Interior Design With Character

Look around the room. What do you see? Think? Feel? Every room tells a story, and like any story, each one has the ability to move us. Think of your humble abode as a chapter of your narrative. We all have a unique story to tell. In the New York metropolitan area, we’ve got some of the greatest pads and interior designers in the world. These fearless designers are tasked with finding that balance of comfort and elegance, while remaining true to each homeowner’s identity. The result? Homes that make Martha Stewart’s place look like the
waiting room at the doctor’s office.

With a little help from a couple of the area’s elite designers, the Digest got a look at some of the most amazing residences along the Hudson. Remember, a well designed home is about more than just mirrors and cabinets — it’s about the details, the lighting, it’s about who you are. Every home has rooms, but only the great ones have character. Choosing our favorites was no cakewalk, but we did it. Here are the Hudson Cribs that rocked our world.

Charm Meets Contrast

Designer: Robert Jenny Design
Location: Hoboken, NJ

There’s no shortage of incredible brownstones in Hoboken, but this residence evokes a classic Victorian charm while giving us the best of contemporary design. By restoring the original details, Robert Jenny Design was able to add a modern touch without disturbing the authenticity of the house—which is the true backbone of this locale.

After a full gut renovation, and the installation of a high velocity air system, the design team brought the elements of the past into the 21st century. In the bedroom and bathroom, the original stained glass windows and mantels were all revived and balanced out with pieces like a sleek, up- to-date vanity. Such features help to create a sense of unity throughout the house. For instance, while the kitchen is a modern minimalistic design, it still achieves the “old meets new” harmony with pieces such as the antique light fixture hanging above the center island.

An Interior Reimagined

Designer: Robert Jenny Design
Location: Jersey City, NJ

It may be hard to tell now, but this Jersey City pad was once two separate units. After the independent components were combined, the entire space was completely gutted and redesigned. When asked why, the incredible minds at Robert Jenny Design replied, “We wanted to improve the overall use of space.” As determined as they are skilled, the staff did just that.

As it happens, the features designed to open up the space are also the most aesthetically pleasing—right down to the flat pivot hinge doors. The sleek Scavolini kitchen makes for easy navigation, and the custom, recessed seating area is the ultimate space saver (plus it looks really cool). Above the living area, a triangular aperture plays off the angle of the roof inviting light throughout the house, to create a bright, cheerful atmosphere.

New York Goes to Naples

Designer: Ryan Art and Design
Location: Naples, FL

We all love a good beach house, but sometimes the nautical theme is a bit heavy-handed near the sea. Rather than opting to hang a ship’s wheel in every room or place blue anchors on every throw pillow, Terry Ryan of Ryan Art and Design took a more practical approach when designing a vacation home in Naples, Florida. By integrating materials that add a hint of the nautical feel, with a clean, sophisticated New York styling, Ryan was able to achieve a more subtle beach residence. For instance, the penthouse features marble floors and reconstituted wood wall panelings which are meant to resemble sand, but simultaneously embody that sleek New York vibe. “It’s about tying things together in a subtle way,” Ryan said. “You feel it more than you actually see it.”

The Florida project originally took form when Ryan was inspired to make use of the antique metal sconces (seen in the living room) and several other dark-colored light fixtures. What really pulls the project together is the use of black, particularly in the form of mother-of-pearl. In the main living area, the custom white lacquer table contains black mother-of-pearl inlays which reflect the reveals in the wall paneling and ebonized maple end tables. “I used black to unite the project. Not in a heavy-handed way, but it’s there and it links everything together all the way through.”

An Original Impression

Designer: Robert Jenny Design
Location: Edgewater, NJ
The Hudson Waterfront is certainly no stranger to adaptive reuse, which refers to reusing a property for a function other than which it was initially constructed for. Originally part of a factory warehouse, this home by Robert Jenny Design brings out a modern, industrial look that stays true to the building’s roots by using features like a faux brick wall panel. The project began with two completely separate units which were opened up to create a comprehensive residence and maximize the use of space. To achieve this, Robert Jenny Design employed a minimalistic design that relies on the use of a variety of custom features. For example, custom pieces such as a bench in the kitchen beside the window conceals the room’s heating and air conditioning units while simultaneously providing extra storage space as well as a place to sit and enjoy the view. The kitchen itself was originally a galley kitchen and has since been reimagined to be more accessible, making it inherently easier to entertain guests.

In order to create the ideal space for their clients, Robert Jenny Design uses programs that allow one to see an actual video rendering of what the project will look like upon completion. These photorealistic renderings often begin with shots from the original space which become a full fledged design once used in conjunction with the company’s software. Technology such as this allows one to make changes to the project prior to construction or renovation, potentially saving time and money. The photo used in this piece is a rendering created by Robert Jenny Design.