Interior designer Clodagh reimagines a New York City apartment as an urban oasis
It can be challenging to curate a warm, stylish home where nearly everything is hidden: kitchen appliances, storage, and shelving, all tucked away behind towering cabinetry—which also seamlessly blends into walls, barely revealing itself—but for the famed interior designer, Clodagh, that was all part of the fun.
“There’s absolutely nothing out of place,” she affirms, adding that one of the top priorities for the discerning homeowners was hidden storage, lending to a minimalistic, clean kind of style. “And although everything is hidden, it’s all there—absolutely everything.”
While many designers lean into all-white kitchens and grand entryways, Clodagh chose a different approach, starting with the strikingly dark foyer. “They both like dark wood and I do, too,” she says. “But we worked with lighting to make it very architectural and simple. It’s a very nice feeling when you walk in.” A tall, structural Japonesque vase was installed on the door frame with a precise rectangular trough below filled with pebbles “to bring a sense of a micro garden,” while a mirror enlarges and brightens the space. The pebble garden is a theme throughout the home, seen again in the master bathroom, evoking a genuinely calming sensibility.
Walking into the kitchen, the high contrast between the sun-kissed brightness from the large—and deliberately treatment-free windows—and deep mahogany cabinetry and dining room table elicits an easy, comfortable feeling. “What’s nice about the kitchen is that it lands in the dining room with a large, beautiful table,” explains Clodagh. “The space overall doesn’t have great separation, neither really do the other rooms.” She opted for custom-designed, generously sized benches swathed in leather, rather than individual chairs, because “if there are too many chairs around a dining room table, it looks like a conference room,” she says.
Off the kitchen is a wet bar for mixing an evening cocktail, which the homeowners like to take out onto the terrace, and the large-scale nude drawing is from the owner’s personal collection. Yet, just like the rest of the home, the wet bar is unlike trendy norms. “We used metal mesh for the cabinetry and the shelves are metal, too,” says Clodagh, adding that the hint of glossy, bright silver texture enlivens the tucked-away wet bar.
“We used a lot of concrete, too,” she says. “I like to design spaces like theater,” she says of the intentionally neutral-toned home. “The quiet nature, supported by a few high points.
“I like to design spaces like theater.”
With too much going on, it’s visually exhausting, especially in Manhattan when you come in from the streets with your eyes blurred.”
In the primary bedroom, the zen nature is amplified. “I designed a room for sleeping, for reading, for making love, and the lighting and comfort have to accommodate all these things,” says Clodagh, adding that the homeowners wanted everything to be low maintenance. A luxurious, durable leather headboard and bed frame in a rich, chocolate hue takes center stage, and behind the bed a hand-painted mural in shades of light gray, on textured plaster is illuminated with diffused light.
This lightness continues into the master bathroom with light-toned teak wood that almost glows and a bed of gray pebbles underneath the lavishly colossal sink.
“The client was wild about storage, so we incorporated a concealed medicine cabinet behind the teak walls, as well as under a bench for additional storage,” says Clodagh. “Two full-height cabinets are seemingly large but are only about four-and-a-half-inches deep, so you keep all your bathroom things organized and you’re not reordering all the time.”
As for the home overall, Clodagh shares that it’s “very calming to the mind—we tried not to have too much going on,” she says. “It makes you feel good. The entire experience is very harmonious, like chamber music.”