Looking at paint colors during the first design meeting is unusual, admits Katie Ridder. Yet that’s exactly how this project in New York began. “The landlady knew she wanted a green bookcase and she loved orange,” says Ridder. Luckily, this unconventional palette was no problem for the designer, known for her deft use of bold hues.
Ridder worked with architect Douglas Wright to reimagine the awkward 1970s apartment and make it a functional and welcoming space where homeowners could welcome their children and grandchildren. “It was this weird arrangement where the rooms blended into each other,” Wright recalls. “Our goal was to clarify the spaces, so they had specific rooms but still had these wide-open connections with lots of light streaming in.” Working within the confines of the apartment’s relatively low ceilings, Wright created a flow that guides the eye to bright areas, like the living room and master bedroom, which offer sweeping views of Manhattan.
This layout informed Ridder’s color treatment. “You can stand in the library and look through the living room into the bedroom, so we created colors that all work together,” she explains. Having two shades of green at each end of the flat “is a nice bookend.”
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Of course, the landlady got her green library and more. When only the couple is at home, the room serves as the husband’s office; when the grandkids are in town, that’s where they gather to watch TV. The living room too, with its back-to-back sofas and colors drawn from all the adjoining spaces, is as comfortable for two as it is for ten.
“Everything has to work together,” Ridder says of the bright colors. To paint: Topaz, Benjamin Moore. Chandelier: Vintage Murano, Craig Van Den Brulle. Table: customer’s own. Chairs: personalized, with Anthony Lawrence-Belfair, Penn & Fletcher embroidery. Carpet: custom, Elizabeth Eakins.
A custom carpet by Elizabeth Eakins brings together the hues of a Gournay tea paper Wall cover and personalized canapes and drapery by Anthony Lawrence-Belfair. Side table: vintage, Daniel Barney. Low table: bespoke, France Furniture. Candlestick: Lighting Circa.
Pierre Frey wallpaper is a rich contrast to the Vintage Country Chest (found on Chairish) that Ridder transformed into a vanity. Mirror: vintage Philip and Kelvin LaVerne. Sconces: custom color, Harbinger.
Ridder likes to use Penn & Fletcher custom embroidery to add personality, as it has done here on the headboard. Bed: Charles H. Beckley in Holland & Sherry fabric. Wallpaper: Grace. Bedding: Leontine linen. Armchair: Anthony Lawrence-Belfair. Side table: custom, Daniel Scuderi. Candlestick: George Smith. Carpet: custom, Studio Four NYC.
The hallway, with its graphic wallpaper lined with peach trim, is a breather from the saturated walls of its surrounding rooms, without falling flat.
A blue bathroom provides a serene setting to relax or get ready for the day.
“There are plenty of guest rooms for kids, grandkids and other guests,” Ridder says of the apartment. Vintage prints create a clever rainbow above the bed in this one, where purple is the predominant hue.
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