A Simple Apartment Becomes A Casually Elegant Abode


modern living room gray palette

A simple light-filled apartment in Greenwich Village is transformed into a casually elegant residence.

modern living room neutral palette

Designer Amie Weitzman installed track lighting from Spot on Lighting to set the mood in this Greenwich Village home's living room, which is furnished with a pair of vintage armchairs, matching sofas from Herman Miller (one shown) and leather stools with riveted slings from Pascal Boyer Gallery. The rug is from Marc Phillips Rugs.

modern office gray palette

The office is easily transformed into a guest room with a Ligne Roset convertible sectional upholstered in Ligne Roset fabric. A bright ottoman from Dune sets off the neutral tones of the Crosby Street Studios rug and the wallpaper from Aesthetics Wallcoverings. A Trans-Luxe wall lamp shines light on a gallery wall.

modern dining room white cabinet

In a corner of the dining room, Gravel Gray paint by Benjamin Moore makes a dramatic backdrop for a collection of artwork that includes pieces by Shelley Adler, Ruth Adler and Ofri Cnaani from Meislin Projects. One of a pair, the custom cabinet is from Elephants Custom Furniture.

modern neutral dining room dark...

A comfortable upholstered bench by Elizabeth Dow and Danish dining chairs from Room surround a custom dining table from CQ Design Studio in the formal dining room, which is illuminated by a chandelier from Apparatus Studio. The rug is by Chilewich from Crosby Street Studios. The mirror above the fireplace is from Minimal in San Francisco.

modern sitting area black chairs...

A round table with a black marble top by Eero Saarinen from Design Within Reach and black chairs by Hans J. Wegner from Suite NY, juxtapose the crisp white walls and cabinetry in the newly renovated kitchen.

modern white kitchen

Drum-shaped pendants by Lukas Peet Design for And Light from YLighting pop against the flat-faced cabinetry by Poliform and countertops by Corian in the kitchen.

modern foyer hall vintage chest...

Above a vintage chest, a fine art photograph by Michal Chelbin from Meislin Projects seems tailor-made for one of two facing niches between the entry foyer and the main living areas. The brass double sconce is by Katy Skelton.

modern gray bedroom blue accents

Texture predominates in the master suite, where a wallpaper from Aesthetics Wallcoverings creates a serene backdrop for a custom bed from Room flanked by Bungalow 5 side tables. The custom silk rug is from Crosby Street Studios, and the bench is from Duane Modern.

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.”