A couple of weeks ago, I traded in my usual evening attire (pajamas) for a more suitable outfit to attend the Tamsen Fadal and Project You Cocktail Party at the Manhattan House model residences. The brisk walk from the subway to the centrally located building at 200 East 66th Street on the Upper East Side was well worth it. I was greeted by a hospitable doorman and a very warm lobby. I proceeded up to the cocktail party in what looked like an apartment building from the hallway. The minute I walked into the apartment, I felt like I was in a home. Complete spaciousness. No clutter. I could breathe. I fell in love instantly!
Manhattan House was designed in 1950 by master architect Gordon Bunshaft Owings and Merrill and was designated a New York City Landmark in 2007. The building has since been impeccably re-engineered, and it is amazing. The residneces in this building go from one to five bedrooms; built to pre-war standards including concrete demising walls, solid core doors and custom plaster moldings. Everything from the balconies for residences above the Seventh Floor, to the master bathrooms with radiant floor heating and polished chrome fixtures, I wanted to move in.
The apartment was just incredible. As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by Beth Feldman, the talented woman behind Project You. She immediately directed me towards a modern kitchen, complete with modern appliances. There was a selection of wines and cheeses on the counter of what was the most beautiful kitchen I had seen in a very long time. You know the type of kitchen you would actually want to spend time in and cook. Everything was so nicely organized and the color scheme was a delight. After schmoozing with some of my friends from the blogosphere, I was invited to go on a tour of this apartment as well as some of the other model residences in the building. I also had the opportunity to meet Heather Zick, the woman behind the spectacular furniture arrangements and accompanying accents in the Manhattan House model residences.
Each and every room was so well decorated. The color schemes were just what I would love in my own home. Each couch had me reading a book or taking a rest. The dining room, living room, and kitchen had me thinking about inviting people over for Shabbos meal and Passover Seders. I could see my family and friends sitting around the living room after a hearty meal, telling stories and feeling comfortable. My dream, as I sit here typing from my living room with paint peeling off of the walls and curtains that are not doing their job because a certain four-year old boy pulled them down! Why dream, make things happen. I can put those curtains back-up and I can re-paint the walls. No matter what a room or house may look like at a certain time, there are design ideas and affordable solutions that can optimize space on a budget. Here are some helpful design tips that Heather Zick shared with me that evening:
Choose furniture styles and layout wisely:
• Stools and ottomans that can double as tables or additional seating
Art, Accessories and Area Rugs:
• Take your own photographs and have them printed on photo paper or Shop in the flower district for candle holders, trays, vases and silk
• If you see an expensive piece of art you like, commission a friend or local art student to create an interpretation of it
A big part of what makes me feel at home is the lighting. In the winter, this can be challenging. I love these lighting tips that Heather shared:
• Buy plain white paper lampshades which are the least expensive kind and sponge-paint them for a cool, textural finish and better ambience
I am so glad that I was able to spend the night in such great company and in such a beautiful environment. I learned a lot about how to maximize space without clutter, one of my own personal goals. As I sit here amongst scattered crayons, coloring pages, books, headbands, and toys, I see potential in making my home a place that I am proud to call home.
Disclaimer: This was not a paid post. I was provided a $25 gift card to put towards one of Heather Zick’s design ideas. card to put towards one of Heather Zick’s design ideas. I have put it towards some photographs that I will enlarge and put up in my home.