On Location: A Look Inside the Design of our August Cover Shoot

By Pamela Jacobs
On Location: A Look Inside the Design of our August Cover Shoot
Debbie Travin
Debbie Travin

By Pamela Jacobs

At the Resident, the locations we choose for our cover shoots are an integral part of the story. Through them, we aim to evoke the look and feel of both the article and the magazine itself. The space in which we shoot the photos plays an important supporting role.

This month's cover story featuring Andi Dorfman was shot on location at 210 Central Park South, in a gorgeous apartment with breathtaking, expansive views of Central Park. The airy, light-filled space proved to be the perfect match for the feel of the shoot, and was met with "oohs" and "ahhs" from everyone who entered. It was the ideal backdrop for photographing the beautiful Andi Dorman, as well as the spectacular clothes and diamonds our cover star wore (Jitrois and Theory, and Christopher Designs, respectively.)

As it turns out, when the owners first purchased the apartment (actually, two apartments that they combined into one), it was quite different. "It was pretty much a gut-job," the owner told me as I commented on the beauty of the space. It seems the interior designer had her work cut out for her.

Luckily, I had the opportunity to sit down with the designer, Debbie Travin of DLT Interiors, and was fortunate to spend some time learning more about the work on this particular apartment, as well as the design process, in general.

An award-winning "one-stop-shop" designer, Travin is a leader in the field of interior design, and is known for her timeless approach that's both thoughtful and personal—always capturing the personality of the space and the people who call it home.

When you first sit down with a client, how do you get a sense of their personal style and what it is they are looking for?

The first meeting I have is to discuss, in detail, what style/look they would like to achieve. I ask them to look through inspiration photos of each room, and to show me what they like about that particular room. It may be just the color scheme, or the overall feeling of that room they like. I also ask them to tell me what they don't like, so I know what to avoid.

Do you have a particular type of style that you personally lean toward—with regards to designing clients' spaces—or is it completely based on them and their desires? 

I listen very carefully to my clients' desires and needs and don't go searching until I feel I know exactly what they would love. I also take into consideration their lifestyle. For example, many of my clients have children, therefore, I need to make it kid-friendly—but sophisticated at the same time.  I do my very best to take their vision and transform it into their dream home.

How do the actual property and location come into play? If you're working on an extremely modern home in a brand-new building, for instance, and the client's taste is very retro or classical, how would you reconcile the differences between the space and their tastes? 

I try to make my clients understand it's important to take the architecture and landscape of the space into consideration. A simple example is that you wouldn't design a sprawling mountain home as you would a beach villa/bungalow. Both the architecture and landscape should be worked into the interior design accordingly.

Staging is all the rage in real estate these days; how important is it to the selling process?

I believe it is very important. Most people cannot visualize an empty space. They need to see furnishings and accessories in order to completely visualize themselves using and enjoying the space.

What was involved in the work you did on this space [210 Central Park South]? Was there a particular feel the client wanted to achieve?

This was a very large project where we combined two apartments together and completely reconfigured the floor plan, making it a complete gut. It was great to have a clean slate to do exactly what my clients wanted, which was to create a soft, serene—as well as sophisticated—interior that would make them feel like they were in their own private oasis, away from the hectic city life outside their doors.

One of the many attributes of this apartment are the amazing Central Park views. How big of a role did they play in the design?

The views played a major role, because it was the only reason they actually bought the apartment. It sure wasn't the interior! We designed the kitchen to be in the center of the apartment, with it open to the views. All the windows were changed to be floor-to-ceiling windows, which made a huge impact to enjoy the views. Also, when you enter the apartment, the first thing you see is the incredible views of the park.

Is there a specific trend you're seeing in a lot of in NY interiors right now?

I think people are going away from the super sleek, cold modern look. I'm finding my clients are asking for their interiors to feel clean and fresh, but at the same time warm, welcoming, and comfortable—which makes perfect sense, considering it is your home, not a showroom.

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Apartment photos by Robert Nunez

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