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Photograph of Angelina Gualdoni painting

Nestled in the heart of the West Village, this six-story, five-bedroom townhouse presented itself as the ideal New York City pied-à-terre for a California-based family. A pandemic purchase by Darin Adler, an esteemed Apple engineer, and his wife Diane Patterson, a writer, the abode had all the space and potential, but nothing that made it feel like home. A modern new construction, the primary challenge of the town house was “un-developing” it, a task that was wholeheartedly taken on by Holly Waterfield, of AD PRO Directory firm Holly Waterfield Interior Design, in collaboration with fellow AD PRO Directory member Susan Galvani of Spruce Interior.

“The story of this project was to make it feel like it’s been there a long time and to put a lot back into it that had probably been there at one point,” elaborates Waterfield. Adler and Patterson wanted an escape from the all-white, sterile aesthetic. “The main thing we were trying to do is create a feeling of hominess and warmth,” says Adler. “And one of the most pleasant surprises of working with Holly was that not only did she bring a lot of great design elements, but she helped us connect with a lot of great people. One of my favorite things about working with her on a project is how she approaches all the different people that we work with.”

Upon entering, guests are greeted by a grand foyer adorned with a breathtaking custom mural by Dean Barger—one of those many connections that comes to mind for Adler. The mural scene depicts a tranquil landscape with flowing water and lush trees, setting a serene tone that permeates throughout the residence and begins to tell a story of nature and ease. Soft curves replace harsh angles, warm wood tones replace glossy finishes, and every surface exudes a matte allure, inviting the owners and guests to unwind and relax.

Throughout the home, a harmonious blend of textures, patterns, and artwork creates a sense of depth and character. “We vibed really well on the fabric for the family room sofa,” says Waterfield. “I literally carried around with me a yard of that fabric for two years. Everywhere I went, the Tree of Life [by Claremont] went with me. It was a perfect story for that house.” The special fabric was a keystone in the design and influenced the other decisions with fabrics and textures. Patterned wallpapers and curtains add visual interest, while sculptural light fixtures cast a warm glow, illuminating the space with understated elegance. Artwork by acclaimed artists such as Janaina Tschäpe, Abdolreza Aminlari, and Angelina Gualdoni adorns the walls, infusing each room with personality and charm.

As avid supporters of the arts, Adler and Patterson collaborated with art advisor Bridget Murphy to curate a collection that speaks to their creative sensibilities. From Tim Wilson’s serene oil paintings to Alex Dodge’s playful coloring book series featuring early Apple products, each piece holds a special significance, reflecting the couple’s passion for both technology and artistic expression. This continues in the sixth-floor retreat, Adler’s office, where illustrator Ellen Korbonski worked her magic with faux bois, seamlessly matching the wood ceiling despite architectural constraints. In the daughter’s bedroom, Korbonski’s whimsical mural perfectly complements Muriel Brandolini’s upholstery, too, creating a playful yet sophisticated ambiance.

One of the home’s most intriguing design challenges was the media room’s attached terrarium, a unique feature that demanded careful consideration. Inspired by the film Parasite, landscape designer Jonathan Fargion transformed this space into a work of art, with discreet glass shelves showcasing lush ferns that appear to float in mid-air and can be seen through the windows from many of the rooms in the house. The result is a mesmerizing display that blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior, inviting contemplation and connection with nature.

Behind the scenes, Sound Sight seamlessly integrated state-of-the-art technology into the home, transforming it into a smart oasis fully compatible with Apple HomeKit. This seamless integration reflects Adler’s career in technology, ensuring that every aspect of the home is both functional and intuitive. One can turn off the lights from bed or turn on the fireplace when heading home after dinner.

In their quest to create a space that feels truly lived-in, Waterfield and Galvani approached every detail with thoughtfulness and care. From the custom mural in the foyer to the curated artwork adorning the walls, every element tells a story, inviting guests to embark on a journey of discovery and delight—a surprising and welcome oasis in the middle of the bustling city.