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New York City Loft with Bold Pattern

A fearless pairing of antiques and bold new prints turns a New York City loft into the ultimate color fix where anything (but boring) goes

Written by Sarah Latta
  • Francesco Lagnese

    When a young couple purchased their dream apartment, they wanted it to have two things: traditional style and loads of color. Sounds straightforward enough. The trick was, the apartment of their dreams was a bare-bones industrial loft in Manhattan’s NoMad neighborhood, replete with exposed pipes and towering ceilings.

    “We were drawn to the open feeling,” the homeowner says. “We loved the floor plan and felt like it could be great with a bit of work.”

    The “bit of work” fell to Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel dePedro Cunningham, founders of the design firm Tilton Fenwick. Foster and Cunningham started in a place the couple hadn’t reached on their own—they found a palette the two agreed on.

    “We’re both big color fans, but he’s more conservative and I’m more daring,” the homeowner says. “We both fell in love with a paisley fabric by Brunschwig & Fils—it was the perfect hybrid.”

    Foster and Cunningham took this color cue and ran with it, pulling out every hue—from baby blue to rich copper oranges and dusty plum purple—and using them all to conceive the project’s palette. They upholstered the living room sofa with the paisley fabric and then incorporated it as accents, such as on dining chair backs.

    A custom Moroccan rug grounds the space.

    Photography: Francesco Lagnese  
    Produced by Jenny Bradley

    Interior designer: Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel dePedro Cunningham, Tilton Fenwick, 15 W. 18th St., Suite 201, New York, NY 10011; 212/524-0010,
    Architectural designer: Breanna Carlson, bStudio Architectural Design, LLC, , 320 Dean St., Floor 2, Unit 1, Brooklyn, NY 11217; 347/554-7437,

    Sofa (“Roberts Sofa”/Dark Walnut finish #5405-88, by Alexa Hampton): Hickory Chair,
    Sofa fabric (“Fawkes Cotton Print”/Taffy #BR-79747.072): Brunschwig & Fils,
    Bolster-pillow fabric  (“Oliver Stripe”/Poppy #980061, colorway discontinued): Lee Jofa,
    Pair of pillows (“Venice”/Wedgwood): Michael Devine Hand Printed Fabrics,
    Pillow trim (“Ultima”/Plum, colorway discontinued): Robert Allen,
    Side table, left of sofa (vintage 1950s wrought-iron side table with glass top): 1st Dibs,
    Side table, right of sofa  (“Wave Bunching Table” by Oscar de la Renta, discontinued): Century Furniture,
    Table lamps (“Soba” #TL510): Hwang Bishop,
    Lamp shades (custom colored in Benjamin Moore’s “Passion Plum” #2073-30, and trimmed in “Fawkes Cotton Print” in Taffy  by Brunschwig & Fils): Helwig Lampshades, 718/471-0226.
    Art behind sofa (tantric oil painting on paper in gilt frame): Aero,
    Cocktail table (#9743 ): Pearson Furniture,
    Tray (large bone inlay tray): Aero,
    Turquoise bowl: Lillian August,
    Library table (“Portuguese Library Table by Martyn Lawrence Bullard): Dering Hall,
    Bench under library table (“Calliope Tufted Bench,” by Thomas O’Brien, discontinued): Hickory Chair,
    Bench fabric (“Venice”/Wedgwood): Michael Devine Hand Printed Fabrics,
    Bergère (antique):
    Chair fabric, exterior (“Tocqueville”/Mauve): Claremont,
    Chair fabric, interior (“Albano”/Bleu #22): Pierre Frey,
    Wooden bench (antique): owner’s collection.
    Bench-cushion fabric (“Gainsborough Velvet”/Autumn #43261): Schumacher,
    Rug (custom, hand-knotted wool Moroccan rug): Studio Four NYC,
    Fluted table (“Fluted Lotus Garden Stool” #1902WT):  Emissary Home & Garden,  

  • Francesco Lagnese

    Vibrant Living Room

    As the design duo chose colors and patterns, traditional style began to assert itself, almost naturally. “We layered a lot of fabric patterns and textures to create warmth,” Foster says. “In most lofts, you expect a monochromatic palette, but we really focused on color without competing with the inherent characteristics of a loft space.”

