Like many modern matches, the one between lawyer turned interior designer Melanie Morris and her glamour-loving client, a wife and mother of three, was made via Instagram. After sending a few direct messages back and forth, the two agreed to meet at the client’s prewar apartment on New York’s Park Avenue.
The home had been completely gutted, leaving only a few original features, such as the mantel in the living room and the medallion on the ceiling of the dining room. “I walked into her home to find it filled with fabrics and wallpapers she had sourced herself,” Morris says. “I was shocked and thrilled to see that so many of them were ones I have in my library as well. I immediately knew that we had a similar style.”
Both avowed 1stdibs-philes, the two sat down and compared their favorites folders on their respective 1stdibs apps. From classic vintage pieces to outside-the-box contemporary ones, the designer ended up sourcing about half of the furniture she bought for the apartment on the site. “Having a similar taste and children the same age truly helped us to maintain the same level of practicality with still creating a beautiful luxurious home,” Morris says.
Here, we go through the home room by room.
At the homeowners’ request, Morris designed the living room without a flatscreen, to encourage conversation. The large space has two sitting areas, both sporting plush, round furniture and soothing muted hues in elements like the tan Porter Teleo wallpaper. Connected via a paint-splatter-inspired carpet by Rug Art and a globular light fixture by Anna Karlin, which hangs in the center of the room, the two halves are distinguished from each other by tone: one rosy and whimsical, the other jewel-hued and regal.
In the more playful half, the designer installed a pale pink velvet sofa and Glas Italia coffee table, which looks like three rounds of smooth frosted glass. An avant-garde Patricia Urquiola seat provides the perfect counterpoint to Pierre Paulin’s iconic Groovy chair.
The statelier side features Steve Chase sofas facing each other across a Paul Evans mixed-metal coffee table. “The symmetry just kind of happened naturally,” Morris says, “based on finding these two sofas that the client and I fell in love with.” Gracefully upsetting this balance is a giant Gregory Amenoff painting, whose colorful swirls are echoed in the teal Konekt Thing 3 stools with horsehair fringe.
“The living room is for sure my favorite, with the beautiful wallpaper and pink splatter rug creating the backdrop for all of the best and most beautiful pieces of furniture,” Morris says.
In the dining area, Morris stepped back from the feminine pastels she used in the rest of the home, deploying stark contrasts and admitting just a pinch of pink in an Ettore Sottsass Ultrafragola mirror. “The dining room is well-balanced and striking,” Morris says. “The black-and-white theme is consistent until you notice the gorgeous mirror in the corner.”
The overall feel is cool and contemporary, from the Brian Paquette chairs surrounding the Damien Langlois-Meurinne table to the Lindsey Adelman Branching Burst chandelier suspended from the ceiling’s original medallion and the Pierre Frey window treatments that frame the room.
Morris added some spice to the kitchen’s clean, spare design with funky stools from Scout Design and wallpaper from Drop It Modern. “While the majority of the home has a glamorous vibe,” she notes, “the kitchen is super fun and cheery, with the wallpaper and the channeled banquet.”
“It is truly special when a man is comfortable with pink,” says Morris. “I cannot say that many male homeowners would be okay with their entire bedroom being wallpapered in pink florals, but this one is super cool.” So are the furnishings, which include custom nightstands plus brass lamps the homeowners found on 1stdibs before meeting with Morris. The wallpaper is by Brett Design.
Texture is paramount on both walls and floors in the library/guest room. Given the space’s dual function, “it was imperative that we find a super chic sofa that also doubled as a bed,” says Morris, who met the challenge with the apartment’s second Damien Langlois-Meurinne piece.
The client’s favorite piece? Although the vintage coffee table is unparalleled in its stylish design, she plumps for the graphic Kelly Wearstler wallpaper. Morris’s preferences are a bit more tactile. “The study is the coziest room in the home,” she states, “with a luxurious velvet sofa and super yummy rug.”