Design Dispatch | Upper West Side

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Viyet favorites (and up-and-coming designers) Alyssa Kapito and Vivian Muller of Kapito Muller know the power of color — and that extends to neutrals, too. Need proof? This stunning apartment in New York, which uses white and beige to create an open and airy vibe that fit the homeowners’ vision of a calming, West Coast-inspired oasis in the city. We know what you’re thinking: “Beige? Isn’t that boring?” The answer is most certainly: No! The modern décor and touches of metallic finishes keep the look interesting. We spoke with the designers to find out how to borrow their style…

Set A Serene Scene

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The couple that calls this space “home” is a busy one — he’s in finance and she’s in culinary school. So, it was important that the 1,400-square-foot apartment wasn’t an overwhelming space. “We wanted the space to feel very calming and not overloaded with color,” Alyssa says. “We decided on a neutral palette and then added bits of color with artwork and coffee table books.” The living room is also anchored by fabulous pieces, like the nearly-invisible Lucite table, the faceted side table and the mid-century-inspired chairs.

Go Bold With Art

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What could be better than a view of the Amalfi Coast? This large-scale piece adds drama to the living room. “We always like to have at least one oversized artwork in a space to anchor the room and to really draw the eye in,” Alyssa says. “A good rule of thumb is just not to worry that it’s too big, if you measured properly and it fits, we say go for it!” The off-white rug and sofa focus the eye towards the great piece.

Design Around the TV

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Every couple has fought the battle of how to display a television so it doesn’t feel like the centerpiece of the whole room. The floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelves help soften the impact of the big screen. “TVs can be such an eyesore!” Alyssa says. “But we try to design rooms that our clients can really live in. We just focused on making the bookcases so fun and interesting that you don’t notice it as much.” The lesson: Accessories matter.

Create A Relaxing Nook

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Comfortable chairs cultivate a “library” feel when placed next to the shelves — even when next to the television. The polished nickel library sconces provide light while also acting as a spotlight for the curated shelves. “Our client has such a wonderful collection of books, we could sit in her living room all day,” Alyssa says. Whether you’re curling up with an iPad or a hardcover, a cozy corner is a must.

Create A Distraction-Free Zone

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Though on the smaller side, the kitchen doesn’t feel cramped. That’s because the cabinets offer the maximum space for storage, along with the wall shelves that display pretty dishware and cookbooks. “The apartment doesn’t have a tremendous amount of storage space, so the main challenge was just making sure that we gave our client enough storage to clear the clutter,” Alyssa says. And how chic is that light wood finish?

Dedicate A Space for Work

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This clean-lined desk has a hidden drawer, along with a cabinet built into its base, which also helps keep distracting clutter at bay. Two shelves — one small, one longer — are situated against the wall, a position which creates a natural “bookend.” While they are functional, the shelves also almost act as a wall sculpture. Way better than a soulless filing cabinet and random boxes.

Cultivate Calm Through Color

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“Paint colors are so important. We like to use tones that are more ivory than true white, it will give your space a warm glow while still feeling really clean and crisp,” Alyssa says. “Also, switch out some of your darker furniture pieces for something a bit lighter. Painted or lacquered furniture looks good almost anywhere and will open up the room tremendously.” Here, blonde wood chairs and a glass dining table preserve that airy feeling while still providing plenty of space for guests. We so want to be invited to this party.

Carefully Curate Your Accessories 

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The slim console table, which is finished in an antique gold, provides a spot for decorative items and books. Using sconces instead of floor lamps prevents the visual clutter of visible wires. The white-framed mirror almost disappears into the wall, yet has a distinctive presence. Overall, it’s a genius idea for bringing style into a small space.

Check out the article originally posted at Refinery29.

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