    With two large seating areas—each anchored by big, comfortable sofas—the spacious living room is both inviting and a great place to entertain for a couple who enjoy hosting their families and other gatherings. For the space, the designers set their sights on sourcing traditional ethnic fabrics that would not only marry their clients’ wishes but would also nod to their ardor for faraway places and their shared Indian heritage.

    “My husband and I grew up in houses with lots of color and pattern, so we’re not afraid of it—we crave it,” says the homeowner. Persian, French, Indian, Moroccan, and American prints blend together via a shared color story. “There’s a lot going on, but the similarities help tie this large space together,” Cunningham explains.

    At the same time, the designers did not attempt to disguise the location; rather, they embraced it. “As in all lofts, light is an important factor,” Cunningham says. “It was the main reason we chose not to do window treatments in the living room. We wanted to let in the light and have the beautiful cityscape outside the window be a part of the interior design.”

    Though much of the loft’s furniture is traditional, a few clean-lined pieces—like the lacquer-and-brass coffee table and Parsons end tables in the living room—add welcome angles to all the curves of the furniture.

    A tufted sofa in the living room hosts a mélange of global textiles—an authentic Moroccan wedding blanket from Madeline Weinrib, an Aero pillow made with vintage panels from Vietnam, and a classic French pattern by Claremont.

    Tiered table (“Tribeca Hallway Table”/Ivory Faux Shagreen with Aged Brass Details): Julian Chichester,
    Vase on table (“White Abacus Bottle” #1349509); box on table (“Tangerine Tie Dyed Box” #1349522): Lillian August,
    Sofa (custom by Tilton Fenwick): fabricated by Luther Quintana Upholstery,
    Sofa fabric (“Gainsborough Velvet”/Autumn #43261): Schumacher,
    Sofa contrast fabric (“Ultima”/Plum, colorway discontinued): Robert Allen,
    Lumbar pillow fabric (vintage hand-woven and embroidered panels from Vietnam, c. 1920): Aero,
    Fabric on pair of pillows, front (“Madame Elizabeth”/Buin 1): Claremont,
    Fabric on pair of pillows, back (“Ultima”/Plum, colorway discontinued): Robert Allen,
    Throw (wedding blanket): Madeline Weinrib, 212/414-5978.
    Side table (“Wave Bunching Table” by Oscar de la Renta, discontinued): Century Furniture,
    Coffee table (custom design by Tilton Fenwick, upholstered with brass nailhead detail): Luther Quintana Upholstery,
    Faux leather fabric on coffee table (#13529-16, colorway discontinued): Duralee,
    Area rug (custom, hand-knotted wool Ikat rug): Studio Four NYC,
    Library table behind sofa (“Portuguese Library Table by Martyn Lawrence Bullard): Dering Hall,
    Lamps on library table (“Ginger Table Lamps”/Teal #TL520): Hwang  Bishop,
    Floor lamp (“Studio Adjustable Light Floor Lamp” #91025): Circa Lighting,

  • Francesco Lagnese

    Shapely Sitting Area

    To fashion a backdrop that better matched their vision while retaining the loft’s integrity, Foster and Cunningham called on Breanna Carlson of bStudio to make architectural updates like base and crown moldings, coverings for radiators, beautiful custom brass grilles, and built-in bookshelves in the dining area.

    A gold hourglass table by Bunny Williams Home and vintage Italian Chiavari chairs provide extra dining space during parties. A built-in bookcase with a wallpapered back adds traditional flair. Circa Lighting sconces above sport shades painted to match the nearby kitchen cabinets.

    Wallpaper  (“Pheasant”): Twigs Inc,  310/314-6284.
    Sconces (“Graves Pivoting Sconce” #SK2115): Circa Lighting,
    Sconce shades (custom color): by Helwig Lampshades, 718/471-0226.
    Shade color (“Dix Blue” #82): Farrow & Ball,
    Chairs (vintage Chiavari Italian chairs): Gauchet Fine Art,
    Chair fabric (Gainsborough Velvet”/Autumn #43261): Schumacher,
    Table (“Hourglass Table”/Gold): Bunny Williams Home,
    Jar on table: vintage. 

