In Design

E-Design. A New York Apartment in Need of a Plan.

A couple we know from New York was moving into a new apartment last year and they asked me to put together an E-Design for them. This type of design service is great for those who can’t afford full-service design and want to implement the design themselves over time (as money becomes available) based on a floor plan, design concept, and product recommendations. I get asked to put these together for friends and family frequently, and this was one of the first projects I had done like this where the implementation was executed so well. So I had to share.before-1

The before pictures above were taken just shortly after they moved in which is when they reached out to me. They really needed some guidance with how to make the best use of their spaces. Since they were going to need to buy a number of pieces, they needed a design to help them figure out what to buy and where to put it. They only had a few main pieces that they brought from their Brooklyn apartment that they asked to be included in the design: a bed, a dining table and chandelier, a rug, a pair of modern arm sconces, and the TV. They were also pretty set on getting a sectional from West Elm, where a family member of theirs worked, and so they just needed a suggestion on which one.

Here is their floor plan and the spaces they asked for help with:

ModelThey told me that the styles they liked were: Industrial, Mid-Century Modern, and Scandinavian. They liked cool colors, rustic wood elements, and salvaged materials. Based on this and their Pinterest board, I put together this inspiration board:

Ideas for interior design using style inspiration from Emily Henderson, Industrial, Rustic, and School House Electric.

They also had already chosen a paint color for the walls, a cool gray called “Subtle Touch” by Behr which was helpful in putting together the following finish board:


The main space to consider was the layout for the Living Room. The previous owners had the television located on the far wall opposite of the dining and foyer entrances, so that was where my friends had initially placed theirs when they first moved in.

However, I thought it made most sense to put it on the long wall opposite of the window for a couple of reasons. First, I didn’t like the idea of the television being what you saw as you walked down the hallway from the front entrance. Second, to have the television on that far wall would mean cutting the room in half with a sofa opposite it and limiting the seating group around it. It made more sense to put a sofa under the window to make the space feel larger. So here was the floor plan I put together.


An industrial meets mid modern Living Room furniture inspiration using West Elm sofalr-furniture-lFurniture: 1. | 2. | 3. | 4. | 5. | 6. | 7. | 8. | a. | b. | c. | d. | e. (similar) | f. | g. | h. | j. | k. | l. | m. (similar) | n.

Here is one of the elevation sketches showing the sofa wall. I proposed installing their wall sconces on this wall instead of in the bedroom, which is where they first had them.

lr-elevation-window-wallThe dining room was much more straight forward since it was a small space with really only one option for furniture placement, and they already had an existing table. The main questions were what chairs to pair with it, and what to put on the walls.

Dining Room inspiration using a rustic dining table and eiffel chairs

Furniture: 1. | 2. | 3.

I thought these “Eiffel” dining chairs were a great pairing with the rustic wood table and since they had a sleek profile and mesh back, they wouldn’t take up a lot of visual space. My main objective with this room was to make sure that it wouldn’t look cluttered, which could happen easily and fast.dr-accessories-copy

Accessories: a. | b. | c. (similar)| d. (similar) | e.

I liked the idea of having wall covering on the wall opposite of the window to add some visual interest and texture without the bulkiness of artwork. And on the wall to the kitchen, I thought a couple of accessories from West Elm would work well—a mirror to help the space look larger and a pair of wall planters to add some greenery.


They were still putting together the final touches when I visited them earlier this year, but here are some great progress photos of the design implementation so far.Inspiration for a living room using a West Elm sofazambon_img_6137_xAs you can see, they did a great job following my sketch:

Where to hang art is shown in this illustrationGreat use of West Elm furniture in a New York apartment

One thing that I love about these E-Designs is that it’s really easy to get family members involved and to put personal touches to the design. For example, a family member actually made the bar cart as a DIY project for their new place, and the homeowner made the coffee table. Great job guys!

And lastly here is their master bedroom.


They weren’t exactly sure where the bed should go and didn’t know what storage pieces to look for. Here is what I came up with for them.A furniture layout for a bedroom shows the best place to locate a rug

What you should buy to get a Rustic Industrial Style for the bedroomFurniture: 1. | 2. | 3. Owner’s Bed | 4.

Ideas for bedroom accessories to buyIdeas for bedroom colorsAccessories: a. | b. (similar) | c. (similar) | d. (similar) | e. | f. | g. | h. | j. | k. | potted plant | m.
Where to hang curtain rods is shown in this elevation

And to wrap up this post, here are a few progress shots of their bedroom.
A gray wall color for the bedroom

Here is what they had to say after their experience:

“Mind blown… Tamara has exceeded our expectations in designing our first home. First of all, she really took her time to understand our vision, as vague as it was, and gave clear direction and rationale for her decisions behind the initial design. She was able to clearly explain why she decided to use certain furniture pieces and colors, which complimented each other, that ultimately transformed the spaces into a well balanced work of art. The end result was something very unique, beautiful, and perfectly aligned with our vision. We’re beyond satisfied with the work that Tamara has done and have already recommended her to friends and family.”

If you are interested in an E-Design, please inquire here.

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