Jennifer Flanders chose a dyanmic color palette for her new apartment
When Manhattan interior designer Jennifer Flanders decides to make a change, she moves at a chop-chop pace and with a spectacular plan. Mid-winter last year, the newly single Jennifer found an Upper East Side apartment that she shares with her daughters Emma, 9, and Allie, 6. Within six weeks of signing the lease, Jennifer had chosen a dynamic color palette and picked an array of vintage and antique furnishings. She quickly transformed the apartment into a haven where she could feel inspired to start her new life.
"I wanted to have a home for my daughters that was settled and finished, not half-done," says Jennifer.
Intense color saturates the living room. Two separate seating arrangements-one in front of the fireplace, and this one against the back wall-are enveloped by red walls and are anchored by matching brown velvet sofas. Piped in orange, the sofas are topped with soft cashmere throws and pillows in orange, red, and gold.
Interior design: Jennifer Flanders, Jennifer Flanders Inc. Interior Design, 177 E. 70th St., New York, NY 10021; 212/888-2690; jenniferflanders.com .
Photography: Julian Wass
This is the living room seating arrangement in front of the fireplace. To keep the number of patterns in the living room under control, Jennifer Flanders introduced solid brown velvet on the matching sofas that anchor the seating arrangements. Simple window panels of embroidered silk were fabricated with chunky tassel fringe along the edges.
Designed with multi-functionality in mind, the pumpkin-colored dining room triples as a library (after-school homework), a workspace (late-night projects), and a place to dine. Storage in the apartment is minimal, so bookshelves with interiors painted a contrasting shade of eggplant were installed to house books and dinnerware, and introduce an additional vibrant color. "I thought this room would feel more warm and inviting if there was seating beyond the formal dining chairs," says Jennifer, "so I pushed the table against the wall to make room for cozy, comfortable chairs."
Ebonized 1940s-era armchairs newly upholstered in textured orange velvet and highlighted in luxurious gold braid are situated in front of the window.
A vintage crystal chandelier glows in the hallway of the Flanders apartment.
The ultra-feminine master bedroom glows in raspberry tempered by a taupe glaze applied in a crosshatch pattern. Jennifer used an antique bed as inspiration for the shaped headboard tufted in hot pink wool. Instead of the expected stark white, the bedroom trim was painted in taupe to add depth and more warmth. Newly constructed armoires faced with mirrors house Jennifer's clothes and accessories.
In a corner of the master bedroom, an armchair designed by Jennifer draws attention with its nailhead decoration.
The bedroom for daughters Emma and Allie was the biggest design challenge. They are used to having separate bedrooms, but in this apartment they will be sharing a room. So Jennifer worked toward a happy compromise in tastes. "I knew they would have conflicting thoughts about what their room should be," Jennifer says. "But in the end, they loved it. They are like me. Offer them a bit of sparkle, and they'll take it."
A silver damask motif on reddish pink walls updates a traditional pattern, and floral window panels complement the wallpaper's oversized pattern. To give each daughter a modicum of privacy, matching storage units with a shared bookcase in between create niches for beds upholstered in a metallic turquoise fabric.
Emma and Allie read and relax in their shared bedroom.
Designer Jennifer Flanders with her daughters Emma, left, and Allie. Jennifer was not shy about dousing her apartment with strong and dramatic hues. She follows these guidelines when choosing colors for her design work.
Go Beyond Tried and True. Instead of having go-to colors, Jennifer prefers to tackle new color combinations for each project. "Not only does it keep the work interesting, but it allows me to give something unique to each client," she says. She does, however, use one trim color repeatedly-Benjamin Moore's white dove, which, she explains, is neither too bright nor too creamy, just the perfect white.
Introduce Color Surprises. Trying a new wall color is the easiest way to change the look of a room. But why stop there? Jennifer advises painting the moldings white and suggests painting the inside of bookshelves a contrasting color. That offers opportunities for more interest and drama.
Think Balance. Mix light with dark and large scale with small scale to create a room of ease and comfort. Bold colors and patterns should be evenly distributed throughout a space, not clumped together in one area.