  • Francesco Lagnese

    Stylish Dining Area

    “We’re traditional girls at heart, but we approach it with a different spin,” Cunningham says. “We don’t go for blue and white. If there is a purple, hot pink, and black version, we’ll use it. We like to amp up tradition with color, and this apartment is the perfect example of that.”

    A large wood-slab table from Tucker Robbins holds court in the dining area. The dining chair seats are upholstered with Duralee’s spill-proof faux ostrich leather. An Anglo-Indian bar cabinet from Michael Donaldson Antiques holds fine spirits. 

    Table (“Japanese Dining Table”/Walnut Wash Acacua Natural Edge): Tucker Robbins,
    Chairs: discontinued.
    Faux leather chair fabric, front (#13529-16, colorway discontinued); Duralee,
    Chair fabric, back (“Fawkes Cotton Print”/Taffy #BR-79747.072): Brunschwig & Fils,
    Chair trim (#P.1109.14): Rogers & Goffigon, 203/532-8068.
    Chandeliers (“Osgood Pendants”): Arteriors,
    Bowl (large pedestal bowl with decoupaged purple and ivory pattern): Lillian August,
    Ostrich eggs: Uniquely Emu,
    Art: owner’s collection.
    Bench fabric (“Albano”/Bleu #22): Pierre Frey,
    Bench trim, pair of pillows (“Tocqueville”/Mauve): Claremont,
    Pillow trim (“2-inch Oxford Border”/Persimmon, color 14): Samuel & Sons,
    Pair of pillows on bench (“Venice”/Wedgwood): Michael Devine Hand Printed Fabrics,
    Pillow trim (“Ultima”/Plum, colorway discontinued): Robert Allen,
    Bar cabinet (Anglo-Indian Ebonized Open Bookcase on Cabinet): Michael Donaldson Antiques,

  • Francesco Lagnese

    Gorgeous in Gold

    Staggered “Osgood” pendants from Arteriors hang above the dining room table.

  • Francesco Lagnese

    Cool Blue Kitchen

    Cabinets are painted Farrow & Ball’s “Dix Blue” and paired with dark Caesarstone quartz counters. 

    Paint (“Dix Blue” #82): Farrow & Ball,
    Bar stools (“Vapor,” discontinued): CB2,

  • Francesco Lagnese

    Colorful Bedroom

    In the master bedroom, soothing blues in a range of patterns and applications are compelling yet calming, especially when grounded by rich terra-cotta reds. A storage bench covered in a geometric design serves as an art piece at the bed’s base. For variety and interest in all rooms, the designers incorporated just as much texture as pattern. “A good representation of textures—velvets, cottons, embroidery—plus a range of scales helps complete a room,” Foster says.

    Vibrant fabrics by Tulu, an Istanbul-based textile company founded by an American designer, infuse small but saturated doses of bright color and keep the antiques and more serious patterns from feeling stuffy.

    "Juicy Jute” grass cloth from Phillip Jeffries sets a calming backdrop for layered color and pattern, including a headboard upholstered in Muriel Brandolini’s “Beige 2” and a custom Henredon storage bench upholstered in Schumacher’s “Betwixt.” Abstract paintings by Alex Schuchard in the living room and above the master bed also contribute contemporary flavor.

