July 6, 2016

Christopher Maya Designs a Cheer-Filled Manhattan Home

Christopher Maya creates a cheerful and elegant new home for a couple with young children.

by Deborah L. Martin interior designer Christopher Maya photographer Christian Harder


When a couple with young children decided to purchase their first Manhattan apartment, they called in designer Christopher Maya to create something livable and contemporary. "We didn't want to obstruct any views of the river so we were very conscious of that in the design." says Maya. The designer chose a neutral palette, with pops of strong color throughout. "I felt it was important, especially in the children's rooms, to have a very cheerful outlook." The south- and east-facing apartment gets copious amounts of light, and the open plan living and dining rooms are elegantly appointed, with furniture that is contemporary, but with a nod to traditional shapes. While most of the custom upholstery is white, two midcentury chairs in persimmon velvet mohair form an intimate seating area facing a modernized version of a tête-à-tête, designed by Maya, with a contrasting blue cushion. In the living area, the upholstered furniture is covered in crisp linen for a modern profile. Maya says, "Some shapes never go out of style because they are so versatile." Looking through the living area into the kitchen, the eye is drawn to sunny yellow walls, and upwards to the Serena & Lily Lemons wallpaper on the ceiling.

The living and dining area is flooded with light and good cheer. A neutral palette is soothing to the eye while a jolt of warm persimmon on the midcentury chairs and a sculpture from R.E. Steele in East Hampton provide focal points. Sisal carpet from Merida creates a graphic counterpoint to the linen upholstery on the Maya-designed sofa and armchairs.

In the media room, which also functions as an extra bedroom, the designer created an island-style escape from the New York winter, with Farrow & Ball Arsenic 214. Says Maya, "It's a bright color, yet the room feels very soothing and peaceful, like an escape should be." The children's rooms are done in traditional pink and blue, but they also feel very modern. Upholstered headboards in both rooms are covered in fabric created by Maya for his new collection with Holland & Sherry. In the boy's room, lacquered red frames add a jolt of color. In the girl's room, a desk and chair from Chelsea Editions adds a bit of country charm. The master bedroom is sophisticated with accents of chocolate brown on the bed and windows, and the elegant texture of seagrass wall coverings.

Although Maya went with a neutral palette overall, he says, "We didn't want the space to feel amorphous. Carefully placed sculpture and artwork, along with splashes of vibrant color, provide focus and a cheerful quality to the overall aesthetic."

The designer in the living room. Graphic prints from Holland & Sherry stand out on the neutral sofa.

*Interested in more articles like this? Sign up for our Newsletter!