Jane Margolies | September 25, 2013
On her first visit to this TriBeCa loft, Ghislaine Viñas paced the long tunnel of a hallway leading from the front door, past the bedrooms, to the public space. The apartment’s new owners, Eric and Julie Ronning, online radio executives with two daughters, had called in Ghislaine Viñas Interior Design to redo the kitchen, add workstations for everyone, and bring a cohesively light and airy look to the 1,670-square-foot space. For that last request, Viñas knew the key would be the hallway. “It had be a journey,” she says—one that added interest and functionality.
Visitors arriving today are immediately surrounded by a flock of overscale swallows, a wallpaper pattern that makes the beginning of the hallway feel like a proper entry and also introduces the apartment’s animal motif and predominantly black-and-white palette. Farther along, helping to create a processional feel, a black stripe crosses the royal-blue runner underfoot and rises, in paint, on the walls to both sides just at the point where the hallway widens to incorporate a work alcove for the kids. It’s a former coat closet, opened up by Viñas.
The hallway terminates at the living and dining areas, where furniture is perfectly balanced between weightier pieces, notably upholstered seating, and lighter ones, particularly long, narrow tables. On the cocktail table, there’s a piggy bank. Rabbit throw pillows inhabit the sofa.
Facing the living and dining areas, the expanded kitchen now boasts a peninsula for quick breakfasts and, below the white counter, additional storage. Is that barn siding on the wall? No, it’s trompe l’oeil wallpaper, Viñas’s substitute when the ash panels originally envisioned proved too pricey. Plus, it’s wipeable. “We never could have come up with that on our own,” Eric Ronning says with admiration.
Nor would he ever have reimagined a beloved longtime possession, the master bedroom’s carved wooden angel. Vinas lacquered it a devilish red.
3 Fingers Painting: Painting Contractor. Christopher Chapman Restoration: General Contractor.