For some New Yorkers, apartments are like tree rings—they leave a clear record of a family’s evolution. Take Becca Parrish and her husband, Laurence Kretchmer, who live on the top floor of an 1887 brick building in Noho. When Kretchmer, a restaurateur, bought the apartment six years ago as a bachelor, he took over what had been a family home. “And I unfamily-ed it,” he says—opening up one of the two bedrooms and turning it into his office. A year later, Parrish, who runs her own PR firm, moved in (occasioning a redecoration), and a year after that, their daughter Delilah was born.
The new parents wanted a cocoon for their daughter, so back came the closed-off room, with the knee wall re-extended to the ceiling. Built-in cabinets helped them maximize limited space, with an expandable Oeuf crib (a gift from Kretchmer’s parents) tucked neatly into a niche. They filled the walls of the newly appointed baby’s room with folk art, miniature hot-air balloons from a North Carolina antiques store, and pieces from Parrish’s brother’s twentieth-century Tribeca design shop, Mondo Cane, like the mobile that hangs over Delilah’s bed. Parrish finished off the nursery with Blik wall decals depicting a forest; they play off the raw wooden beams and pair with Josef Frank textiles for a leafy effect.
For a while, that seemed like enough adjusting. Then Delilah turned three and a half, and it was time for an upgrade. “Some of her friends got big-girl beds, and that was all she could talk about,” Parrish says. So the Oeuf crib was transformed into a toddler bed, but Delilah is quickly outgrowing it, so a new platform bed—with storage drawers tucked underneath—will soon take its place. The changing table that sat on the built-in shelves was replaced by an aquarium for Delilah’s Vietnamese fighting fish, Clover, and her iPod dock, from which she plays (and dances to) Florence + the Machine and Radiohead.
Future renovations for this room are already being dreamed up, and Delilah’s been dropping hints about a new carpet (“She said she’d like it to be the color of grass,” says Parrish). But then—that’s it? “I think if we stay at three,” Kretchmer says, “we’re okay for now.”