Shop The Room: Primary Case Study

Oh, to be that metallic fly sculpture on this cultured and cozy West Village apartment's wall. We suppose the next best thing is to steal a few of the tricks Uruguayan-born, New York-based designer Fernando Santangelo put to work in nailing this stately yet welcoming look. We've narrowed it down to three key tips you can employ in your own space.

RIFF ON A CLASSIC PALETTE. The genius of this primary palette is that, rather than going poppy Mondrian, it completely sneaks up on you. The custom buttercup cushions on the Kartell lucite chairs and the mustard floor rug tick the yellow box, the runner offers a burnished red with pops of cherry from the bookshelf speakers, and the blue spectrum spans the washed-out gray-cornflower of the walls, to the navy linen velvet loveseat to its aquamarine throw pillows.

CREATE A TEXTILE PUZZLE. We've seen lots of overlapping rugs in our day, but we're loving this clever match-up of a full-size antique Oriental floor rug with a contrasting runner--look quickly, and it feels like the same piece, with a thick, color-blocked border. The echo of the patterns' north-south directions calms the eye, while the subtle difference in pattern keeps it interesting.

THINK INSIDE THE BOX. Showcasing art in bookcases is a clever way to create a shadowbox effect with the bonus of no-fuss installation. The cabinet of curiosities aesthetic is created by a mix of artistic media--the graphite sketch with a painted portrait--and objects spanning oversized shells to equine bookends.


Photograph: Courtesy Fernando Santangelo