After years of working in auction houses and museums, Joyce Sitterly’s foray into interior design seemed like a natural progression. This contemporary New York apartment is testament to the knowledge she’s gained since opening her own business, Joyce Sitterly Interior Design in 2011.
The design process began one year before she was given a move in date for the new homeowners. Joyce worked from inexact floor plans and no real concept of the 3D space. ‘I began from absolute scratch, without one item from the previous residence,’ recalls Joyce. ‘Not even a picture frame.’
Dividing her time between New York and London meant Joyce was able to source materials and furniture from both countries. 'Travelling back and forth between London and New York, I started to source a lot in London, from artisans and local dealers,' explains Joyce.
Sitting pretty on the 15th floor of a high rise building, this property delights with sweeping views over Brooklyn. ‘We aimed to create a space that was luxurious with a strong focus on beautiful surfaces,’ says Joyce.
Architectural changes to the space meant the project was delayed for many months. ‘The homeowners were willing to wait as long as necessary for what they wanted,’ says Joyce. The final result would be a beautiful mix of classic British style and contemporary American comforts.
A stickler for details, Joyce designed the cabinetry with her team of millworkers and contractors with rare woods and custom-made hardware and metal finishes.
‘The homeowners were hugely interested in colour, so it was of great importance to get the colour palette just right,’ says Joyce. Nature played a distinctive part in the design process. ‘I referenced the beautiful blue New York sky, the grey of the concrete streets, and reflective surfaces of the surrounding buildings.’
The view is spectacular – with rows of charming Brooklyn brownstones, which can be seen in the distance.
The homeowners didn't want any decorative art, they wanted work by New York artists; Karl Zahn Bird of Prey Mobile in bedroom, Mary Nelson Sinclair abstract painting in the hallway, Sophie Plimpton collages in the living area and photography by various New York photographers.
‘We wanted the bedroom to feel opulent, yet comfortable,’ says Joyce. ‘It was quite over the top in the storyboard phase with white leather and parchment, silk rugs, crystal chandeliers, sculptures and many Art Deco references.’ Somehow this look just seemed to work.
We used a Lobmeyr chandelier, three large de Gourney panels behind the bed, a large brass mobile by Karl Zahn hanging from the ceiling, Parchment dice side tables, a white leather bed, and a leopard print brass bench by a New York furniture maker Marc de la Vega.
Photography/ Sean Litchfield
Interior design/ Joyce Sitterly Interior Design