As a design writer, I seek out, explore, record—and, in some extreme cases, pledge to memory—the most transcendent fabrics, tiles, and furniture that I encounter in my travels through showrooms and private homes. They are all fodder for a story or photo shoot. Most recently, however, I’ve embarked on a renovation of my West Village apartment where I live with my husband and our 2-year-old daughter. We had the great fortune (and N.Y.C. fantasy-come-true) of buying the one-bedroom place next door and breaking down a wall. It’s a gut renovation, and I’ve re-imagined every aspect of the space, from the floor colors to the kitchen and bathrooms. Along the way, I’ve been able to incorporate my all-time favorite finds and resources, and the newest and most tantalizing products and designs. Follow along with me as I describe the ins-and-outs of our renovation and the aesthetic decisions that I’ve made along with the way. Happy reading!

By Joanna Bober
Updated Sep 01, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
Facet - Lead 2016
Credit: Perrin & Rowe/Facebook

I’ve realized more than once that British style (and designs hailing from that part of the world) is a recurring theme in the renovation. There is my love affair with Farrow and Ball paint, which appears throughout the apartment. Then, of course, there’s our British architect Simon Arnold (who is now, lucky for us, installed in Williamsburg, Brooklyn). The inky black walls we’re experimenting with in our master bathroom were inspired by a weekend spent at Blakes in London. And then there are the bath fixtures. The faucets from the British company Perrin and Rowe are nothing short of perfect, and remind me of a romantic weekend spent at, say, a suite at Claridges. In pursuit of those designs here in the U.S. I stumbled upon the company Rohl. They distribute faucets and showers (and some really insanely beautiful farmhouse and pedestal sinks) from small European manufacturers, (including Perrin and Rowe) who are known for their craftmanship. The prices are high for Perrin and Rowe, so we splurged on just one set from their Holborn collection for our powder room (pictured below).

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Credit: Courtesy

The look is sleek but still traditional. In the master bath we decided to go with Michael Berman Graceline faucets (pictured below), a California designer with a slightly industrial edge to his faucets and showers (and distributed by Rohl). The design was inspired by transatlantic ocean liners of the 1920s and 1930s, reminiscent of old Hollywood.

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Credit: Courtesy

In our daughter Bea’s bathroom, we opted for Rohl’s Architectural series (pictured below).

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Credit: Courtesy

I love the bold cross pattern handles for her—it feels grown up but still whimsical and fun. The happy discovery along the way, with this deep dive into the world of faucets, is that Rohl’s designs are just as fabulous as the higher priced lines. So all in all a win-win situation. Oh, and did you know that if you go to the store kitchen and bath emporium Pirch, which has stores across the country (and most recently in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood), you can literally turn on all of the faucets and see if you like the way they work?

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Credit: Courtesy

It was kind of a revelation for us. They even have chefs making pizzas out of their ovens, so you really get a sense of what you are buying. Genius.

The faucets are being installed now and I cannot wait to share the final product with you next week!