Designer Melanie Williams on her Minimalist Masterpiece: The Tribeca Loft
Melanie Williams: Bespoke Interiors is a London-based architecture and interior design consultancy that mainly works in local high end residential projects. One of their most recent projects took them across the pond and into a New York City [Tribeca] apartment.
Many of their signature design elements such as intricate textures, industrial materials, and subdued color palettes are featured alongside a beautiful 8-foot wide see-through fireplace by Element4. We had the opportunity to ask Melanie a few questions about her own design style, and the inspiration that informs her work.
Are there any details in this design that you were particularly proud of?
MW: For me the greatest achievement has been creating an apartment with a great flow of space. All of our projects focus on this first and foremost. One thing that struck me on viewing a number of Tribeca apartments was the lack of an entry hall. It felt wrong to enter the living spaces immediately. There should always be a defined arrival space that can welcome you and that can provide practical elements such as cloakroom, a place to put mail and keys and in this project’s case, a space where strollers and scooters for the young children could be put away out of sight.
We also had to maintain a large open plan space to have the real sense of being in a Tribeca Loft apartment. We used elements such as the 2 sided fireplace to zone the open plan space so that each area within felt distinct but well connected.
The fireplace is a strong focal point and architectural feature for this open floor plan. How did you come to choose this specific fire?
MW: We researched a lot of products to find the right piece for the space. [At 8 feet wide] The size of this dual sided fire was of course one of its biggest appeals for us in designing a dividing wall feature. The wall had to be sized appropriately to suit the space and to provide the right amount of zone separation between living space and dining space whilst still allowing the right amount of space to flow around. The dual sided element is brilliant. It provides a focal point to both the spaces either side.
The surround to the fireplace is plastered in a specialist plaster finish to provide a distressed concrete finish. We used a specialist plasterer flown out from London to carry out this work as we could not find an installer who could do this work in NY. The finish is not uniform or flat in its appearance and therefore provides an interesting tactile/textural finish. The side ends are detailed with dark bronze metal panels that conceal storage space for all the AV equipment to control lighting and sound throughout the apartment.