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Friday, April 23, 2010

Inson Wood designs Brides Newlywed nest in one of New Yorks first Ecofriendly condos









Why did you want to work on this project?


I was interested in the environmentally conscious nature of the project which was to design a home in an eco-friendly East Village condo, with sustainable materials and furniture because its very closely related to my current projects. I was also attracted to the charitable aspect of the project – the Newlywed Nest is supporting the Lower Eastside Girls Club which is a great cause.

For me designing for Newlyweds is always exciting, because you’re setting the groundwork for the rest of their lives. A lot of times they'll come to me and say "Ok, we had a fabulous wedding, we've just bought our new dream home, now how do we create a gorgeous interior on a modest budget? The best advice I can for them is to invest in furniture you can store your things in – Wall Units, Shelving units, Sideboards, Buffet, Dressers. The number one point of contention among couples is clutter. But its a lot of fun designing for young couples as they adjust to the nuances of living with each other. Some newly wed couples haven’t had an actual roommate since college and are still going to be working out who gets the bigger closet – ( but I think we all know who wins out on that one. )

Who did you have in mind when you designed the space?


The typical young couple lead very active lives balancing their careers, exercise, entertaining, cultural events etc- so their homes have to be very streamlined and sleek. One other thing younger couples care about is the environment. Someday they might want to have children so really care about the future of the planet. That’s why Village Green is so special. This demographic is actually seeking out environmentally friendly homes. They want energy efficient appliances and water saving fixtures as well as non-toxic and recyclable materials.


Tell me about the building.


As homebuyers and future parents, young couples are environmentally sensitive and looking for buildings that promote good health in general. As the first LEED-Gold certified building in the East Village, 311 E 11:Village Green, is geared towards the eco-friendly set - built with sustainable and renewable materials, built-in air purifiers, and energy efficient appliances.

There is a long list of impressive energy-efficiency components. There will be wind generated power on the roof generates electricity. They installed a geo thermal system that alternately heats and cools the lobby and wellness center. Special roof drains are use rain water to for the garden and water conserving fixtures are used throughout. Up on the outdoor terrace there is a green roof that provides natural insulation to reduce the heat island effect. Other ecofriendly touches were added such as non-toxic paints and energy saver appliances - the refrigerator is even 100 percent recyclable. As an environmentally aware couple, they ideally want to live in a building with similarly minded people who also care about living responsibly.

How do you design for couples who each have their own things?


With a new couple, the idea of merge and purge is key. The biggest challenge in sharing a space is editing out things while still having places to store your favorite belongings out of sight from your partner.

Storage places become essential to an organized lifestyle. Being able to put your belongings neatly away is a major priority, especially in a New York apartment.


Tell us about the overall design scheme of the apartment.


My inspiration is the newlyweds themselves – the idea of two people coming together to share a common space. The overall design concept is about marrying two unique personalities, marrying two sets of belongings and marrying two distinct points of view. I used symmetry throughout the apartment to give the space an organized feeling - I brought pairs of art and furniture . Then in other areas the symmetry is interrupted creating a sense of intrigue.The theme of "his and hers" runs throughout the apartment - as you will see pairs and dissimilar pairs of items. Sharing is key but having your own personal areas is also important. I wanted to use neutral colors with splashes of red and dramatic art to activate the spaces. I tell clients not to be afraid of using color. If you're still hesitant try applying a paint color as an accent wall. Or even a red on a pillow, slip cover or curtain - something you can change easily if its too much. Interior design is one way of bringing couples together to get to know each other better. Living together is often about compromise and sharing a common goal. In the end you want to love your home. If its compatible with your needs, you will be living with it for many years to come.