A designer has transformed her Tumbledown NYC apartment into a minimalist retreat

For Margaret, cooking was a labor of love. “I love to cook and a full size kitchen with full size appliances, floor to ceiling pantry, and wine storage was a priority for me – a rare combination in New York for an apartment of this size,” she recalls. And yet, for a heavy-duty kitchen, the aesthetic is surprisingly simple and airy. Custom cabinets, for example, match wood floors in style and spirit. And the ceilings are covered with a very shiny paint that reflects the light well.

BEFORE: The kitchen was desperately short of space, and it certainly couldn’t have accommodated the full-size appliances, floor-to-ceiling pantry, and wine storage that Margaret had always dreamed of.

AFTER: The kitchen now has a large pantry and wine storage. The custom wood cabinetry was built by B&B Construction, and the countertop and walls were clad in Dekton by Cosentino. The mirror is a vintage treasure and the artwork is by Jacko Vassilev.

© Kirsten Francis Photography

The house oozes with character thanks, in large part, to treasures and whispering tchotchkes of a past life. “There are many unique pieces that I have collected over the years. My photography collection was curated with the help of Jodi and Holden Luntz of the Luntz Gallery in Palm Beach. Among my other special possessions are has my Baumann dining chairs, my book collection I started in college and my bedroom rope chair I bought in Brimfield. [Antique Flea Market]. The light fixture in the dining room is also worth noting. I made it using antique cages that protected a rare grape variety in France in the late 1800s.”

Of the many challenges she faced while renovating the apartment, the biggest, Margaret confesses, was the bathroom. “There was an old porcelain roll-edge bathtub that I was dying to keep, but with all the pipes that needed to be replaced, there was no possibility of movement, and we ultimately decided to lose the tub. “, she laments. Porcelain tub aside, the bathroom looks all the better after the renovation: the walls dazzle in a Spanish ceramic glaze, and a 1960s Swedish mirror gives the bedroom a glamorous touch. “I also love how the light reflects off the high gloss ceiling and how the vintage grape cage light fixture casts reflections off the wall.” But perhaps most special of all is the view from the shower – rows and rows of Fifth Avenue rooftops stretching out to the horizon.