Looking at this Greenwich Village apartment, with its forest-green kitchen cabinets, aubergine living room sofa, and moody-blue family room walls, you might find it difficult to believe its owners previously lived in a white-on-white home.
“Color was one of their requests from the start,” says designer Kevin Dumais. Having outgrown that all-white home, the family of four—parents and two young children—were eager to color their world. “Kids live in a world of color, so having it in your home makes things more lively, more interesting.”
Diving into color didn’t mean forsaking sophistication, however. Darker undertones add richness and depth to the palette, which favors jewel tones over pastels. In the family room, for instance, the mohair sectional is salmon rather than petal pink; in the primary bedroom, the wall-spanning headboard is midnight rather than cornflower blue.
Kevin also ensured that the home was family friendly as well as refined. Take the kitchen: With marble countertops, oak-topped island, and gleaming brass hardware complementing the custom millwork, there’s nothing childish about in. But in a corner of the room, Kevin created a niche with the kids in mind. “The banquette is faux leather that’s easy to clean, with storage underneath. The wall is linen that is magnetized to display the kids’ art,” he explains. Yet looking at the space, you’d never associate it with chicken fingers and chocolate milk.
Perhaps the greatest challenge was one that many homeowners wish they faced: Several of the rooms are rather large, so Kevin had to make sure they felt inviting and cozy. In the primary bedroom, “one thing that helped was using a silk grass-cloth wallpaper to warm it up, and the large-scale graphic patterned rug helped ground the space and give pattern and scale to the room,” he says.
“The living room is basically a square, with very limited wall space to anchor furniture,” Kevin continues. “How do we create a room where people can mingle around?” Here he floated different types of seating to create smaller areas without breaking up the room with dividers or walls. On one end, a coffee table centers a convivial conversation area, which includes the sectional and two armchairs. At the other, armchairs in a different style accompany a game table, and by the wall of windows a wingback chair and matching ottoman encourage settling in with a good book. The living room’s blue ombré curtains, by the way, are repeated in the dining and family rooms to create a sense of cohesiveness among these spaces, all of which run along the front of the building.
Kevin’s mélange of colors, warm textures, bespoke built-ins, and statement lighting all but erase any traces of the building’s previous life as a parking garage. Instead the apartment seems as if it were always what it is today: a polished yet practical, elegantly livable family home.