Cosmopolitan Living

A luxury high-rise on Kettner with comfortable furniture, romantic lighting, and unique “memory points” is designed for entertaining


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“The colors are very high contrast, and everything is really graphic,” says Heramb. “It has an edge but a certain level of comfort, too.”

When designing the 27th-floor penthouse in the Sapphire Tower, the focus was on being able to entertain guests in a chic setting. “It needed to be swanky for someone who would appreciate the downtown lifestyle and a more fashionable and high style life,” says Ariana Heramb, the president of the interior design firm Design Squared.

Comfort was important, in spite of the modern look. “Contemporary style is sometimes lacking—people look at a sofa and think, ‘It’s not comfortable’ or ‘How will I sit in that?’ ” Heramb wanted the condo to “have an edge, but a certain level of comfort, too.”

As for the colors, “Black, white, and gray speak to both sexes. Anyone can relate to the color scheme. It’s high contrast but comfortable at the
same time.”

Heramb’s favorite piece is a chofa, an Indonesian sculpture, located between the living and dining rooms. “The chofa is a symbol of good luck or blessing for the house,” she explains of the imported item from Phillips Collection. “I like doing little character pieces like that. They’re memory points that are special and unique to the home.”

The bedroom was designed to be “realistic,” which in part means “not having to pull a million pillows off the bed.” But you should still enjoy a few luxuries. To wit: the headboard plugs into the wall and illuminates. “This adds a little bit of romance,” says Heramb. “The bed is your showcase piece. It has to be special… but not cheesy.”

Lighting—whether it comes from the headboard or a lamp—tends to be an afterthought. But Heramb insists, “The lighting is the jewelry of the house. You want to have something on every level—to pull the eye up to the ceiling and look at every surface.” She describes this penthouse’s lighting effect as “candlelight at its best.” “The brighter lights are down by the reading level. The upper level is about sparkle and glow.” She used LED bulbs that save energy but have a warm appeal.

It’s warm indeed, but very, very cool. 

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