An Artfully Designed Condo

Downsizing doesn't mean less when it comes to this creatively curated condo
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In lieu of artwork that permanently lives on walls, Nadia Watts’ focus is on pieces that are meant to change as rooms reorient. A balance between fresh and vintage is key, as purposefully selected artwork moves when rooms evolve. Adorned on White Dove walls, blue and gold hues softly enhance the space. | Photography by Emily Minton Redfield

When her longtime clients decided to downsize from a seven-bedroom home in Hilltop to a one-bedroom condo downtown, Nadia Watts knew their primary focus would be layout. “We started with the interior walls and how the rooms were working,” says Watts. The homeowners, Candy Roberts and her husband, know how to envision what a space could look like. She is an architect, he is a developer, and they’re both involved in historic preservation.

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Built-ins have hidden storage for office supplies, and bookshelves show off a collection of architecture and design books. A red Panton Chair pops against the neutral carpet. | Photography by Emily Minton Redfield

Because the couple collect art and antiques, Watts didn’t have to worry about finding the right pieces for the condo. Instead, she needed to become part curator and part magician to make their treasures fit. Watts designed the kitchen and dining area with the existing table in mind, a custom mahogany table made by a local artist. In the bedroom, Watts reused two existing side tables as nightstands. “They are the perfect size, but they were actually not made for that space,” she says.

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The original parquet floors were refinished. An antique table from the husband’s side of the family fits perfectly in the alcove. Above it, a large abstract painting offers a nice juxtaposition. | Photography by Emily Minton Redfield

Because Watts had previously worked with the Roberts, she knew that much of their art and furniture has sentimental value. They have collected art by artists they know, inherited antiques from both sides of the family, and purchased some iconic designs throughout their careers. The black arachnoid ceiling light in the living room is such a piece. “We have torn pages out of magazines for years,” Watts says, “and that was one of those special pieces for them.”

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Upholstered pieces soften the condo’s industrial details. Watts used linen and velvet fabrics from The Brass Bed and added a wool area rug for comfort and texture. The black arachnid ceiling light is one of the many iconic pieces the homeowners have collected. | Photography by Emily Minton Redfield

Achieving the right mix of old and new required a lot of thought. Watts painted the entire space in soothing, neutral name brand and color, so the artwork and architectural details of the building could stand out. “We are always conscious of the balance between pieces that are interesting and ornate with pieces that are calmer and don’t take away from the design of the space,” says Watts.

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Watts paired Philippe Starck Victoria Ghost Chairs from Kartell with the custom table to maintain open sightlines. The patio doors fold open to create a seamless indoor-outdoor entertaining space. Watts knew the Harry Bertoia Lounge Chairs were must-keeps. “Those—with their wonderful classic lines—were a priority,” she says. She added small outdoor sofas from Room & Board and round accent tables. | Photography by Emily Minton Redfield

While the residence is well planned, it’s designed to evolve. “For some people and some designers, this goes here and that’s it–forever,” Watts says. “The Robertses move their art around. A painting will start in one place, and we love it, then we may change the orientation of the room and move the painting. Art is such a wonderful way to change a space.”

Categories: Interiors