The Manhattan Home of Designer Douglas Durkin

The lack of space may be a problem for most Manhattan but not for San Francisco-based designer Douglas Durkin. He created a sophisticated pied-à-terre that rivals even the most spacious of residences. If you have been following here for some time, you might have noticed that my taste in interiors leans towards classic, colorful, relaxed, natural rooms. This home is modern, sleek, glossy and neutral, quite the opposite. And I love it!

The project was completed with the help of architect Kurt Melander and was published in Elle Decor in 2015.


One of the things that most most appeal to me about this home is how inviting and fresh it feels. The palette is a calming range of whites, beiges and taupes grounded by darker shades of brown and cool grays. It’s all neutrals yet somehow nothing feels neutral. It all feels cozy, layered and eclectic. And artsy. A collection of modern paintings and photographs decorates the walls throughout. The clean lines of midcentury modern pieces are softened by silk ikats, wool rugs and plush upholsteries.

In the absence of a proper library, built-in shelves transform the hallway into a book lover’s display. The kitchen’s small size is embraced rather than fought with by lacquered cabinets, in a custom shade of brown. To create architectural interest and a cozier ceiling height, beams were added and painted a glossy cream white. But my favorite corner in this glamorous home is by miles the built-in reading nook below.








Photography by William Waldron for Elle Decor.

Have a great weekend!