One subtle quality separates a good interior designer from a great one. Good designers have tunnel vision when decorating a room and focus on creating a standalone moment. Great designers know that no room exists in isolation and that every space contributes to a home's overall narrative. It doesn't take an expert to see that Elizabeth McNellis and Alex Litman of , the interior designers behind this project, are great designers.
When the duo first saw their client's home in tree-lined Greenwich Village, they knew it had serious potential. Housed in a historic 1928 building, the pre-war apartment had a mix of Italianate and English details and modern amenities, thanks to a 2008 renovation. Their brief? To create a timeless home that still felt young and modern.
The home's owners, a young family with four children, wanted a space that was both family-friendly and good for entertaining, McNellis tells MyDomaine. "We described their aesthetic and the project as 'boho classic,'" she says. Take a look inside the now-completed three-bedroom apartment and see how they turned it into a memorable, inviting family home.
There's one vignette that steals the spotlight in this Greenwich village home tour: the library. When guests walk from the living room to the kitchen, they see a large custom-built bookcase that frames the entrance to the kitchen and dining area. "When the owners acquired the apartment there was a corner bookshelf on one side of the living room, which felt off-balance," McNellis explains. "We wanted to take advantage of the pocket doors to the kitchen and create an architectural focal point for them—as well as accommodate lots of books for the family."
Always wanted to have your own home library? Take your time styling each shelf, the duo recommends. "Styling shelves is a little bit of an art and science!" McNellis says. "Scale is one of the most important factors, as well as mixing materials so that the bookshelves have a layered feel." Add plants for greenery and texture throughout as a finishing touch.
The family had a few pieces of existing furniture that McNellis and Litman used to guide the color palette and style of each room. "The clients loved their existing farmhouse-style dining table, which we paired with vintage black dining chairs and black-and-brass lighting fixture. In the boys' room, our client already had navy bunk beds, which led the color palette for the custom rug and window treatments," they say. Yellow mudcloth throw pillows add a burst of color and tie-in with artwork and floral arrangements in the bathroom and living area.
The home looks layered and carefully collected—an intentional move on the designers' part. "We layered in plenty of patterns, textiles, and art that feel modern, while materials like burl wood, caning, and leather lend a classic touch," they explain. A mixture of new and vintage furniture makes each space look considered and collected over time, and books and objects speak to the family's interests.
One of the smallest rooms in the home is one of the boldest: the powder room. The duo chose wallpaper by in a radiating floral pattern to add dimension and texture to the space. "Powder rooms are a great place to make a statement, and we let the wallpaper be the main attraction complemented by a pretty shagreen mirror in black," they say.
Though most of the home adheres to a neutral color scheme, the living room features soothing shades of blue and sunset-inspired blush tones. The starting point, they explain, was the large Persian rug. "We first found the vintage runner in the hallway, and then the antique Persian in the living room, which had pretty pinks and blues that we alternated with black and white accents throughout the apartment." The rug is paired with pale gray upholstered chairs and a cloud-like sofa, making it one living room we'd be happy to come home to.