October 27, 2017
Nina Seirafi Designs a Modern Aerie in Chelsea
Nina Seirafi creates a serene haven for a bachelor in Chelsea.
by Nicole Haddad interior designer Nina Seirafi
When Nina Seirafi was asked to design a bachelor's home in Chelsea, she knew that his dream of living in a clean, modern aerie signaled a complete gut renovation was soon to come. The home, a two-bedroom property renovated by the previous homeowners themselves—impromptu walls and orangish kitchen cabinetry included—was in dire need of a redo.
And so, Seirafi set to work knocking down walls, stripping the floors, and installing clean, continuous windows throughout the home that accentuated the lines of the apartment and flooded it with natural light. Radiators were hidden, central air conditioning was installed, and the ceiling was elevated to add a heightened sense of space. With the new blank canvas, Seirafi reconfigured the space into a two-bedroom-plus-office home that despite the added room and slightly smaller living room, gives the impression of a much larger space. "There wasn't a stich we kept in the apartment," says Seirafi. "Now everything is light and bright, and pretty much white."
Throughout the home, Seirafi implemented rift-sawn oak floors with a custom finish that appears white but still shows the beauty of the grain—complemented by walls in Decorator's White by Benjamin Moore. In the open plan living and dining area, the designer instituted a subtle separation by adding a solid cut-pile wool rug with a simple white leather-edge binding that wears well. A tailored L-shaped linen sofa by Seirafi provides about 12 feet of ultra-comfortable seating with views of the white marble-framed fireplace. Midcentury Italian lounge chairs upholstered in an intricately patterned fabric from Knoll Luxe add a sense of warmth while Seirafi's easily movable poufs—now carried at Ralph Pucci International—wrap up the seating area. A striking, custom Lucite coffee table filled with white powder forms a sort of inner landscape and adds an element of interest while also giving the room the appearance of having been snowed on.
In the dining room, Seirafi customized one of her own designs to run 9'8" long and comfortably seat 10 to 12 guests. Vintage Danish V chairs were stained and reupholstered in a checkered black and white Maharam fabric that plays well with the dining table's chic white marble top and polished stainless-steel frame. At the head of the table, an organic wood chair seats two. "I love order" says Seirafi, "but I also love breaking order. And this chair brought a bit of disorder to a pristine space." A white plaster chandelier was altered to add height.
Muted artwork that highlights the color scheme can be seen throughout. "Because the space is so simple and minimal," says Seirafi, "I wanted to bring a layer of life to it without fighting the minimalist look." A tall geometric sculpture in the living room plays off the low sofa while neutral Danish midcentury pottery on the fireplace adds a sense of the handmade. "I didn't want to bring in anything bright," says the designer. "It's almost as if the space rejected it. It's not an exact science, but once the bones are right, the space directs you."
As for the client? "It was a success story in every sense," says Seirafi. "What felt like a risk to him in terms of living in an all white space, became the most pleasant surpris
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