Tom Scheerer Decorates… a Manhattan Rental

There are two words design geeks like you and me dislike the most – one is budget, the other is rental. Am I right? Well, the same cannot be said about design legend Tom Scheerer. Best known for his layered interiors that look effortless, hardly decorated at all, Scheerer takes on decorating a Manhattan rental. His new Upper East Side pad is paired down and edited to a minimum – a master class on how to decorate a rented abode.

tom 3

”I wouldn’t call this decorated — it’s more curated and staged. There are no applied surfaces, no fitted carpets, no special painted details. There are no curtains and, in fact, no window treatments at all. I didn’t even paint the walls — the landlord picked a perfectly nice white.”

tom antique-tv-cabinet

Not wanting the trouble of customizing a rental, Scheerer opted for pieces he had collected over the years. With a few exceptions – like the CB sofa and carpeting he had cut into smaller pieces – everything you see, he already owned. Proof that when you buy things you absolutely love, they will eventually find a place in your home.

tom urban-dining-room

”This is the first time I’ve had a New York apartment with an efficient, well-equipped kitchen and a dramatic dining spot. It’s liberated me to focus on what I truly enjoy: cooking and entertaining.”


This sleek  one-bedroom apartment is on the 40th floor of a black glass tower building with breathtaking views.

tom bedroom

”You see all the midtown skyscrapers, including the tallest apartment building in the world; planes coming in for landings at LaGuardia; helicopters circling the city on their way to the 34th Street heliport. This apartment has a festive atmosphere without my doing anything.”  One of the most modest decorators of all time!


This story originally appeared in House Beautiful. Click here to check out the entire spread and an interview with the designer.  Photography by Francesco Lagnese.

Have a great weekend!



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  1. March 3, 2017 / 12:57 pm

    Oh, heavens! This is so beautiful. I would never guess it was a rental as it looks collected over time. This man can do no wrong in my book! Love!

    • Eva Contreras
      March 3, 2017 / 1:12 pm

      Then we must have the same book because he can do no wrong in mine either! Have a great weekend, Elizabeth! xo