Perfectly formed

Dark enclosed spaces have made way for open-plan living and entertaining
Story by: Justin Foote
View of kitchen in Art-Deco styled apartment building, ceiling, countertop, home, interior design, kitchen, room, gray, black
View of kitchen in Art-Deco styled apartment building, with checked and red flooring, dark-toned cabinetry and many reflective surfaces.

The years immediately after World War I were a period of economic boom in the United States, as the pall cast by the war to end all wars was replaced by an era of optimism and expansion.

Large, modern apartment buildings were built to reflect this wealth, which less than a decade later, would all come to an end in the Great Depression. One of the consequences was that many of these apartments were remodeled and made smaller, says Alan Berman, principal of Archetype Design Studio.

"Buildings featuring large apartments were seen as wasteful and were carved up to house more residents. Lobbies too, were made over in a more restrained manner that reflected the mood and style of the time.


View of kitchen in Art-Deco styled apartment building, cabinetry, countertop, interior design, kitchen, sink, tile, under cabinet lighting, white, black, gray
View of kitchen in Art-Deco styled apartment building, with checked and red flooring, dark-toned cabinetry and many reflective surfaces.

"One of the legacies of this, of course, is the profusion of Art Deco-styled buildings that can now be found in New York."

Originally constructed in the 1920s and remodeled in the 1930s, this pied-e -terre has been remodeled to fit a modern lifestyle, says architect David Faren.

"The existing spaces were all dark and enclosed. By removing internal walls and making better use of the space, we've created a series of rooms better suited to modern living."

View of kitchen in Art-Deco styled apartment building, cabinetry, countertop, home appliance, interior design, kitchen, gray, black
View of kitchen in Art-Deco styled apartment building, with checked and red flooring, dark-toned cabinetry and many reflective surfaces.

The design team was mindful of balancing character with modernity, says Berman. "While we wanted to acknowledge what had gone before, we were careful not to create a mere reproduction. In the kitchen for example, there had been a checkerboard floor, so we kept the design, but updated it with marble and granite."

The classic floor design was teamed with dark cabinetry for added richness, and stainless steel appliances and more granite on the counters impart a modern feel.

Glass inserts stop the upper cabinetry from dominating the space and complement the glass tiles, which add another reflective surface, contributing to the overall feeling of brightness.

May 17, 2011

Credit list

Interior designer
John Kristovich with Alan Berman, Archetype (New York)
Builder
RSI Construction
Cabinetry
Cherry wood veneer
Flooring
Red oak with a walnut stain
Wall tiles
Winter White glass tile
Blinds
Graber walnut Venetian blinds
and dishwasher
GE
Kitchen designer
David B Faren and Alan Berman with John Kristovich
Cabinet company
Kraftmaid
Countertop
Zodiaq Galaxy Black
Tile flooring
White Carrara marble
Lighting
Rejuvenation
Kitchen sink and faucets
Kohler
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