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On the Waterfront

A spectacular apartment in Dumbo where the views provide live entertainment 24/7 gets made even better for a young family.

The living room. Photo: Dylan Chandler
The living room. Photo: Dylan Chandler

“It’s like living in an Imax movie,” television executive Craig Spain says of the three-bedroom waterfront apartment he shares with his wife, Jessie, and their two young children.

New Yorkers are obsessed with views, and Spain had a great one in his previous home overlooking the High Line. It was the purchase of that bachelor pad over ten years ago that led him to his eventual architect, West Chin, who he met at an  Architectural Digest  design show. “What I didn’t know back then was anything about interior architecture,” Spain says, but once Chin started marking up the floor plan instead of merely suggesting where furniture should go, Spain had an epiphany. “It was so smart,” he says. “He expanded the space and made it so usable and livable with great design. It never occurred to me that was possible.” Fast-forward to marriage and a growing family and the ensuing debate about whether to seek a larger apartment or leave the city. They ultimately agreed to hunker down here, provided he and Jessie could find a place large enough so that they and their two children wouldn’t be on top of one another and that also had beautiful views and access to a park. When they first walked into their fourth-floor apartment, which had yet to be finished by the developer, they knew it ticked all the boxes, and then some. What they found, according to Spain, was “the best of both — of all — worlds, really.” He also knew that Chin could tweak the interiors just enough to make a good thing great, and customized to his family’s needs.

The living room, seen above, features Piero Lissoni’s Living Divani Extrasoft sofa. It’s low to the ground and double-sided so the family can either watch the views or watch TV, as the screen in the custom wall unit, designed by West Chin Architects, is hidden by a sliding panel when not in use. The Milano Raved rug is by Jan Kath, and the standing construction lamp is by Moooi. Kristen Furman, the interior-design director at Chin’s office, worked on the décor.

The open kitchen and dining area, with an Athos dining table from B&B Italia and Hi Pad stools from Cappellini. The FLOS light pendant is Taraxacum 88 from DDC. Photo: Dylan Chandler
Doing the dishes is never a chore with this view of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Photo: Dylan Chandler
Chin created more storage space with his design of this modern, wall-mounted credenza in the hall foyer. Photo: Dylan Chandler
The view of the foyer toward the bedrooms, where Chin inset a bureau flush to the wall for more storage. The leather seat cushion is from Dune. Photo: Dylan Chandler
In Spain’s son’s Milo’s bedroom, there is a bean bag pouf by Luminaire and a mini library bookshelf from Oeuf, along with an Oeuf Play Table and Bear chairs. In the corner, there is a Hanging Monkey Lamp from Seletti. “For a little boy who loves all forms of transportation,” Spain says of Milo’s moving landscape. “I don’t think there is a single form of transportation that he can’t see outside his window.” Photo: Dylan Chandler
The master-bedroom décor doesn’t interfere with the magnificent views from the floor-to-ceiling windows with a Clip bed from Molteni & C and Serge Mouille wall sconces from Gueridon. The Taccia lamp by FLOS tucked in the corner is from Design Within Reach, and the overhead 427 Oseo chandelier is from David Weeks Studio. “I didn’t realize how much of a working river the East River was until we moved here,” Spain says. “Just the amount of action happening!” The painting above the bed is The Gardener, by Eric Joyner. Photo: Dylan Chandler
The master bathroom came with the original tub and wood-clad wall. Photo: Dylan Chandler
Chin covered the wall in Milo’s room, with Chalkboard paint from Benjamin Moore. Photo: Dylan Chandler
The guest powder room was relocated so that Chin was also able to create a larger master bath, walk-in closet, and a study-playroom. The lighting within the wall seen here is by Inter-Lux. When Spain was asked if this move has put an end to thoughts of moving out of the city, he answered, “I was reluctant to move to Brooklyn, but now, looking back, that was the silliest thing I ever thought. I couldn’t love a neighborhood more than I love Dumbo.” Photo: Dylan Chandler

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A Spectacular Waterfront Apartment, Customized for a Family