A People Magazine Editor's NYC Home

Homepolish designer Logan Inman helps magazine editor Dan Wakeford reimagine a midcentury apartment

Strong foundation pieces, eye-catching art, and objects collected over time fill Dan Wakeford's New York City residence.
Strong foundation pieces, eye-catching art, and objects collected over time fill Dan Wakeford's New York City residence.
Wakeford, above left, and designer Logan Inman.
Wakeford, above left, and designer Logan Inman.

There’s something a bit daunting about putting a room together,” says Dan Wakeford, the dapper deputy editor of People magazine. “You can’t just put everything up against your body to check.” Feeling restricted by the midcentury sensibility of his 1960s building in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, Wakeford enlisted the services of Homepolish designer Logan Inman for a revamp.

The 900-square-foot one-bedroom had many things going for it—a flowing central living space, a separate office, dark-wood floors, and a flood of natural light. Once Inman came on board, he was pleased to find the existing decor already included a few great foundational pieces, such as contrasting tailored sofas and sleek walnut case goods. His client “just needed help accessorizing and pulling it all together,” says Inman. “He didn’t want it to feel like walking onto a Mad Men set.” Thus began a yearlong project to find interesting textures, bohemian artwork, and items from multiple eras to bring life to the structured pieces. The ultimate goal: a layered, well-ordered interior that would seamlessly incorporate personal elements for a more curated and less period look.

Bold verticals—including, from left, a Sansevieria plant, cut gladioli in a vase, and an art print above the bar cart—add height throughout.
Bold verticals—including, from left, a Sansevieria plant, cut gladioli in a vase, and an art print above the bar cart—add height throughout.

In terms of aesthetics, designer and client were on the same page. “Your space needs to be beautiful, but it also has to be functional—especially in New York, because there’s not a lot of it,” says Inman. The two made an abundance of storage solutions a priority, lest the flat become, in Wakeford’s words, “too much of a granny’s attic.” One such strategy: shelving surfaces installed atop the windowsills in the living room and home office, which had the added benefit of obscuring air-conditioning and heating vents embedded in the walls. Translucent decorative accessories—a glass pyramid, bell-jar terrariums—are thus framed by the windows’ tall vertical spans without detracting from the exterior view. Occasional items, including a folding bed for guests, live beneath the shelves.

Twenty-First-Century Modern

Another storage trick involved turning a 12-inch gap behind the curtains into a space to house books not meant for display—a much more visually appealing tactic than squirreling them away in bulky furniture. Previously, the office had a giant desk that spanned nearly the entire length of the room. “You can’t do anything in here!” was Inman’s initial reaction. His favorite moment of the project was the purchase of the surfboard desk that now sits in front of the office window. “The curvature of the lines just makes the space so much softer,” he explains. The room’s gray walls (Benjamin Moore’s Ashland Slate) also cultivate a sense of intimacy.

Each wall is carefully considered for functionality and aesthetically pleasing display.
Each wall is carefully considered for functionality and aesthetically pleasing display.

In the kitchen, which was renovated before Inman came on the scene, a wall of open shelving inspired the pair to create another practical display—handmade ceramics, a pared-down array of accessories, and classic cookbooks. The vintage bar cart nearby holds various items related to crafting fine cocktails for company. Other items throughout the apartment enhance the curio-box vibe, such as the framed taxidermic insects found at a Paris flea market. “I don’t even know how we got them back into the United States,” says Inman with a laugh.

Twenty-First-Century Modern
Twenty-First-Century Modern
Illustration by Annie Werbler

“As an editor, I’m quite specific,” says Wakeford. During the design process, he had spotted a bed with a custom-made navy linen tufted headboard and loved its looks but not its associated price tag; Inman sourced a virtually identical model for a third of the cost. “To work with somebody with that knowledge of the marketplace is amazing.” And although the apartment is now camera-ready, its owner doesn’t anticipate leaving it be. “I don’t want to feel like it’s finished. It’s important that things evolve.”

Twenty-First-Century Modern
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