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The two apartments couldn’t be more different from each other. Back in Paris, American textile designer Lisa Fine’s pied-à-terre had nineteenth-century grace and two separate sitting rooms. Its New York City replacement is made of post-War Sheetrock, with one combined living/dining/working space.


“The apartment in New York didn’t really speak to me,” admits Fine, whose primary residence is in Dallas. “It’s so boxy, with nothing special about the architecture.” But the Upper East Side co-op had been in her family for decades, and when she decided a few years ago to let the Paris apartment go and find a home base in the city she calls “the center of the universe,” it was unoccupied. “It would have been crazy to let it go,” she says.


So instead of trading in the apartment, she completely transformed it, layering fabrics from her eponymous line with furnishings she has collected from around the world over several decades, mixing and matching materials, and creating a space that is every bit as much “her” as the old apartment in Paris.


Her first step was to combine what were actually two separate apartments (a studio and a one-bedroom) into a unified two-bedroom space, a project she says went beautifully, thanks to architect J.P. Couture. When the renovation was done, she had the apartment’s walls and windows (and some ceilings, as well) covered in subtly-shaded items from her line—with the fabrics paper-backed in the living room and guest room, and upholstered onto the walls of her own bedroom. “I normally work with strong colors and patterns,” says Fine, whose Texas home is filled with bright pinks and blues. “But I thought that would not work with these kinds of boxy proportions. Instead, I decided to do everything in natural colors.”


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This story appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of MILIEU.