Stylish New York city loft, designed by Monique Gibson with a lot of character.
The owners of this spacious duplex loft—a writer who works at home and her filmmaker husband—told me they were envisioning a tranquil environment where they could raise their family and be creative without too much “visual noise” or distraction. But their two children had a very different idea of what constitutes domestic bliss. The son wanted a room inspired by World Wide Wrestling. The daughter, who was seven at the time, told me that she wanted her room to be decorated like “parakeets with a little touch of bunny.” Just in case I didn’t get it, she arrived at our first design meeting with a packet of inspirational images of birds and rabbits.
This modern aviary was in contrast, of course, to the parts of the loft that the kids share with their parents. The clients made a specific request for “no color” but did want their home to feel cozy and textured. The all-white space took on a new depth with the simple trick of staining the window surrounds a dark shade. Furniture and accessories in natural materials like walnut, linen, boiled wool, and cashmere made the neutral space feel grounded. Even here there were playful touches: the minimalist kitchen, where the open shelving is in live-edge reclaimed wood, got a backsplash in chalkboard slate (there is always a cup of white chalk on hand for writing or drawing on the wall).