When called upon to design somebody’s home, architects and interior designers have to balance their client’s requirements and wishes with their own design sensibility but sometimes it’s also important to take into consideration the client’s personality and lifestyle. Such is the case for this extraordinary Manhattan loft which was recently renovated by designers Loukas Angelou and Vasso Asfi, founders of London-based STUDIOLAV, as a reflection of the owners’ diverse background, extrovert nature and vibrant personalities. Inspiration came right after meeting the loft’s new cosmopolitan occupants, as the two designers state, evolving into an elegantly choreographed interior underpinned by an eclectic aesthetic that boldly intertwines the building’s industrial heritage, the understated elegance of contemporary minimalism and the zany playfulness reminiscent of the 1980s Memphis Group.
Located in New York’s SoHo, the loft as expected features a large open plan space which the designers took full advantage of to create a spacious living and dining area where the owners can, as they requested, entertain 10 to 15 guests for dinner or cocktails. Organized around a central seating area, with several satellite breakout areas on the periphery, including a small working station and a study corner, the layout encourages guests to socialize in intimate clusters as well as effortlessly mingle. Rendered in white tones, the open-plan kitchen provides plenty of storage and seating without distracting from the main social hub, while the adjacent dining area discretely asserts its presence.
Anchored by an impish collection of contemporary art that reflects the owners’ eclectic taste, the interior design of the living and dining area is based on a whimsical interplay of colours, textures and shapes. Exposed brickwork, unvarnished timber beams and hardwood flooring imbue the space with an urban grittiness which is whimsically contrasted by an eclectically curated collection of minimalist furniture of stylised elegance and curvaceous geometry. Complemented by a series of unique carpets and light fittings that blur the lines between artworks and furnishings, and serenaded by a subtle colour palette of soft pastel hues peppered with splashes of vibrant blues and reds, the diverse decorative elements that the designers astutely brought together harmoniously coalesce into a sophisticated ensemble.
STUDIOLAV’s eclectic décor perfectly complements the art collection which is focused on fanciful, period-defying portraits by contemporary artists such as Swiss photographer Christian Tagliavini who draws inspiration from the Italian Quattrocento and science fiction writer Jules Verne, British digital artist Ray Caesar who is inspired by the figurative Rococo paintings of Jean-Antoine Watteau, and Dutch photographer Jenny Boot who evocatively channels the paintings of the Dutch Golden Age. Such a diverse yet like-minded group of artists, echoed in the finely curated interiors, perfectly encapsulates the owners’ zestful cosmopolitanism.