Tour the 500-Square-Foot NYC Studio Turned Striking Workspace

Updated 01/08/18
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New York's Upper East Side is home to some covetable real estate, and it's best known for its classic brownstones and rowhouses. In one such pre-war townhouse in brick and marble trim and built in 1925, multidisciplinary design firm Bespoke Only transformed a 500-square-foot studio into a striking workspace. Though the square footage is modest and decidedly Manhattan, the reworked space feels open and serene.

"I wanted a quiet and calm space that allowed room for the different stages of the creative process," explains designer Melissa Lee, the founder and creative director of Bespoke Only. "Being able to shift your perspective is an important part of the creative process, so I intentionally designed different areas and points of interest in the room." The result is a beautiful, functional space that balances clean lines and cozy details.

Head below to step inside the striking Upper East Side office space.

Nicole Franzen

"The studio has a harmonious flow that transitions easily between the work area and a more social space where you can greet guests and meet with clients," explains Lee.

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Nicole Franzen

While the final result makes it look effortless, Lee notes that "it was challenging to create areas with different purposes in such a small space that were distinct but still flowered together harmoniously."

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Nicole Franzen

"The space has three south-facing windows, so the palette was very much inspired by the warm light naturally filtered in the space and its reflection from the original tin ceiling," says Lee in regards to deciding on the color scheme. She confesses the windows are her favorite thing about the space and remind her of "a Parisian garret overlooking the rooftops of the city and privately glimpsing a moment of the outside world."

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Nicole Franzen

The rug was the first thing Lee bought for the office. "I tend to pick out the area rug first when designing the space," she notes. "The texture and palette ground the design and set the overall tone and mood. Everything else just falls into place intuitively."

Nicole Franzen

Lee added the ceiling light fixtures and brush-painted the walls in limewash.

Nicole Franzen

Lee calls the Lee Broom crystal pendants one of her greatest finds for the project. "The design is inspired by traditional crystal-cut whiskey glasses and decanters," she describes. "The craftsmanship is beautiful."

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Nicole Franzen

Lee describes her design style as understated, calming, and restrained.

Nicole Franzen

Lee furnished the space from scratch.

Next up, step inside our striking MyDomaine office in Los Angeles.

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