Katie Ridder Gives a New York Apartment an Explosion of Color


Looking at paint colors in the first design meeting is unusual, admits Katie Ridder. Yet that’s exactly how this New York City project began. “The homeowner knew she wanted a green library, and she loved orange,” Ridder says. Luckily, this unconventional palette was no problem for the designer, who is known for her deft use of bold hues.

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Katie Ridder: More Rooms

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Ridder worked with architect Douglas Wright to reimagine the awkward 1970s apartment and make it a functional, welcoming space where the homeowners could host their children and grandchildren. “It was this strange layout where the rooms kind of blended into each other,” Wright recalls. “Our goal was to clarify the spaces, so they’d have specific rooms but still these wide-open connections with lots of light pouring in.” Working within the confines of the apartment’s relatively low ceilings, Wright created a flow that guides the eye to bright areas, like the living room and primary bedroom, which have sweeping views of Manhattan.

That layout informed Ridder’s color treatment. “You can stand in the library and look through the living room into the bedroom, so we created colors that all work together,” she explains. Having two shades of green at either end of the apartment “is a nice bookend.”

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Of course, the homeowner got her green library—and more. When it’s just the couple at home, the room serves as the husband’s office; when the grandkids are in town, it’s where they gather to watch TV. The living room, too, with its back-to-back sofas—and colors pulled from every adjacent space—is as comfortable for two as for ten.


Dining Room

dining room

Alison Gootee

“It all has to work together,” says Ridder of the bold colors. Paints: Topaz, Benjamin Moore. Chandeliers: Murano vintage, Craig Van Den Brulle. Tables: client’s own. Chairs: custom, with Anthony Lawrence-Belfair embroidery, Penn & Fletcher. Carpet: custom, Elizabeth Eakins.


Living Room

living room

Alison Gootee

A custom carpet by Elizabeth Eakins pulls together hues from a de Gournay tea paper wallcovering and custom sofas and drapery by Anthony Lawrence-Belfair. Side table: vintage, Daniel Barney. coffee table: custom, France Furniture. Sconces: Circa Lighting.


Powder Room

powder room

Alison Gootee

Pierre Frey wallpapers is a rich contrast to the vintage campaign chest (found on Chairish) that Ridder turned into a vanity. Mirrors: vintage Philip and Kelvin LaVerne. Sconces: custom color, Harbinger.


Bedroom

bedroom

Alison Gootee

Ridder is fond of using Penn & Fletcher custom embroidery to add personality, as she did here on the headboard. Bed: Charles H. Beckley in Holland & Sherry fabric. Wallpapers: Gracie. Bedding: Leontine Linens. Armchairs: Anthony Lawrence-Belfair. Side table: custom, Daniel Scuderi. Sconces: George Smith. Carpet: custom, Studio Four NYC.


Hallway

hallway

Alison Gootee

The hallway, with its graphic wallpaper bordered in peach trim, is a breather from the saturated walls of its surrounding rooms—without falling flat.


bathroom

bathroom

Alison Gootee

A blue bathroom offers a serene setting to unwind or prepare for the day.


Bedroom

bedroom

Alison Gootee

“There are plenty of guest bedrooms for children and grandchildren and other guests,” Ridder says of the apartment. Vintage prints create an artful rainbow over the bed in this one, where violet is the predominant hue.


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