling glass shelves near the bed. “He and his mother collected the sand together during their travels, so they hold a special place in his heart,” says Turek, “and I felt that they should be with him when he woke up every morning—as a reminder of good memories and his visits to the beach.”
The Garza Marfa chair, which Turek’s client found during one of his travels to South America, was one of the designer’s favorite finds for the home. Acting as a separator between the bedroom and dressing area, the chair provides the perfect perch to get ready in the morning. The closet itself a testament in optimized storage and every New Yorker’s dream.