January 8, 2016

Apartment: 2015 BoY Winner for Kitchen/Bath

It was just a milestone. Just two years after founding the firm, Arjun Desai and his wife, Katherine Chia, combined a pair of artists’ lofts into this sweeping apartment, 5,000 square feet with windows on three exposures. “We came in and knocked down all the walls,” Chia recalls. Complete, the floating oak floor was stained medium gray, setting the tone for a color palette epitomizing 1990’s minimalism.

That interior essentially stayed the same until recently, when the apartment sold to an aspiring photographer in search of a live-work setup. Bringing back Desai and Chia was the idea of the real-estate broker, who’d also handled the earlier sale. The broker’s design suggestion was just to add a powder room. That sparked months of intense conversation during which almost everything was up for grabs. “We kept the cast-iron columns and sections of the gypsum-board ceiling,” Desai says. “But it was pretty much another gut.”

The tone is warmer now, thanks to 12-inch-wide blond oak floor planks. Turkish marble floor slabs provide the pattern in the master bathroom, where the walls and Benedini & Associati’s freestanding tub are white solid-surfacing. In the gourmet-grade kitchen, a massive blackened-steel island is accompanied by oak stools custom-designed to pay homage to Donald Judd.

Project Team: Elizabeth Vereker; Olivia Ward; Justin Ackerman; Emi Katagiri.

> See more from the December 2015 issue of Interior Design

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