"I wanted to design a room to live in—not just a nuts-and-bolts office."—Ty
Calling a new city "home" can take awhile, as a television executive who left Los Angeles for New York quickly discovered the moment he glimpsed his new office. He needed the space to be quiet, calm and soothing—and it was anything but. "I wanted a sanctuary," he says. "I wanted a place where I could make my calls and get all my work done, without a lot of distractions."
Ty to the rescue. Charged with overhauling the once nondescript office in midtown Manhattan, he came up with a plan to fuse bits of the transplanted exec's old life with the new. "He works and travels so much that I wanted to make the place feel less like an office and more like a room he'd want to live in," says Ty. "We discussed his love of Asian art, and also talked about some of the comfort and design elements that he wanted to include."
The furniture (except the antique bookcase) was ordered from . Ty painted this console table red to match an adjoining wall.The redone space oozes chic simplicity, a look that could be described as Metro-Asian. The color palette, stark black and bright white, with all the grays in between, is punctuated with pops of cherry red. Streamlined pieces in dark-stained wood are accented with stainless hardware and lamps, and hints of polished chrome (like the frame of the desk chair and the pedestal base of the side table). The two large windows are treated with alternating blackand- white panels of opaque fabric that cleverly hide the skyscraper next door while letting in a bit of light, and also serve to lift the eye vertically when one enters the room. Intricate wood carvings, a pair of woven storage cubes and red ceramic accessories lend warmth while still looking polished. "The room ends up being a nice balance of modern city loft mixed with a primitive Zen feel," Ty says. "It's a look you don't see in too many corporate office spaces." The Chilewich area rug, a synthetic material that can be specially ordered with a variety of textures or images, gives a warm hardwood feel to the floor and provides easy mobility for the rolling desk chair.
But the real showstopper is the choice of artwork: two opposing photomontages, one an aerial view of Manhattan and the other the famed Hollywood sign. How did Ty pull it off? Working with Pictura Graphics, he used large panoramic black-and-white photographs which were cut into panels, individually framed and hung like a puzzle (six for the Manhattan scene and three for the Hollywood sign). The effect is visually arresting and one of the exec's favorite things about the room. "For one thing, I love black-and-white photography," he says. "And for another, I still spend a lot of time in L.A. It's perfect."
Other prized pieces include an Asian-inspired side table, a pair of low-riding black velvet upholstered chairs and a glass bookcase bought at an auction years ago. "I admit I'm somewhat of a pack rat," says the TV exec. "I like a lot of books and newspapers around, I collect gadgets, I like my things. But this space really has a chamomile-tea effect on me."
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