Relying on her own aesthetic instincts and a few reliable design resources, designer Erin Fetherston turns her Tribeca loft into a light-filled oasis.
Window treatments from The Shade Store were selected for the apartment’s amazing windows
Early in her career, clothing designer Erin Fetherston (erinfetherston.com) lived in Paris, where she launched her feminine and ethereal collections on the runways of the City of Light, and later in New York, where she expanded her eponymous brand throughout the U.S. and Europe. Her history in both cities has no doubt shaped her international perspective, but in many ways, the Los Angeles native is still a California girl at heart. “After I married and was pregnant with my first child, I felt a calling to come back my roots and the way I grew up connected to nature,” the designer explains. So four years ago, she opted to reboot her life by settling with her emerging family in a home back in L.A.
Designer Erin Fetherston
Still, she kept her extraordinary 3,600-square-foot loft in a landmarked building in Tribeca and continued to grow her business with bases on both coasts. “After living in the New York apartment since 2007, I knew it like the back of my hand and could dance through it blindfolded and know where every doorknob and light switch was, so I’d had more than a decade to think about how I would renovate when I was ready,” says the designer. And with her “nesting instincts” fully in gear while pregnant with her second child, she decided the time was right to take on a makeover of the loft last year.
Twiggy three-light drum chandeliers hang over Caroline 24-inch bar stools, all from Perigold
At ease with her own aesthetic sensibilities, she undertook the overhaul of the dramatic space herself, relying on resources that would allow her to update the space from afar. When she moved into the loft a dozen years ago, she decorated it with a container full of French antiques she’d shipped across the Atlantic and turned it into a space “full of whimsy, fantasy and delight” that served as an ideal “backdrop for many years of carefree ingénue life,” she says. But now with a husband and two young sons, “I’ve learned to exercise restraint in expressing some of my girlier design tendencies,” she says, and she opted to refresh the Manhattan dwelling to reflect the cosmopolitan family life she now leads in both cities.
The Fairfax eight-light cascade pendant makes a statement over the Park extendable dining table, also from Perigold
The goal was to create “a sanctuary in the city,” says Fetherston, pointing to the stacked sets of windows in the double-height loft that overlook the treetops and the Hudson River beyond. “When you look out onto the water and sky, it feels like a lakeside home,” she says, noting that a source of inspiration for her design was the organic minimalist Surfrider Hotel in Malibu, where she spent many happy weekends last summer. “I wanted to achieve a similar ambiance in New York,” she says. “But this is an apartment you walk into wearing your Manolos, not your TKEES.” So while the overall atmosphere is relaxed, the mix of furnishings and materials is tailored and polished—“apropos for urban dwelling,” she explains.
Artwork was sourced from minted.com
To pull off the project long distance, “online design destinations that could provide A-to-Z service became essential resources,” Fetherston says. For furniture and decorative elements, she turned to curated sites like Perigold, Lulu & Georgia and 2Modern. “Perigold in particular was great to work with because they have an amazing room planning tool that allows you to visualize all the pieces you’ve selected against the backdrop of your choice,” she says. For window treatments and closets, she turned to The Shade Store and California Closets, and for architectural details like hardware, fixtures and plumbing, Rejuvenation and build.com were her go-to sources. “By narrowing my sources to a select few, I was able to streamline the design process and simplify the logistics,” she explains.
Throughout, the designer opted for a neutral palette to keep the atmosphere serene. “I work with color and pattern all day, so it was important to keep the home like a clean canvas with order and a sense of calm to make it easy for my next ideas to come to mind,” she says. She also opted to keep the walls free of art and let the views serve as a natural focal point. “I love lounging in the living area,” says Fetherston. “Anywhere you sit, your eye is drawn to the incredible views that engulf the apartment—it makes me feel like I’m floating inside a cloud.”
Photography by: interior photos by Sarah Elliott; portrait by Juan Algarin