Full gut renovation for New York mid century home

The Blurring of Inside/Outside in an Urban Retreat

We started the project after landscape designer Christian Duvernois had planned the outdoor terrace and secured approvals from the client.

Based on their feedback, we envisioned this pied-a-terre as an urban retreat for their family. We surveyed their existing collection of art and furniture and suggested new pieces, then teamed with Duvernois to integrate the interior with his planned exterior.

It was important to develop our palette to coordinate with the colors of the garden outside, and with existing finishes and fixtures already in the apartment: wood floors, kitchen cabinets, built-ins and some of the existing furniture.

Our harmonious interior furniture layout echoes the terrace furnishings. We designed the layout to allow a full view of the exterior spaces from the interiors, with lounge seating and a table inside to directly mirror those outside.

We blended the client’s existing furnishings with contemporary acquisitions. In the dining area, we paired a new oval Knoll Saarinen Pedestal table with the existing vintage silver industrial-style tulip dining chairs. Above the table, a new branching LED chandelier from MOOOI recalls Nature.


LOCATION:  Chelsea, New York

PROJECT:  Full Gut renovation

SIZE:  1355 Sq Ft Interior + 500 Sq Ft Terrace


Landscape Designer:

Christian Duvernois Landscape/Studio 

Photos: Ashok Sinha

Styling: Craig Kellogg 



furniture plan

Before and after plans for renovation of New York home to maximise space and design
A reading nook designed by EXD Architecture
A reading nook designed by EXD Architecture

In the living room we purchased a DWR leather sofa and a steel fire pit, to top with glass and use as a terrarium coffee table. (We collaborated on this table with the landscape designer’s team; they crafted its miniature moss landscape which includes artificial lighting.) The clients took pleasure in working together with the landscape designer and us to realize this one-of-a-kind piece.

In the living room, we arranged the clients’ massive stone side table and area rug—then added a B&B Italia bench that converts as a tête-à-tête depending on the placement of its bolsters. We also purchased a pair of teal swivel chairs and delicate occasional tables to complete the seating area.

A reading nook designed by EXD Architecture

We replaced the existing stainless steel fireplace with a new black HearthCabinet® ventless fireplace with a custom metal frame to seamlessly integrate it with the rest of the design. The guest bedroom opens to the garden directly. Here, the clients already owned all of the furniture. But we collaborated with the artist Pepe Lopez on a custom rug that integrates the palette of these furnishings with colors from the terrace. 

in the primary bedroom, the clients challenged us to install seating to take advantage of the picture window’s Hudson river view.  Behind the bed. We responded with the design for a high architectural window seat (and pull-out stairstep) that doubles as a bookcase and nightstand fully equipped with power and lights.

Across the room, we created an additional reading area at the spectacular north-facing window. Its Flos floor lamp serves, too, as a side table and charging station—while nevertheless deferring to the city view that once again brings the outside in.

Maximise your living space with design by EXD Architecture
Maximise your living space with design by EXD Architecture

This update had a mix of new and old.  The Mid-Century Modern furniture left by the previous owners was restored by the Clients and situated to provide proper circulation through to the new stair.  The old stair was replaced with a more robust floating stair with overlapping wood treads, paired with a cable suspension railing system and wood handrail to match the flooring. 

All the finishes in the house were replaced, bathroom floors and walls, wood flooring and paint.   This family now gets to enjoy Amagansett all year, has room to entertain guests, and can rent it out when they like. 

A reading nook designed by EXD Architecture

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