In an ever-changing city like New York, visiting a once familiar neighborhood can feel as adventurous as it does nostalgic. It was that mix of emotions that inspired designer Amie Weitzman and her husband, David Adler, to relocate from their Upper West Side brownstone to Greenwich Village, where they met decades earlier. When they found a light-filled apartment with Park Avenue dimensions, they put in an offer later that day. “It was a blank slate, and for Amie, that’s perfect,” David says. “She can make any space beautiful.”
The apartment is a far cry from the couple’s former multi-story abode, which had old flooring and original handcrafted moldings. But Weitzman, who spent years as a fashion and textile designer before founding her own design firm, knew the right layers would add the requisite character. “There are classical references, but it’s not too traditional,” Weitzman says of the space. “It was the perfect fit for me to put my style into it.”
That style–which celebrates mixing textures–is evident immediately upon entering. In the front foyer, a vintage brass chandelier with black-and-white shades illuminates built-in wooden cabinetry with leather pulls and open shelving atop a sisal rug. “It’s not dressy or uptight,” Weitzman says. “Everything is open-grain, functional and utterly simple.” Patterned wallcovering adds another dimension and creates an interesting backdrop for a black bench and an eclectic collection of artwork.
Another wallcovering, this one a light-gray faux grass cloth, plays a subtler role in the main living areas, where it adds depth and character to the formerly plain white walls. For additional warmth, Weitzman had general contractor Josh Wiener install wooden double barn doors on iron hardware, allowing the more intimate library to be closed off from the formal living and dining areas. “I wanted almost a craftsman or country influence,” she explains.
The built-in oak cabinetry flanking the fireplace in the library is likewise very tailored. Wiener and his team created several mock-ups of different woods and stains, fabricating the final selection at his shop in the Bronx. The builder also implemented Weitzman and consultant Wald Studio’s lighting plan. “Amie chose a lot of interesting fixtures,” says Wiener. “The lighting is very soft and romantic. We reframed ceilings and moved ductwork, which you can’t do in a prewar building. There was a lot of potential in this place.”
In the formal living area, a mix of track lighting and new recessed cans illuminate a low-slung sofa and vintage chairs recovered in charcoal velvet around a bleached oak cocktail table. “Lighting is not just important, it’s everything,” Weitzman says. “Well-lit rooms are rooms you want to be in.” A modern fixture in the adjacent dining area, she notes, creates a soft glow over the long wooden table, which is surrounded by Wishbone chairs and a plush upholstered bench. “It has a living room effect, and that’s what I wanted,” Weitzman says, noting that people will linger there for hours after dinner. A fireplace adds to the romantic ambience. Unimpressed with its original stucco finish, Weitzman covered it with dark Venetian plaster and painted the wall behind it to match. “I needed something dramatic, and it’s a great backdrop for my black-and-white art,” she explains.
The contrasting color scheme carries into the kitchen, where black furnishings, including a pair of drum-shaped aluminum pendants, juxtapose the simple white countertops, backsplash and cabinetry, which has flush-faced doors and no hardware. “There’s nothing to distract the eye,” Weitzman says.
A painter herself, Weitzman has filled the entire apartment with both her own artwork and that of others. In the master suite, a large blue painting by her sister-in-law, Shelley Adler, pops against the room’s pale gray walls, and a smaller work by the designer does the same in the open seating area, which features neutral furnishings and a mix of accent tables. “Tables are little pieces of architecture,” Weitzman observes. “It’s all about the shape and movement.”
The gray hues of the master bedroom carry into a bedroom-turned-office. A sumptuous corner sectional sofa becomes a king-size bed when placed side by side, allowing the space to function well for the couple alone or as a guest suite. David and Weitzman can often be found working at his-and-hers desks, where she enjoys painting. “It’s one of my favorite rooms,” Weitzman says.
And Greenwich Village continues to be one of her favorite neighborhoods. After living uptown for so many years, the couple is overjoyed to live downtown again. There’s an energy about it, Weitzman says, a buzz in the air. The designer especially enjoys seeing young students walking to their classes at her alma mater, Parsons School of Design, just as she did many moons ago. “There’s something circular about it,” she explains. “It’s everything I’ve always wanted, and I couldn’t be happier.”