When your work involves promoting an array of new and vintage designer furniture from showrooms, brands and private collections, it’s safe to say that you’re surrounded by decor inspiration every day. That’s precisely the case for Tamara Rosenthal, the Vice President of Marketing for the designer furniture consignment site Viyet, when she set out to renovate the 1,700-square-foot Upper East Side apartment her family calls home.
Though Tamara had a strong vision of the bright, airy and open space she wanted to create, the reality was an apartment that felt dark and dreary. With the help of Jennifer Hunter and Georgie Hambright of J + G Design, the apartment went under a seven-month-long renovation. “Our goal was to bring the apartment — which had not been renovated in about 40 years — into the modern age,” Tamara said. “And to make sure we created a beautiful, lovable home for our family.”
The biggest change is the most obvious one: removing the outdated carpeting. “We wanted beautiful hardwood floors. When we bought the place, the floors were a combo of pink carpeting and black and white linoleum!” Tamara said.
There was also the familiar challenge of making an open floorplan feel more intimate while also maximizing functionality. Instead of putting up walls, Tamara relied on a much easier way to take advantage of every square inch. “We created three spaces through furniture placement, she said. “We have one big open floor plan, and by arranging the couch around a coffee table, two chairs around a smaller table, and moving the dining table to one side, we actually created three ‘rooms.'” On the other side of the room, near the windows, she placed two chairs to create a reading nook.
Rugs also went far to help further define the floorplan. She chose patterns that ranged from bold (the Anthropologie rug in the living room) to more subtle, like the neutral rug in the dining area. These added texture to the space while also helping hide stains —after all, this is a home that has to stand up to the wear and tear of her kids.
A small kitchen is a familiar problem for any city-dweller. A lack of lighting made Tamara’s galley kitchen feel even more cramped.
Overhead lighting improved the lighting situation, while white countertops and upper cabinets make the space feel a little brighter. Brass hardware adds an on-trend touch that also helps unify the contrasting upper and lower cabinets.
Tamara’s favorite space is the breakfast nook, a space that was converted from an existing closet. “Now, it’s the most used room in the apartment. I love the combination of the punch buggy photos with the Josef Frank Schumacher banquette,” she said. “Also, we had the fabric laminated, so I never worry if the kids spill anything on it — I feel so relaxed in that room, knowing it literally cannot be stained!”
Though the renovation is complete, Tamara still is on the hunt for pieces to add to the space. Mainly, the temptation comes from seeing the new consigned furniture and accessories that are listed weekly on Viyet. “I still am looking, which is crazy because I truly do not need any more pieces,” she said. “That is how I ended up with the vintage black and white cigar box, which now hold our remote controls. I saw it and was like …hmmm…I think I just need one more piece!” It goes to show that when you’re passionate about design, a project is never truly “done.”