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A Gramercy Park Flat Designed Around Light

The custom-designed emerald-green velvet banquette. Photo: Ben Fink Shapiro

You can have the greatest art and the greatest furniture in the most spectacular setting, but without the right lighting, it’s going to fall flat. Nathan Orsman, the go-to lighting maverick for top designers and superstars, has mastered the myriad visual nuances for creating that ephemeral magic. So what, one wonders, does he do in his own home? When he and his husband, Jose Castro, found a one-bedroom with an adjacent studio, they enlisted David Scott to combine the two and work on the décor, which, as seen here in the living room, is subdued and elegant. “I designed an emerald-green velvet banquette along the entire length of the east wall that would provide for dining [at a black Saarinen table], working, and relaxing.” The painting is by Australian artist Aaron Kinnane, and the banquette was made by NY Custom Furniture. Orsman found the pendant light on 1stDibs and hung it from a wall sconce with a cord to adjust the height.

“I wanted a dark, sexy old-school apartment,” Orsman says. Scott stained the floors and installed new lacquered doors with brass hardware. The wood sculpture is mid-century French. Here, the picture light over the drawing is from Orsman’s One Illuminates lighting collection. The hallway ceiling light is a down light with a brass mount. Photo: Ben Fink Shapiro
The media room is anchored by a custom-designed Omnibus sectional by NY Custom Furniture. A Serge Mouille three-arm ceiling lamp hangs above, and the two Karl Springer brass glass-topped tables were given to Orsman and Castro by Castro’s mother, Diana, who is an interior designer based in Florida. The large painting over the sectional is by Aaron Kinnane. Photo: Ben Fink Shapiro
“A room should have many different light sources,” Orsman says. “The fixture in the bedroom is from Arteriors Lighting. Many things in the room are a natural wood finish, so I created soft, diffused lighting that really warms the room and makes it glow.” The painting over the bed is by Milton Avery. Photo: Ben Fink Shapiro
“We renovated the apartment completely, including the two marble baths,” Scott says. Here, the marble walls are from Studium and the shower head is from Waterworks. The overhead light is by Urban Archaeology along with the LED light over the sink by The Future Perfect. Photo: Ben Fink Shapiro
The kitchen lights are from Restoration, and the cabinets are from Ikea with custom hardware. The painting is by Heidi Yardley, an Australian artist. Photo: Ben Fink Shapiro
A Gramercy Park Flat Designed Around Light