You’ve probably heard of Nina Garcia. The Colombian-born magazine editor (currently the fashion director of Marie Claire) is a busy woman. When she’s not in the trenches at MC, she’s judging designs on the ever-popular Project Runway or taking on the mom role to her two sons, Lucas and Alexander. Garcia’s eye for design, both in terms of fashion and in terms of interiors, is spectacular, but as it turns out, her Upper East Side apartment (recently featured in Architectural Digest) actually took quite a bit of time to come together.
Nina Garcia’s Slow and Steady Progress
Says AD: Initially, the renovation and decoration of the now-four- bedroom abode proved to be “slow, expensive, hit or miss, sometimes a nightmare,” Garcia says. “It’s not like buying a dress. With furniture you have to proceed carefully.” On one of her Paris trips she spotted a set of Carl Malmsten klismos-style chairs that haunted her on the flight back to the States. A friend suggested she might find something similar at the SoHo decorative-arts gallery BAC, which is owned by Cuban-born designer Carlos Aparicio and known for fine midcentury works. “Amazingly, Carlos had the same chairs,” Garcia recalls. “And that started the whole conversation.”
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From there, things came together. Garcia and Aparicio bonded over their love of 1930s and 40s Scandinavian pieces, and Aparicio began slowing working on merging the two units together, restoring architectural details (the couple lives in a 1908 building) and enlarging the living spaces so that Garcia and her husband, David Conrod, could entertain. On a trip to Milan, Garcia “wandered into Galleria Nilufar and fell in love with the chic emporium’s early 20th century Swedish carpets.” It just so happened that Aparicio was a fan of the floor coerings as well, which recall the weavings of lesser-known Berber tribes. “I’m all about my rugs,” says Garcia. “I don’t like a lot of color…the fun is with the carpets.”
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Muted Colors and Minimalism
Indeed, a muted color palette is what characterizes the apartment; there is a sense of muted minimalism throughout. The living room is done in blue, beige and chesnut, with low, laid-back furnishings. There is nary a pattern to be found, color is the main story here, as are the furnishings and the architectural details of the space. It’s all about the luxurious materials; the curtains in the master are crafted from gray cashmere. Garcia’s combination vanity and workspace is comprised of a Frank desk with a standing triptych mirror – it is a seemingly gender neutral space. Not so gender neutral, however, is Garcia’s dressing room (check out those SHOES!). A fashionista at heart, Garcia’s dressing room is a feminine, artful space, a spacious closet where she assembles her outfits each morning (off season items are stored outside the home in storage units, but of course!). All in all, it’s a home fit for the most stylish of women, don’t you think? We love.