March 2, 2015
Noha Hassan Instills a Modern Flair into an Upper West Side Home
New York-based Interior designer Noha Hassan gives a high-ceilinged Upper West Side apartment the look of a sleek downtown loft.
by Judith Nasatir interior designer Noha Hassan Designs photographer Mark Roskams
WEST SIDE STORY
There is something so wonderfully 21st century about this chic, modern, two-bedroom residence that New York-based designer Noha Hassan created for a young professional couple on the Upper West Side. Sure, the primary furnishings are of the moment and timeless, both: clean, crisp designs in serene shades of black, white, and gray from Molteni & C, with accent pieces from B&B Italia, Ligne Roset, and DDC, among others, softened by floor-to-ceiling curtains and floor coverings. Upping the ante is eye-catching, challenging, bold art that, along with choice accessories, adds color into the mix.
But before the nuts and bolts and choices of decor, there's a backstory of connectivity and globalism. That's where the present-as-future aesthetic really enters the picture. The clients found Hassan online, through her website. A prototypical citizen of the world-Egyptian-born, educated in Cairo and Brussels, lived in Jeddah and Luxembourg-she came to interior design via finance (stints in the London offices of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan) and marketing and branding (at Estee Lauder). The three met for the first time in the unit, just before the closing. And after the pair made clear their desire for a "modern, very modern" space, Hassan had them post online idea books of images "to make sure we were talking the same language."
Hassan found herself amazed by the apartment, which has a generous, flexible floor plan with an open-plan arrangement for the principal public rooms, good light, and high ceilings-unusual at 11.4 ft. "It called 'loft' to me," she said. Deciding that "a really cool, refined, hip" sensibility wasn't reserved for downtown only, she opted to bring that look uptown for these clients. First she layered in the unique architectural features that the apartment lacked, upgrading the floors and the lighting. Then she painted the walls of the main room Benjamin Moore Super White to create a backdrop to show off every smart, unexpected, and captivating design decision that followed. Six months worth of hard work later, the design settled comfortably into the 21st century residence it so happily is now.