Few things herald a new chapter like a stack of moving boxes or a fresh coat of paint. Nicole Gibbons luckily found himself struggling with both. The former interior designer and style expert (you may have seen her cast style tips on HGTV or Hello america) changed careers to start his own painting business, Claire– a direct-to-consumer business that, through a variety of foolproof hues, aims to eliminate the “pain of paint”. She also traded apartments, swapping her more than a decade old Harlem home for a breezy, amenity-filled home about a mile to the south. After all, if you want to disrupt the paint industry, you will need a suitable HQ: “I felt like my life was going to change in a way where I was going to be panicked, busier”, Gibbons says. “I was really ready to upgrade.”
She ripped off her new spot on the basis of a hunch. The listing had no photos, just a floor plan, but Gibbons’ designer senses indicated that this was a gem, given the generous spaces and the block of greenery a short distance away. of Central Park. Her intuition was confirmed when she made a visit: high ceilings, parquet floors, pre-war architectural details and lots of sun. “I saw a lot of potential to really make it what I wanted it to be – a place that felt really good,” says Gibbons. The yellow-beige paint job, however, should go away.
Gibbons signed the lease and embarked on a gradual transformation of the space, controlling costs and his suddenly limited time. “I definitely get a start-up salary, which is not the same as when I ran my design business,” says Gibbons. “So I decorated the space in the most economical way possible. “
For a painting CEO, you can expect saturated colors everywhere. In this block, however, Gibbons wanted the opposite and selected subtle hues (all from Clare, of course) to keep things fresh and vibrant. “[My former] The apartment had a very colorful foundation – the walls were colorful, my sofa was colorful, ”says Gibbons. “Here I wanted to neutralize the foundation, but keep the pops of color throughout the space and make it lighter and more effervescent.”
The first thing Gibbons aimed to do was capitalize on the light and airiness offered by the new 15th floor abode. “My old apartment was so different. I was on the second floor of a walk-up and had such low light, ”she notes. It also included giving up much of her worldly possessions (“I wanted to start from scratch,” she notes) but strategically reusing statement pieces.
These strategies are apparent in the entryway, which is painted in Clare’s best-selling neutral shade, Penthouse. “It’s just a very soft and airy shade of greige,” says Gibbons. The fixture was reused from its old location (Gibbons traded in all rental fixtures), while the runner was one of the last items Gibbons purchased from Madeline Weinrib before she closed her New York workshop. “She has always been a favorite; I love his textiles, ”says Gibbons. The finishing touches are affordable finds, including the Gio Ponti-inspired mirror from One Kings Lane, the CB2 shelving units, and a pretty marble-topped console from Wayfair.
The living room
As much as Gibbons was looking for a lifestyle upgrade, she was also looking for an aesthetic. Her old place, as Gibbons describes it, was a maximalist and colorful haunt – think of the return of Kelly Wearstler and Ruthie Sommers. “They call it the great millennium now, but back then it was just Hollywood Regency meets Mid-Century Modern,” Gibbons says. “I’m not sure what the mood was like, but I had a lot of old Louis XV style armchairs.”
She ditched this style in her new living room in favor of a neutral background punctuated with pops of bright and soft colors, as with the neutral sofa from Maiden Home, a piece of furniture from Housing Works’ Design on a Dime, and, again, Clare’s Penthouse on the walls.
The lavish salmon pink velvet Fritz Hansen style chairs were the result of a chic DIY: “They had been a staple of my 1stDibs for a very long time, [but] it was an ugly brown velvet, ”Gibbons explains. After a trip to Calico Corner (“a place designers don’t usually shop,” she laughs) and some upholstery work, here it is: a pair of affordable trendy chairs.
To tie it all together, Gibbons hung an abstract painting of her friend, artist Nicole Cullen, above the sofa. “When you’re in this space, all the little pops of color are pretty vibrant,” she says.
The dining room
Right next to the living room seating area, Gibbons has created a bespoke dining and working from home corner. “I knew I wanted to put my little dining room in a corner because I didn’t have a lot of space and I didn’t really have a dedicated dining room here,” says Gibbons. The solution? A small tulip table, two Jean Prouvé-inspired chairs and a comfortable but pint-sized bench from Lee Industries. “It’s a really comfortable arrangement,” she notes.
As any tenant knows, one of the most difficult spaces in zhuzh
is the kitchen. Gibbons skillfully transformed his with a neutral tinged with green (Greyish by Clare) to harm some of the non-negotiable items like countertops and flooring. A colorful rug and sweet breakfast nook, with a tulip table sourced from Amazon, Marcel Breuer-inspired rattan chairs, and an assortment of artwork, also liven up the space.
As with the living room, Gibbons wanted some colorful anchors in his bedroom. “I knew I wanted a colorful bed. I knew I wanted a velvet bed, ”she says. “There is something about velvet that really softens a bedroom.” She chose a bed from Vanguard Furniture and decorated it with a custom headboard covered in plush velor from Calico Corner. Stocking the nightstands was a bit trickier, considering she only had about 15 inches to play with. But she found the perfect, inexpensive pair at Wayfair and topped them with little brass table lamps from One Kings Lane.
Iconic Gibbons pops of color pop up in the peach-toned pillows – a Kelly Wearstler print for Lee Jofa – and in the above-the-bed artwork by Zoe Bios Creative. “It’s one of my favorite sources of art in client projects,” says Gibbons. “They are all customizable and made to order. It’s like a trademark, and for me, very nice decorative pieces.
The whole house provided the perfect, calm oasis for Gibbons and his growing business. “I feel so grounded when I’m home and, you know, in this last year of my forties I’m so grateful to have a home that reflects who I am,” Gibbons said. “This very morning, I went for a walk in Central Park with my sister-in-law before work, and some very beautiful trees are starting to bloom. It’s really great to be here.
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