A West Village apartment with the secret to small-scale open-plan living


Apartments have their own unique set of design challenges, where they give with one hand, they take away with the other. The layout of your home, for example, is more rigid and will no doubt be smaller than a comparable home, but you could also benefit from nice loft proportions, open spaces and expansive windows. It is a small living space on a large scale.

For this apartment located in the West Village of New York, interior designers Chelsea Reale and Diana Rice of SISSY+MARLEY Interiors took up this challenge. With floor-to-ceiling windows and an open-plan living space, it’s not the typical image of a tiny house. Yet its footprint says otherwise, and with the demands of a family, it was a modern home that had to work hard.

The designers created a lived-in atmosphere through soft materials and warm finishes. The palette is soft and the textiles are natural and organic complementing the natural sunlight that fills the space. “We used a lot of white paint,” says Chelsea, “creating a crisp backdrop to the creamy pieces that were added.”

In the living space this gives a feeling of rest, where the different functions of the room coexist harmoniously, while in the bedrooms of jewel proportions, function had to be carefully considered to make the most of this compact apartment, but charming. floor plan.


an apartment hallway

(Image credit: Marco Ricca. Design: SISSY+MARLEY Interiors)

Entrances to apartments can be dark little nooks in the belly of the building, the furthest points of natural light from exterior windows. However, in this case, the designers of Interiors SISSY+MARLEY (opens in a new tab) succeeded in creating a space that defines the airy and organic feel of apartment interiors.

“The entrance to the apartment is quite a narrow space, so to make it look bigger we added a beautiful oak oval mirror from Pinch London which opens up the space,” says Diana. “Additionally, we made the space feel special and warm by adding texture in Moses Nadel’s sheepskin and leather wall hanging and a sheepskin rug.”

Living room

a living room in an apartment

(Image credit: Marco Ricca. Design: SISSY+MARLEY Interiors)

The relaxed seating arrangement of this small living room helps open up the apartment to make it a more sociable space, facing the kitchen and dining table. While its soft, off-white palette melds with the rest of the open plan, it’s also bounded by a large area rug.

With much of the apartment dominated by wraparound windows, this is one of the only spaces that provides a canvas for wall decoration. “There wasn’t a lot of room for art in the house,” says Chelsea, “so we chose a very special and beautiful piece by Armando Mesias, a Colombian artist currently living in Madrid.”

The leather ball pouf, which introduces a playful feel to the space, is by Moses Nadel, while the Finn coffee table is by Egg Collective. An industrial sconce, by Workstead, is sculptural and interesting, presenting itself as a functional alternative to more living room wall art.

Dining room

a neutral apartment dining room

(Image credit: Marco Ricca. Design: SISSY+MARLEY Interiors)

The apartment’s dining room furniture is casual yet refined, ethereal backlit by a corner of expansive linen-clad floor-to-ceiling windows.

“We covered the windows with beautiful linen draperies that we intentionally left long to create a dreamy atmosphere in the space,” Diana explains. “Mounted on a ceiling track, when closed, these curtains create a Hotel Delano feel, a feel our client dreamed of creating in the space,” she adds.


a neutral kitchen in an apartment

(Image credit: Marco Ricca. Design: SISSY+MARLEY Interiors)

The kitchen in the apartment was inherited when the clients purchased the property, and although the modern Italian style was adaptable to the scheme the interior designers were creating, it took some work to make part of it fully realized of the new look of the apartment. “These kitchens often lack character, so we added a beautiful powder coated metal fixture wrapped in a leather cord above the counter, perforated and powder coated leather stools, and lots of accessories that make the warm space,” says Chelsea.


a bedroom office in an apartment

(Image credit: Marco Ricca. Design: SISSY+MARLEY Interiors)

Leaving the more generously proportioned living space, Chelsea and Diana were tasked with adding great character to some of the smaller bedrooms. “It was one of the smallest primary bedrooms we’ve designed before,” says Chelsea, “so it was important that each piece really appealed to you. Although each piece is small in its footprint, it has a lot of power in it. its aesthetic.’

In the bedroom, a small table was added to the narrow walkway, creating a vanity and casual workspace, required by the client to work from home during the pandemic and beyond.

The bedroom continues the crisp white walls, balanced by light but warm beige tones in the furniture and textiles.


a neutral nursery in an apartment

(Image credit: Marco Ricca. Design: SISSY+MARLEY Interiors)

While the nursery doesn’t eschew the color story of the apartment, it’s definitely a more playful take on a neutral nursery.

“The goal was to make it a dream space for our client,” says Chelsea. “She was renovating her old flat when she had her first baby and it was very stressful for her. So we wanted to make the second time around a wonderful experience.

“Coming to a fully organized, functional and chic nursery was very important to us,” adds Diana. “In our opinion, the Marley + Malek Kids wallpaper sets the stage for a very dreamy night’s sleep.”

The low storage not only plays well against the large window in the baby’s room, dressed in a large blackout Roman blind, but also offers surfaces at the height of toddlers.

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