Floating in a once-cramped apartment, a quirky glowing room infuses the space with sunny warmth.


When Jane Krolik talks about her family's Mercer Street apartment, one word keeps recurring: floating. "I wanted everything to float — the banquettes, the desk, the room we call the Sugarcube," she says. "It's like heaven and earth." Heaven, in this case, is the glowing polycarbonate box that encases the pocket-size bedroom of her 6-year-old daughter, Daisy. More earthy is the brown wool banquette, a twenty-foot L shape that simultaneously hides the baseboard heating and brings her guests close to the source of warmth. Until last year, however, Krolik's home and hearth were entirely pedestrian: Two narrow rooms split the 2,000-square-foot space down the middle; the low-ceilinged second floor was used primarily for storage. So when architects Parsons + Fernandez-Casteleiro suggested tearing down the walls, bleaching the floors, and making the second floor glow, Krolik jumped at the chance. "I wanted something spartan, but unusual," she says. Every knob, switch, intercom, and computer that could be hidden was tucked behind minimalist doors, leaving the apartment as clean as a canvas and ready for improvisation. Like her sofa cushions, custom-made from an Op Arty fuzzy textile. "The fabric was very mod-looking, but the furriness of it was hysterical," she says. "It's not painfully serious." Krolik's vision of heaven, it seems, includes a sense of humor.

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Photo: Carlos Emilio