Space of the Week: Seeing the Potential

When Aamir Khandwala, a senior designer for architect Robert Couturier’s office, and his partner, Atif Toor, a freelance creative director and author, walked into this one-bedroom off Lexington Avenue in Murray Hill, what might have appeared daunting for some had the opposite effect on the couple. “When we first saw the apartment,” Aamir recalls, “it was cluttered and cavelike with brown Venetian plaster walls and heavy dental moldings”it was begging to be stripped down to its clean and modern bones.” Photo: Atif Toor

At the other end of the living room is a French fifties wood card table with a leather top by Jacques Adnet. The artwork on the wall includes a Nepalese mask and, to the right, a mixed-media work made from recycled carbon rolls found at Housing Works. The color photograph below is of Villa Malaparte by François Halard. The adjustable wall mirror is by Alessi, and the French fifties rattan chairs were found on Shelter Island. Photo: Atif Toor

A “before” photo of the bedroom the day they looked at the apartment. Photo: Atif Toor

And “after”! Atif hand-painted the walls using Sumi ink with abstract images of flora and fauna. The forties French bedside tables were a gift from Robert Couturier. The sunflower yellow acrylic headboard is vintage seventies. And I love those awesome fifties lime-green ceramic lamps! The bedspread is a suzani from an antique store in Lahore, Pakistan. The screen prints of Tel Aviv café chairs above the bed are by Ori Kleiner, and the big alpaca pillow is from ALT for Living. Photo: Atif Toor

In the bedroom, a midcentury modern ebonized walnut R-Way dresser takes on a whole new life with handmade knobs by Carl Martinez. The vintage wood objects are from Easton, Pennsylvania, and the black lacquer artwork by Roque Rey was a housewarming gift. Photo: Atif Toor

Back in the living room, the wall that was once covered in old-fashioned sconces is now plastered with art”above a credenza purchased at Housing Works. The framed Pakistani movie poster on the floor is from the seventies, and it was salvaged from Karachi, Pakistan. The geometric printed image on wood is by Dan Bleier. Photo: Atif Toor

This detail shot of the living room shows how well disparate objects live together if you have a great eye. The side table is one of a pair of forties French end tables, and the African stool is covered with a hand-embroidered fabric by Ranjit Ahuja that compliments the nubby sofa fabric and carved wood and leather lamp by Roque Rey. The vase is from the alumni sale at RISD, and it goes perfectly with a tile by Istanbul ceramist Nuray Ada. Photo: Atif Toor

Space of the Week: Seeing the Potential