Lafayette Street in Downtown Manhattan runs through Chinatown, Little Italy, North Little Italy (NoLIta) and North Soho (NoHo) — providing residents a plethora of shopping, dining and nightlife options. This makes it one of the most sought-after addresses in the City and an ideal location for a residential high-rise building.

When one homeowner on Lafayette Street started thinking about redecorating his apartment, he wanted the end product to reflect the lively local district. At the same time, located in a buzzing area, it was important for the space to be serene, ideal for relaxation and concentration.

To help make his dream a reality, he got in touch with Brooklyn-based Dessislava Boneva, principal at d s l v studio and former design director for the Morgans Hotel Group. Born in Bulgaria, raised in Singapore and educated at the University of Texas at Austin, Boneva brings a cosmopolitan perspective to all of her projects, with an emphasis on imagination and elegance in form – perfect for an urban retreat.

Approaching the redesign of the Lafayette residence, she sought to create a beautiful modern space for living, rather than simply being admired.


Shifting the gear to neutral

The well-lit New York City residence is tasteful and modern, and features classic neutral tones with splashes of color — a combination that never goes out of style. Boneva paired gray furniture with bold, red coffee tables and crimson dining room chairs, while minimalist contemporary art adorns the apartment’s white walls.

In the life sciences by trade and a musician in his spare time, the homeowner stores his collection of electric and acoustic guitars beside expansive windows which overlook the hustle and bustle of Lower Manhattan. The neutral palette of the apartment allows his colorful instruments to stand out and enables the owner to focus on both his work and hobbies without the distractions of an over-decorated space. The residence as a whole embodies an adventurous spirit who also values practicality, and this is made especially evident by the kitchen.

For both working and entertaining 

When it came to updating his kitchen, the client wanted something functional that matched the rest of the apartment. He also sought a surface application that was soft to the touch and mimicked the beautiful materials found in nature, and was durable.

This area is not only the center of his entertainment space, but a workspace, as he often works long hours perched on the kitchen island. While the gorgeous views of New York City certainly help to ease his mind, it was vital his surroundings be comforting as well.   

To achieve the homeowner’s vision, Boneva selected Neolith, a premium brand of sintered stone that meets her client’s design requirements in every respect.

“My client wanted a high-tech, almost futuristic look, for the kitchen island, which embodies the power of technology and innovation,” explained Boneva. “Neolith is the ideal brand for his vision, as the material is able to capture a look that is both sleek and natural, while serving multiple important purposes for daily usage. His friends have also been pleasantly surprised by the finish, as they believed the material to be genuine marble.”

Zaha Stone, named in honor of world-famous architect Zaha Hadid, was specified for the main surface of the island in a silk finish and 1/2-inch thickness. The material’s fine white veins create a striking contrast next to the more dramatic gray striations of Carrara-inspired Estatuario polished, selected for the sink area in 1/2 inch. A sophisticated blend of muted natural shades, together they create a fresh calm atmosphere that encapsulates the essence of an upscale 21st- century New York residence.

“The combination of the two materials specified means the homeowner can do his work on the matte surface of the island, ensuring his laptop won’t slip, and do the dishes by the polished surface, where water can easily be wicked away,” said the designer. “The overall result is a beautiful focal piece for the room, which can be used for dining, entertaining and as a spacious home office.”