This Eclectic Greenwich Village Apartment Is a Bibliophile's Dream—It's Full of Reading Nooks

greenwich village apartment limestone fireplace
Chris Mottalini

With New York City's storied Greenwich Village neighborhood as the backdrop, this family-oriented apartment feels that much more like a treasure box. Designed by Heide Hendricks of Hendricks Churchill—who had previously worked with these clients to transform their Long Island beach house into a year-round refuge—the space is, in some ways, a relic of the past. "Our clients had already combined two apartments in their pre-war Greenwich Village building with the help of architect Harry Gutfreund, but the space now needed a finished layer of furnishings and color," Hendricks explains of the project.

She set her sights on creating a comfortable home dotted with reading nooks—a must for the book aficionados who live there. "I loved how much the family reads, so the project was [focused on] creating spaces to foster intellectual thought," Hendricks explains. The north-facing apartment would never receive a ton natural light anyway—a challenge that ultimately aided the design, allowing the furnishings and layout to revolve around "hunkering down" in the cozy space.

For these clients, cozy did not connote neutral: Take one quick peek inside their funky, modern space and it is clear that they were not interested in an organic palette. Instead, Hendricks introduced inspired colors throughout the interior. "The color palette of the home follows a design convention of ours. You enter through a dark room and go into a larger, lighter room, which makes you feel like you're coming out of a cocoon," she shares. "Following the bohemian lounge-inspired entryway, the paints were scaled back to lighter tones in the living and dining room, with the brightest room being the kitchen," she shares. Ahead, Hendricks walks us through the completed space and offers a further glimpse into the design process.

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Old Becomes New

greenwich village apartment moody entrway
Chris Mottalini

The moody entryway, painted in Moles Breath by Farrow & Ball, reveals the client's antique heirloom divans; she inherited the piece, which she reupholstered in a Donghia fabric. "The compass chandelier by Apparatus Studio is a nice stylistic foil to the antique divan," designer Hendricks notes.

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A Multi-Use Space

greenwich village apartment living room
Chris Mottalini

Anyone familiar with Manhattan real estate knows that square footage is the ultimate luxury, and in this case, Hendricks and her clients made use of every inch. "The living room was large enough—for a New York City apartment—to become a versatile, multi-use space," she says. "Knowing the couple works from home, I wanted to give them a large library table, lounge area, and library, anchored by a refreshed fireplace from Chesney's," Hendricks explains.

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Turkish Rug

greenwich village apartment turkish rug
Chris Mottalini

The antique Turkish Berber rug was chosen with intention; its colors offset the deep jewel-tones of the sectional and red leather chair. The expansive bookshelves also make a statement. "The space is about fostering creativity—truly a respite for bibliophiles," says Hendricks.

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Sophisticated Art

greenwich village apartment reading nook and art
Chris Mottalini

"It was a pleasure to work on this project because the clients have such wonderful taste, a love of fine rugs, and a genuine global aesthetic based on extensive world travel," divulges Hendricks. "They have a sophisticated taste in contemporary art; their collection includes Elizabeth Peyton, Sally Mann, Gregory Crewdson, Alec Soth, and Nick Cave."

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Light-Reflecting Paint

greenwich village apartment dining room
Chris Mottalini

"We used Farrow & Ball paint throughout because of their organic materials. The colors are moody and responsive to light conditions. They refract light in a way that's truly unique to the brand," explains Hendricks. Here, the dining room feels neutral, but full of depth in Hardwick White.

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Books Everywhere

greenwich village apartment reading nook
Chris Mottalini

A built-in bookcase gives yet another nook a library vibe (note the steel reading lamp tucked onto a shelf).

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Steel-Framed Windows

greenwich village apartment windows
Chris Mottalini

Original steel-framed windows are one of the apartment's most identifiable features. They allow the limited, but soft light to artfully stream across the interior.

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A Kitchen Nook

greenwich village apartment kitchen
Chris Mottalini

Thanks to an airy coat of Farrow & Ball's Borrowed Light, the kitchen is the brightest room of them all. Keeping consistent with the theme of nooks and cozy corners, Hendricks warmed up the heart of the home with plenty of greenery, vibrant textiles, and contemporary art.

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Simple and Serene

greenwich village apartment main bedroom
Chris Mottalini

The primary bedroom receives the most amount of light throughout the day; sunbeams arc off of the simple linens and streamlined furnishings. "I embraced its freshness by keeping it more monochromatic and pared down," shares Hendricks.

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greenwich village apartment limestone fireplace
Chris Mottalini

On the opposite side of the bedroom, a stately mantel has major design impact. "The fireplace is original limestone and is a luxurious detail we accentuated with a comfortable lounge chair," says Hendricks.

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A Space to Grow In

greenwich village apartment kids room
Chris Mottalini

Hendricks selected the furnishing and décor for a young girl's room with longevity in mind. "The vintage daisy lamps from the 1970s are playful, but sophisticated enough for her to hold on to through her teen years," she shares. The rug is a Swedish vintage kilim by Marta Maas Fjetterstrom, sourced from 1stdibs, which plays perfectly with a custom pillow, covered with Jennifer Shorto fabric.

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Bold Color in the Bathroom

greenwich village apartment bathroom wallpaper
Chris Mottalini

A bright wallpaper from Pierre Frey Toile packs a major punch in the bathroom.

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