Brit in the city

We take notes from an English-born de­signer who has brought big Old World flair to her typ­i­cally tiny New York City pad.

Style at Home Big Style for small spaces - - Contents - text Mary Le­vit­ski pho­tog­ra­phy Rikki Sny­der

We take notes from a de­signer who has brought Old World flair to her New York City pad

1. Pack a Punch

Min­i­mal adorn­ment can be just as im­pact­ful as elab­o­rate em­bel­lish­ment. Dec­o­rated with only a striking modern chair and a small an­tique oil paint­ing (“I love the non­ex­pres­sion on her face,” says home­owner Becca Gal­braith of its sub­ject), a cor­ner of the bed­room looks trimmed but trim.

2. Shift Into Neu­tral

The apart­ment is fresh, yet warm and cozy, which the de­signer cred­its in large part to its neu­tral colour scheme. The pal­ette also al­lowed Becca to har­mo­niously com­bine var­ied in­flu­ences.

3. Fake Fire

Strong fo­cal points help de­mar­cate var­i­ous zones with­out block­ing any sight­lines. For the liv­ing area, Becca de­signed a con­vinc­ing fire­place façade that warms up the look. The jux­ta­po­si­tion of the clas­sic Louis Philippe-style mir­ror and the con­tem­po­rary sconces, along with new, vin­tage and DIY art, en­er­gizes the room.

“As long as you have an idea of coloura­tion, you can take risks and mix and match in­flu­ences.”

4. Swing Low

Boast­ing a French neo­clas­si­cal silhouette, the pair of arm­chairs Becca had cus­tom made for the liv­ing area are deep enough to ac­com­mo­date her hus­band, Ryan Casey, who’s quite tall. But the seats are still low to the ground, which vis­ually ex­tends the al­ready high 13-foot ceil­ings. Along with the an­tique Chi­nese elm stool, they tem­per the in­dus­trial vibe of the steel book­shelf and tow­er­ing orig­i­nal win­dows.

5. Go Big Bed­side

It may seem coun­ter­in­tu­itive for a mini mas­ter, but the de­signer opted for full-sized dressers in place of two night­stands. The gen­er­ous draw­ers are life­savers, as the “dinky closet was bust­ing at the seams,” and Becca adores the Gus­ta­vian-style pieces’ deep blue tone. The grand metal canopy bed, which came with the scal­loped vel­vet-up­hol­stered head­board, com­ple­ments the tall dressers.

6. Look Un­der the Bed

You’d never guess it, but this luxe bed – lushly lay­ered with white linen sheets, a wo­ven In­dian bed­spread and de­signer toss cush­ions – con­ceals a stack of luggage and plas­tic bins stuffed with off-sea­son cloth­ing. The ac­cent wall, clad in in­dus­trial-chic whitepainted brick ve­neer, lends a sub­tle tex­tu­ral back­drop.

7. Trump Trash

Un­able to retro­fit a cus­tom pullout drawer into the ex­ist­ing kitchen cab­i­netry, Becca de­vised a clever spot to stash her trash: A sturdy wheeled ham­per hides a lid­ded bin. The bonus? The bin – made by Steele Can­vas Bas­ket, an Amer­i­can man­u­fac­turer es­tab­lished in 1921 – echoes the apart­ment’s in­dus­trial his­tory.

8. Take Root

The newly ren­o­vated kitchen was too sleek, so the de­signer swapped the cab­i­net fronts for clas­sic white Shak­ers fit­ted with sim­ple knobs and bin pulls. “I like to fall back to my English roots,” says Becca, who ex­tended the cook­ing zone with a wood-topped free-stand­ing is­land painted in a green-tinged neu­tral (Pi­geon by Bri­tish paint dar­ling Far­row & Ball). It’s stocked with vin­tage dairy crates and stacks of dishes, adding both stor­age and charm.

9. Main­tain Or­der

In close quar­ters, keep­ing sur­faces from fall­ing vic­tim to pileup is a chal­lenge. “With such limited space, your home is clean one minute and a to­tal mess the next,” says Becca, who or­ga­nizes fre­quently. In fact, her hus­band teas­ingly calls her The Queen of Ev­ery­thing in Its Place; luck­ily, tidi­ness and the art of edit­ing are sec­ond na­ture to Ryan, a bor­nand-raised New Yorker.

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