Unique Interiors founder Bob Denkien and Roche Bobois' Natalie Suresch tell us how to make the most of a cozy city condo.
A pared-down modern daybed with slat back.
In the coming years, Philadelphians can look forward to many more neighborhood transformations. Luxury residential high-rises from developers like Tom Scannapieco and Carl Dranoff will rise, joining an already crowded Philly skyline. Toll Brothers’ 410 at Society Hill will inject sleek modernity into an otherwise quaint neighborhood, while the eco-friendly Paseo Verde from Jonathan Rose Companies beckons to those who wish to leave behind a smaller carbon footprint. With so many new and exciting living spaces to choose from, who can resist the allure of urban living?
Bob Deniken, founder of Unique Interiors (1604 Route 70 W., Cherry Hill, NJ, 856-665-1911), says that he has seen a significant increase in customers—notably baby boomers and young professionals—looking to furnish smaller condos. Natalie Suresch, showroom manager at Roche Bobois (313 Arch St., 215-922-2900), agrees. “We’ve been experiencing a lot of empty nesters starting over, leaving their homes in the Main Line, and reestablishing themselves in the heart of the city,” she says. “Also, young professionals who are starting families and have a great eye for design are shopping with us.”
A variable Corbin sectional provides options for irregular rooms.
The tricky part is not picking the perfect luxury condo, but furnishing it in a way that combines style and efficiency. “The secret to making smaller spaces look larger is the right furniture scale and space planning,” says Deniken, who has furnished homes in The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Two Liberty Place, and The Symphony House. “The trend is contemporary and streamlined. We see a need for smaller-scale sectionals that maximize seating in smaller rooms.” Modular pieces such as the ones offered at Unique Interiors give more options—and, thus, flexibility—in how they are used day to day now and throughout the years.
Minimalist Emory chairs are useful in spaces large and small.
An open floor plan poses another dilemma for many who are furnishing a condominium. Suresch proposes using two rugs with similar colors or patterns to divide and conquer. “This allows flexibility for rearranging in the future, and it adds cohesion and simplicity to an open floor plan,” she says. Suresch also suggests using furniture as dividers: “Our eco-friendly Legend Bookcase allows light to pass through your space without blocking off the area and adds a very cool texture to the room.”
Whether furnishing a studio condo or redecorating a multilevel townhouse, shoppers are leaning toward timeless pieces that are built to last. “We have definitely experienced a shift in the way people purchase furniture,” Suresch says. “Trends are not just heavily dependent on what people consider stylish, but most recently, what people think will be long-lasting and multifunctional.”