As precipitation turns from snow to rain and trees go from flowerless to budded, nature undergoes a timeless but miraculous transformation. It’s nature’s way of cleaning up after the necessary but sad brown mud of a season beautiful in its own way, but we are all glad to see pass. So why stop at spring-cleaning in our homes when we can eradicate the symbolic mud to bring pep and pizzazz to our homes with a little bit more effort?
So skip your post payday weekend trip to TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday, Restaurant) and tune into the first episode of TGIHAD (Thank God I Hired A Designer) as triathlete homeowner Adrian allows West Chin — founder of West Chin Architect, SpacesTV and us — the A Lister Guests — inside his Manhattan apartment.
Adrian begins by sharing how he intentionally searched for an apartment that had kind structure and skeletons, but needed a facelift. He more than succeeded in his estate acquisition. With great hopes and trust, Adrian invites West Chin to the beautiful Upper West Side to give his home an equally beautiful presence and bright future.
Chin, however, admits that upon entrance of the apartment it wasn’t just outdated or in need of an extra coat of paint, it needed renovated … and probably 40-50 years ago. One word comes to Chin to describe the underwhelming atmosphere, “Nostalgia.”
But this succinct description will be tested and we have to wonder, will there be cause for celebration as Adrian has to deny or admit, “Thank God I Hired a Designer!”
So how can, “A house with significant refurbishments.” And a place “That probably your grandmother wouldn’t want to live in.” as Adrian and Chin respectively see it turn into a masterpiece?
The key lies in not eradicating all signs of the previous apartment, but to modernize it. By using some of the old features and replicate “…cool, sexy and clean but still modern and warm like the Upper West Side.” The challenge is accepted.
West Chin brings up a common and acknowledged point of frustration among New York City residents, which is the perception of lack of space for “all the functional uses of a family.”
But every design problem has a design solution that can actually be a design feature as Adrian finds out with his appreciative fascination of the stereo and its intuitive storage solution. As a music lover and addict, I concur!
By utilizing curved ceilings, window benches and other structural and framework aspects of the rooms Chin discovers innovative ways to blend storage, heating and seating arrangements to create harmony and visual stimuli.
An aspect of the modernized dining area that Adrian really connects with is the curved ceiling. To him it brings forth fond recollections of childhood and a pastime and sport that continues to expand in recognition and athleticism: skateboarding!
Sleek lines from the Boston piano are just another example of great compatibility for Adrian’s visualization of an entertainment central, as well as the area to gather around; a working wood fireplace for sitting. Both dedicate a strong portion to the component of relaxing. And every family whether county mouse or city mouse needs some R&R.
Chin reinstates how the living quarters are well balanced and that by hiding the necessary amenities with intentionally placed décor and designs, it has become “…an architectural statement rather than a functional statement.”
And yet we see through not only Adrian’s and Chin’s eyes but also what the camera captures that this place is very functional indeed. The fine detailed stainless lighting, the hopeful plant life, the rounded tops of the chairs, the throw over the sofa are all aesthetically pleasing but they all are fragments of the bigger picture of not just living in a space, but loving the space you live in.
We all spend money, but Chin provokes us to think deeper as he shares that “the worst thing a client can do is take a lot of money, spend it on an apartment, move in and say, ‘Oh I wish I hired an architect to help me through this process because I don’t like living here now.’ ”
So what does Adrian have to finally say about this entire process? He hired a designer. He metaphoric speaking handed over the keys. From the collaboration of ideas and time, to the money he invested Adrian bids SpacesTV crew farewell with a smile on his face and a profound, “Thank God I hired a Designer.”