Carpet design

30 years later, this editor hasn’t stopped playing with her New York apartment

Although she was a design editor for decades at publications like SHE Decor and Gallery, Melissa Feldman still hasn’t identified his signature style. “My walls have been everything from Hermes orange to bright green,” she says of her Upper West Side apartment, the same one she’s called home for nearly 30 years. Not that she cares; the constant addition and subtraction – a side table here, a chair print there – kept things interesting. “It was an editing process,” she explains. “I bought furniture and immediately took it back so many times.”

Dining table, Knoll; Carpet, Maharam; Fabric cushion, Pierre Frey.

As it is her job to be at the forefront of the latest trends, Feldman is surrounded by every design style that exists – modern bohemian, farmhouse, minimalist, etc. It was difficult to determine what appealed to him personally rather than professionally. “I tried giving my bedroom a nautical theme for a while, but it never seemed to work,” she says.

bathroom with blue walls and white pedestal sink.

bedroom with blue patchwork duvet.
Bed frame, CB2; Quilt, Thompson Street Studios.

Despite its seascape color scheme, however, the bedroom remained virtually untouched. “Especially in a city like New York, sleep is key,” she explains. “And I wanted to create a bit of calm where I could.” Yes, a CB2 upholstered bed recently replaced an old brass frame, but the walls, a Benjamin Moore replica of an old Donald Kaufman sample, have been the same for nearly 10 years. “I don’t think I’ll ever change the color,” she says. The softness of the sandy hue and the abundance of light that Feldman receives from its windows provide a reprieve from the daily collection previews and trade shows. On the bed, a Thompson Street quilt reminds Feldman of her mother’s own textile collection. “I have a closet full of his quilts,” she said. “They’re a bit loud for my taste, but the patterns are beautiful.”

open wooden shelves with iron ship model on top.
Iron boat, Pottery Barn.

There are plenty of them elsewhere in the apartment. “I’ve always loved the modern aesthetic, but I can’t live in the all-beige world I write about so much,” admits Feldman. “I have a background in graphic design, I need a little oomph.” Bold shapes and shades are not retained in the artwork; Feldman has reupholstered nearly every seat she owns, except for a red leather lounge chair that belonged to Feldman’s parents. “It was a room no one sat on,” she recalls, but now guests can’t get enough of the chrome frame.

hallway with rubber tree and colorful bench.

The hallway bench sports a colorful ikat by Jim Thompson, while the mid-century armchairs are upholstered in an orange chevron by Madeline Weinrib that matches the rug Feldman spotted at NeoCon (a trade show) and didn’t stopped thinking for a year after. Some pieces, however, were simply instinctive purchases on the spot, such as the Richard Sapper table lamp in his study. “It was the first designer product I ever bought,” she recalls. “Before I knew I would be an editor.” He now sits on an IKEA metal console in his office, in front of Feldman’s favorite work, a Tom Otterness print.

brown and orange graphic art print
Lamp, MoMA Design Store; Console, IKEA; Print, Tom Otterness.

white bookcases wall
Libraries, California Closets.

Across the room, a custom set of California Closets bookcases house Feldman’s extensive collection of design books and magazines. “It changed my relationship to space,” she says of the storage she installed a few years ago. All his signatures and reference documents are finally ordered and within easy reach of his desk, and no longer in a precarious heap on the floor.

stove with silver kettle

shelves of blue and white porcelain plates.

These days, Feldman feels like he’s finally hit his decorating groove. She’s still debating selling her porcelain collection, and the work will be rearranged a few times before she’s completely sated, but for now, this is her home. “I don’t know if I’m going to live here for the rest of my life,” Feldman says. “But certainly, as long as I am, I continue to play.” Why move when you got four different apartments for the price of one?

portrait of woman in striped dress.
Melissa Feldman.