9 Minimalist Homes That Are Stylish and Tranquil | Architectural Digest

Emilee Geist

When the interior designer Sebastian Zuchowicki began working with his client on his New York City residence, the starting point was the living room. “I feel like the living room concepts are always the soul of the space, especially in a New York City apartment, and then it trickles down,” […]

When the interior designer Sebastian Zuchowicki began working with his client on his New York City residence, the starting point was the living room. “I feel like the living room concepts are always the soul of the space, especially in a New York City apartment, and then it trickles down,” he says.

Compared to his client’s conventional summer house in Rhode Island, the three-bedroom apartment in West Chelsea that he currently shares with his two children (and their cat) is a modern sanctuary with a finely tuned aesthetic. Zuchowicki spent a whole year slowly transforming the 3,000-square-foot condominium one room at a time, until the bedrooms, dining room, and newly fashioned private library had been completely perfected.

“My favorite detail is that there’s texture everywhere you look,” Zuchowicki says. “Literally everywhere you look, there’s texture. You won’t see a white wall anywhere, and that to me makes it feel special. It doesn’t feel heavy, and that was really important. I wanted it to feel light but super textured.” —Sydney Gore

A Boston town house with space to lounge

“My husband loves the top floor with the pool table,” Nelson-Rice says. This house is the couple’s first designed without kids in mind, and, Hacin says, “She wasn’t worried about being a mom or wife, she wanted to do Robin. She put all these tiny touches throughout that were a function of her personality.” The matriarch’s metric for buying art is: “Is it loving me, am I loving it back?” The trio of flags made of album spines by Walter Lobyn Hamilton is a personal favorite, as it embodies the power of music. Also in the daylit game room are a playful Vibia chandelier and Moses Nadel ottomans.

Photo: Trent Bell

A client who literally refuses to take no for an answer may sound less than ideal, but for the team at Boston’s Hacin + Associates, one such energetic and creative collaborator’s approach led to aesthetic magic and joy. “Truly, I would describe her—we all would—as a dream client,” lead interior designer Matthew Woodward says. “I’ve never had more fun on a project in my life.”

When Robin Nelson-Rice and her husband, Derica Rice, decided to move from suburban Indiana to Boston, their real estate broker and general contractor both felt H+A was the perfect match to reimagine a six-story 1881 Back Bay town house. However, founding principal and creative director David Hacin found himself quite busy at the time. “Robin looked at me right in the eye and said, ‘You don’t understand. You are going to be doing this project.’ And I actually loved that,” Hacin says. “As we were talking, we clicked, we connected, and that was it for her. She wanted to keep going with that process.”

“We made decisions wholeheartedly based on viewing the space as a gallery for contemporary Black artists,” Woodward says. “Robin was really thrilled to do that. Early on, we were conscious of showing restraint in the materials palette, so we could really let the art stand out.” The dining room in particular was designed around a Russell Young portrait of Barack Obama, a piece Nelson-Rice says, “speaks volumes—it’s peaceful, it’s hopeful, it’s positive.” —Kathryn Romeyn

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