A blank canvas can be daunting, especially if that canvas is your new, empty apartment. This is exactly what prompted former investment bankers Sean Juneja and Markus Weber to found Décor Aid in May 2014 after moving from London to New York. “We separately found that access to great interior design is far too complicated and too expensive,” says Weber. This is how their customers, the newlyweds Jimmy and Ingrid Lefévère, first found the 732-square-meter Turtle Bay cooperative from the pre-war era, which they bought last September. The project was recently featured in New York Magazine.
The Lefévères began building the apartment themselves but quickly realized they needed the help of a professional. After doing some research, they discovered Décor Aid, which offered a clear, step-by-step process and fee structure, and began working with lead project designer Alex Caratachea. “One of the biggest challenges was to brighten the room as it was dark with the north-facing windows,” says Caratachea. He outfitted Benjamin Moore with a palette of soft grays and whites and added a mix of contemporary but not austere furniture, while staying within the $ 15,000 budget.
Caratachea told the LeFeveres not to be afraid to take advantage of low-cost options like Overstock and Wayfair and seek discounts on floor models. The four dining room chairs are from Overstock and the floor-to-ceiling curtains from HomeGoods.
The Lefévères faced a sad, dreary, generic New York kitchen straight from the central casting. Ikea to rescue the cabinets, then it took a bit of work to find the floor-modeled appliances, including the stove and full-size Liebherr refrigerator.
The bathroom wasn’t a picnic either, so everything went except the bathtub. The Lefévères were attached to Carrara marble walls in the shower area by Lazer Marble & Granite and fitted with an Ikea vanity and a mirror from Overstock.
The bedroom has an AllModern padded linen headboard and Ikea linens. The lamp is Safavieh Zoey from Overstock and the clock is from HomeGoods. “Everything is complete,” says Jimmy, “and we don’t have to ask ourselves,“ What are we missing? “The placement of the furniture, the choice of colors and the layout were carefully thought out by Alex.”