Nestled in Tribeca just two blocks from the Hudson River is a former 1880s bookbindery warehouse that has been transformed into a coveted residence. For Edward Yedid, the decision to undertake the refurbishment of one of the building’s apartments was an easy one. To begin with, the industrial structure stands out. But equally important to the co-founder and partner of Grade Architecture and Interior Design was the commitment of his clients to involving their two young sons in the process. The end result is, appropriately enough, not only suffused with sophisticated style, but also with a healthy dose of whimsy.
“The boys were an integral part of the living environment,” says Yedid. “We wanted the space to be climbable and child-friendly, [and] we wanted to integrate color and art in a meaningful way that, like the overall scheme, is appropriate and appealing to both the parents and their children.
From the entrance gallery through the open dining room to the master bedroom, art helps set the mood of each individual space. “I’ve been working with galleries around the world for years — I’ve been collecting myself since I was 20,” says Yedid. “The art selection was based on [the homeowners’] personalities. Color was an important part of that – it’s pop, but the sophistication level is strong. Yedid, whose own young child is currently learning colors thanks to an art-filled environment, was the ideal person to engage with his clients on this issue.
The surrounding neighborhood was also an important source of inspiration, especially in terms of finishes and more detailed elements. In the foyer, stucco wall paneling introduces a sophisticated, monochromatic backdrop to more whimsical elements like a color-block console by Herve Van der Straeten, original artwork by Sterling Ruby, and a stylish custom Grade bench. Elsewhere, under a Kaws piece, a custom buffet with stucco doors and a textured surface recalls Tribeca’s cobbled streets.
Nevertheless, it is Grade’s custom bar cabinet that draws attention. “Tribeca is an important aspect of space—[its] energy, the people and the history of the factory,” says Yedid. “The bar is a synthesis of all that.” The piece in question combines strong lines and materiality with the soft curves that echo the apartment’s arched windows.
The focus on works by contemporary artists whom Yedid believes in or collects himself led to the purchase of a block installation by Eva Rothschild, which separates the dining room and kitchen. The image is just as fun for the kids as it is for their parents. “I was at the Biennale a few years ago and saw a similar piece by Eva, so they adapted a piece for this space,” says Yedid. “It feels a bit like the streets of New York, and the kids can climb on it.”
At the far end of the living room is the ultimate family room. The furniture creates different areas where adults can enjoy themselves on the one hand, while the children have complete freedom on the other. Custom built-in closets hide homework and toys, while the adult side houses a library and media center. At the center, a central unifying area provides physical proximity and a slew of entertainment options. “[The family] wanted to be totally together all the time,” says Yedid. “That was the challenge, but that was also the fun.”