Designer Teresa Davis’ German shorthair pointer, Rosie, hangs out in the sitting area off the kitchen. Here, Davis topped the leather sofa from CR Laine with a lush combination of throw pillows (leopard print and mohair fabric by Ralph Lauren Home). The Lucite-and-Brazilian-cowhide stools are from Davis’ Post 31 Interiors storefront at the Shops at 9th Avenue. Davis did most of the condo’s artwork, but she found this painting in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
5280 Home: We love to peek into designers’ homes; it’s so fun to see the choices you make with no clients in the picture. Where did you start?
Teresa Davis: On any project, I always begin with a focal point for each room, and one of the wonderful things about this space is the view. So my first thought was that I had to maximize it. I brought these two huge mirrors—they’re made from reclaimed Vietnamese boat wood—into the living room. They’ve got big silver spikes in them where the wood was hammered together. For me, that creates a lot of interest, and the mirrors themselves anchor the room. As you walk into the entry, you’re able to look out the windows and see the view, but it’s also reflected in the mirrors.
And clearly, when it comes to mirrors, more is more.
I do love them, as you can tell! The starburst mirrors around the two large ones are hand-carved antiques from South America. They date back to the late 1800s. In most rooms I do, I include old pieces with new ones. The old pieces provide a soul and a history that you can’t achieve by only doing modern pieces.
A rich, layered design invites lounging in the home’s living room while leaving sightlines open to the downtown view from the 36th floor.
Giant mirrors trimmed in reclaimed boat wood anchor the living room in the 1,100-square-foot condo. Davis then chose a muted palette, bolstered by a few pops from vibrant orange pillows and shiny metallic accessories to warm up the room.
What else gives a room interest?
Layers. They’re very important in my design style because they provide an interest and a depth that can’t be reached with just upholstery or a few accessories. Here, I tried to unify the space with light neutral colors and a mix of materials. In just the living room, I have leather, linen, velvet, shagreen, brass—plus the Turkish Ushak transformed into that big ottoman.
Feminine—but not overly so—the master bedroom features a palette of taupe, white, and lavender. The leather tufted headboard, from Vanguard, is a tailored counterpoint to the custom bedding and chic bronze chandelier (from Made Goods, pictured at right).
It’s a custom piece?
No, but the shaggy pouf —made from a Moroccan wedding blanket—is. One thing I do often is make custom pieces; a few custom pieces elevate the style of a room. It just gives a home uniqueness. Take this little pouf: It has hand-threaded silvery sequins attached to the fluffiest part. I just love them.
What other design elements do you love?
The ceiling. It’s concrete, which I adore. It’s an organic, really subtle, beautiful material. Again, the mix of materials—concrete with the creamy white sheetrock walls—makes it beautiful.
Speaking of the mix, you hung a very chic chandelier from that concrete ceiling in your master bedroom.
That’s a new piece, made of strips of bronzy metal. It’s multipurpose: At night, the light reflects off the metal and creates this amazing pattern on all the walls. It looks like they’re wallpapered. And when the air conditioning or heat is on, it becomes a wind chime! Who would have guessed?
Since we’re talking about the bedrooms, walk us through your color schemes.
I painted the walls in the main spaces white to unify them, but in each of the bedrooms, I did a focal wall with color. In the master, it’s a dark taupe, which is the same color as the bedding. I love the white leather tufted headboard against that rich, masculine color—and then I threw in the lavender, which is just beautiful against the brown. Again, I mixed materials: mirrored bed stands, the leather headboard, velvet bedding, and a little Lucite desk and chair. Lucite is great for the apartment because in such a small space, it’s wonderful to be able to see through your furniture.
And in the guest room?
My inspiration for that room is the two little ikat pillows you see on the beds. They’re antique pieces of ikat fabric from Uzbekistan. The whole room is based on those little pillows. The gray stripes behind each bed make the room look larger because they move your eye from the beds up to the ceiling. The pink bedding is brushed velvet trimmed with charcoal detail. And do you see those shimmery pillows? When I put those on the beds, I thought, That’s it. I’m done.
So what would you call your home’s style?
I don’t know. What do you think?
In the guest room, twin headboards from West Elm are topped with a combo of gray duvets (also from West Elm) and custom pink bedding. Swiveling brass lights from Visual Comfort tuck against the wall when not in use.
Maybe something like “global modern glam.”
I’ll take it! I care less about a specific style and more about livability. It’s always important to me that my rooms are comfortable. I never want guests to be afraid to relax. I want them to come in and sit down and then discover all the little beautiful things there are to discover.