Mesmerized by fine art photographer Karen Knorr’s dreamy image of a regal avian creature in a historic Moroccan castle, Juan Carretero placed it atop a copper-tinted mirrored accent wall in the light-filled living room.
During her regular meditation practice, lifelong New Yorker Robin Nijankin slowly rubs a mallet around the edge of a “singing bowl” to produce entrancing melodic sounds that are believed to promote healing and eliminate bad energy. “I’m sending the whole world good vibes,” she says, pointing to the throngs of people streaming by on the iconic High Line elevated park six floors below her. “[This technique] reaches my soul and clicks with my inner self.”
Exploring different cultures and religions has the same effect on Nijankin, whose travels through Morocco and Egypt inspired the design of her apartment in a new Chelsea development – the latest in a long list of neighborhoods she has inhabited over the years.
Taking the recommendation of an entrepreneur she met at a health and wellness resort, Nijankin asked interior designer Juan Carretero of Capital C Interiors to bring her exotic, spice-infused visions to life. “Robin is passionate, dreamy and romantic in her ideas,” Carretero describes.
The result is, in a word, atmospheric. Emblazoned with a hand-painted tree mural, the private elevator doors open to a dazzling foyer with textural Venetian plaster walls and a gold-leafed ceiling that together took an army of skilled craftsmen weeks to create. “It transports you into somewhere kind of mystical and a bit spiritual,” Carretero notes, pointing to the reflection of the flickering candlelight in the gilded ceiling.
An equally pictorial, Moroccan-inspired wallcovering likewise reinforces the Moroccan motif in the elegant primary bedroom. “It’s like exotic Babylonian gardens,” Carretero describes. Fringed bedside pendants and elegant bedding add to the sense of opulence.
While Nijankin has designed many spaces on her own and has confidence in her abilities, she can’t say enough about collaborating with Carretero, who introduced her to new ideas and made the project a lot more fun. “He’s a fabulous man,” she says, recalling their many shopping excursions. “Every time I walk into this place, I’m just overwhelmed.”
Photography by Tim Williams.
For more from Juan Carretero, be sure to check out this SoHo loft he packed with graphic elements.
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