    Artwork (Untitled, by Alex Schuchard): Space B,
    Wallpaper (“Juicy Jute Grasscloth”/Baltic Blue #4809): Phillip Jeffries,
    Bedside tables (“Sara Side Table”/Chelsea finish #5466-10, by Alexa Hampton): Hickory Chair,
    Lamps (“Turquoise Lamps): Bunny Williams Home,
    Lamp shade fabric (“Margi”/Cinnabar #MG-1010-107): Elizabeth Hamilton Collection,
    Fabrication: Helwig Lampshades, 718/471-0226.
    Bed (“King Scoop Wood Upholstered Headboard”/Chalk White #88-190K, and Base”/Chalk White #88-Kbase1): Century Furniture,
    Bed fabric (“Beige 2”): Muriel Brandolini,
    Bedding (“Mirasol”/Pacific): matouk,
    Bed pillow, at front (#42243-73, Red, Blue): Duralee,
    Fabrication: Luther Quintana Upholstery,
    Throw (vintage blue velvet Suzani with silk embroidery): Aero,
    Storage bench (“Hayden Storage Ottoman” #H0722-O ): Henredon,
    Bench fabric (“Betwixt”/Spark, Ivory #62612): Schumacher,
    Chandelier (“Pipa Bowl Chandelier”/White): Oly,
    Rug (custom, felted cable): Merida,
    Accent rug (vintage Manisa rug, in shades of red with rose trio medallion and tribal motif border): Aero,

  • Francesco Lagnese

    Blue-and-White Bathroom

    Scalloped tile from Ann Sacks blends harmoniously with botanical-inspired wallpaper from Pierre Frey. Sconces are from Circa Lighting. 

    Glass tile (“Chrysalis Rainbow Mosaic”/Persian Blue, Blue Cloud, Colonial Blue and Light Smoke): Ann Sacks,
    Sconces (“Longacre Sconce” #TOB2010, by Thomas O’Brien): Circa Lighting,
    Medicine cabinets (“Framed Lit Inset Medicine Cabinet”): Restoration Hardware,
    Stone mosaic floor tile (“White Carrara Hexagon Honed,” 1-inch, #111-S2-400-137): Complete Tile Collection,
    Vanity faucets (“Highgate Low Profile 3-hole Deck Mounted Lavatory Faucets with White Porcelain Lever Handles”/ Polished Nickel #HGLS10): Waterworks,
    Wallpaper (Mojito”/Azulejos #FP328005): Pierre Frey,

  • Francesco Lagnese

    Pretty Guest Bedroom 

    Throw pillows in the guest bedroom add modern flair with shots of teal, green, and fuchsia. The mix continues—Pierre Frey’s “Erevan” wallpaper coordinates with embroidered bedding by ABC Carpet & Home, a throw pillow from Tulu, and a hand-woven alpaca throw from Studio Four. 

    Wallpaper (“Erevan”/Mustard #FP185004): Pierre Frey,
    Bed (“New Roma Bed in Hand Rubbed Black”): Noir,
    Mirror (“Gorka Mirror”): Made Goods,
    Sheeting (“Eyelet Embroidered Sheet Set”/Yellow, product line varies): Anthropologie,
    Embroidered bedding: ABC Carpet & Home,
    Bed pillow, at front (“Pascal”): Tulu Textiles,
    Pillow trim (“Ultima”/Peacock): Robert Allen,
    Throw (hand woven alpaca French-knot throw): Studio Four NYC,

  • Francesco Lagnese

    Daughter’s Playroom

    In the daughter’s playroom, a mandarin-red daybed with whimsical Turkish flowers and azure and chartreuse accents accommodates visitors (its trundle lifts up to create a double bed) and allows for room to grow. Wallpaper by Quadrille sets a sweet tone in partnership with a Missoni striped rug and the Tulu upholstery on the daybed from Avery Boardman. The lamps are by Stray Dog Designs.

    Wallpaper (“Taj”/Melon on Off White #HC 1480P-06WP): Quadrille,
    Daybed (#550): Avery Boardman,
    Daybed fabric (“Stella”): Tulu Textiles,
    Striped pillows (“Indian Stripe”/Turquoise, Pink on Oyster #IS-08): Mally Skok Design,
    Pillow at front (“Les Touches”/Aqua #8012138.513 ): Brunschwig & Fils,
    Pillow trim (#27990-40, by Kravet Soleil): Kravet,
    Rug (“Tuscany,” Missoni Collection): Studio Four NYC,
    Lamps (“Doug Buffet Lamps”): Stray Dog Designs,
    Chest of drawers (“Brigitte 3-Drawer Side Table”/White); side table (“Brigitte 1-Drawer Side Table”/White): Bungalow 5,
    Artwork (“Ghee Happy” print set): Super 7,

  • John Bessler and Jonny Valiant