Makeovers

Our Polished and Practical Makeover of a Pre-Prewar NYC Apartment

Our Polished and Practical Makeover of a Pre-Prewar NYC Apartment
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After years overseeing social media for top American fashion brands (and curating her own wanderlust-inducing Instagram account), Amy Stone has mastered the art of communicating a feeling through color and composition. So when it came to decorating her new apartment, it’s no wonder she had a clear vision. “I love traditional sensibilities but with a lived-in feel,” Amy says. “I prefer masculine tones, I love rich fabrications, and I’m pro-stripe—that’s my philosophy for sure. And chinoiserie-happy always.” She also hoped to bring in a touch of the relaxed-meets-preppy style of Nantucket, her regular summer getaway and ultimate happy place.

To help bring her vision to life, Amy called on The Studio at One Kings Lane. “There was so much potential for it to be a really gorgeous space,” Amy says of the pre-prewar apartment she landed—complete with elegant moldings, a marble fireplace, and original doorknobs fitted with antique keys. After five years in her previous apartment, filled mostly with pieces she’d carted from her college days, she was more than ready for a fresh start.

A slim demilune table offers just enough space to drop keys, sunglasses, and mail. “I’ve always loved portraits,” Amy says of the gold-framed artwork above. “It gives the room character and a story.”

A slim demilune table offers just enough space to drop keys, sunglasses, and mail. “I’ve always loved portraits,” Amy says of the gold-framed artwork above. “It gives the room character and a story.”

The starting point for the design was the navy settee. “I love the classic features of it—the wooden legs and, of course, the color—but the clean lines and the very rectangular angles just felt so fresh,” Amy says. The walls were painted Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace.

The starting point for the design was the navy settee. “I love the classic features of it—the wooden legs and, of course, the color—but the clean lines and the very rectangular angles just felt so fresh,” Amy says. The walls were painted Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace.

Making the Most of Every Inch

“I knew that I wanted this to be a place where I could entertain,” says Amy, who prefers relaxed at-home gatherings to hitting the town. “To have a bar cart stuffed with everything anyone would want, to have a small dining area where I could have a friend over for dinner—that was really important to me.”

Because the living space is on the small side, that meant getting the layout just right. Starting with a streamlined settee, Amy and her Studio designer fashioned a cozy seating area that incorporated a pair of Amy’s own vintage rattan chairs. Floating the conversation spot out into the middle of the room left space behind the sofa for a petite dining table—and to one side of the fireplace, Amy’s coveted bar cart. Extra seating tucked throughout the room (the blue-and-white garden stool, the tufted ottoman, the bench-turned-coffee table) means she is well equipped for cocktail parties.

Against the wall, Amy’s table seats two—but with a little rearranging there’s plenty of room for a four-person dinner party. She scored the blue-and-white china set at a local thrift shop.

Against the wall, Amy’s table seats two—but with a little rearranging there’s plenty of room for a four-person dinner party. She scored the blue-and-white china set at a local thrift shop.

A “handsome” bar was a must for impromptu get-togethers. “Having wine at someone’s apartment versus going out and fighting for a reservation or a seat at the bar—it just feels so calming for me,” Amy says.

A “handsome” bar was a must for impromptu get-togethers. “Having wine at someone’s apartment versus going out and fighting for a reservation or a seat at the bar—it just feels so calming for me,” Amy says.

I’m pro-stripe—that’s my philosophy for sure. And chinoiserie-happy always.

— Amy Stone
Amy brought just a few treasured pieces from her old apartment to the new. “I lived in it practically empty for four or five months,” she says. “I was very much living in a yoga studio. But I sort of loved the Zen emptiness to it. I was able to have a truly blank slate.”

Amy brought just a few treasured pieces from her old apartment to the new. “I lived in it practically empty for four or five months,” she says. “I was very much living in a yoga studio. But I sort of loved the Zen emptiness to it. I was able to have a truly blank slate.”

City Chic, Summertime Ease

“I love the blues of summer—the ocean, blue hydrangeas, the sky,” says Amy, who feels most at ease spending laid-back days by the beach with her closest girlfriends. “No shoes, sunglasses, ponytail… Because you’re on the water. You can’t be too precious, right? That’s sort of how I feel about my space and my style.” So while her apartment needed to be true to its classic Manhattan bones, it was also important that it reflected the setting she loves most.

Achieving that mix was all about contrast: luxe velvet paired with relaxed rattan, a vintage Persian rug atop a natural-fiber, sumptuous silk pillows in an easy cabana stripe. Artwork, including a classic oil seascape and a watercolor by Amy’s grandmother, adds subtle coastal imagery. And coupled with the crisp white walls, an abundance of blue furnishings—from the settee to the skirted table to the chinoiserie accents—makes for a serene atmosphere.

Opposite the fireplace, an acrylic console (one of the few pieces brought from Amy’s previous apartment) offers a spot to display favorite photos, books, and objets. A tufted ottoman tucked underneath adds a layered look—and handy seating.

Opposite the fireplace, an acrylic console (one of the few pieces brought from Amy’s previous apartment) offers a spot to display favorite photos, books, and objets. A tufted ottoman tucked underneath adds a layered look—and handy seating.

A collection of artful accents, including brass candlesticks and chinoiserie ceramics, adorns the mantel. Amy fell hard for this vintage mirror, with its columnlike details and faux-painted marble finish.

A collection of artful accents, including brass candlesticks and chinoiserie ceramics, adorns the mantel. Amy fell hard for this vintage mirror, with its columnlike details and faux-painted marble finish.

An Oasis in the City

“It’s so rich, but it’s also so comfortable and clean,” Amy says of the finished space. “It’s certainly not beachy. This is a Manhattan apartment; it’s not a Nantucket beach house, it’s not on Cape Cod… It should feel ‘New York.’ But it should reflect where I love—and where I guess I wish I was.” If the endorsement of her fellow seaside-loving friends is any indication, that goal has certainly been accomplished. “I’ve had people over for drinks and to lounge, and people don’t want to leave, because it feels like a home.”

In her wardrobe as in her space, Amy looks to the classics. “My uniform is really cashmere sweaters in varying colors, weights, and fits, all year round. With vintage Levis, or something more feminine like a rugby-stripe skirt.”

In her wardrobe as in her space, Amy looks to the classics. “My uniform is really cashmere sweaters in varying colors, weights, and fits, all year round. With vintage Levis, or something more feminine like a rugby-stripe skirt.”

I’ve had people over for drinks and to lounge, and people don’t want to leave, because it feels like a home.

— Amy Stone

Related: Inside a Jewelry Designer’s Gem of a Makeover →

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