Iranian-French interior designer and architect India Mahdavi is known for her signature bright color palette, showcased through her furniture collections, high-profile collaborations and worldwide hospitality and residential projects. She’s responsible for the Monaco-based luxury hotel Monte-Carlo Beach; Ladurée in Los Angeles and Tokyo; The Gallery at Sketch in London, the most Instagrammable space in the world; and so much more.
The Paris-based designer’s style is both eclectic and contemporary with impossibly bright, almost cartoonish color and shapes, and she has a gift for infusing tasteful pops of color into nearly every project she works on. For the highly anticipated Manhattan residential development One High Line, developer Witkoff and Bjarke Ingels Group tapped Madhavi to bring her signature color to reimagine a condo within the building. Nearly all of the furniture and decor comes from her own collections.
The ultra-luxe building in the city’ Manhattan neighborhood will attract discerning buyers, as units range from $2 million to $18 million. One High Line will almost be home to the second-ever Faena Hotel that made a name for itself in Miami.
“India Mahdavi is an icon,” says Alex Witkoff, principal at the Witkoff Group. “Her use of color and custom furniture is a microcosm of the cultural vibrancy of the West Chelsea area which is home to the city’s best art galleries and High Line art.”
What’s unique about her creation is that she wasn’t limited by a client’s requests or specifications; she designed the apartment true to her style and preference.
“I wanted to show how you can use color in a fearless way,” Mahdavi says of the condo. “I took this project and said, ‘If I had to live here and move in right away, what should I do with it?’ How we put the home together is thinking how one would live suspended in the sky, because the views, of course, are one of the main attractions here.”
Mahdavi was inspired by the colors of the surrounding landscape for the 3,474-square-foot space, like browns, blues and greens. She used greens, browns and purple, which is “very typical of my palette” for the furniture in the living areas.
“One of the other main attractions of the apartment is also to use a palette of colors that is usually not very common in some of these apartments that you present to the public,” she says. “It’s a way of showing also how you can personalize and take possession of an apartment like this in your own way without going only in neutrals and forgetting the apartment just for the views to take over. I really wanted the apartment to exist as much as the views. It’s really a conversation between the inside and the outside.”
The rest of the home features a phenomenal color palette, like yellow in the bedroom, red in the office, pink and brown bedrooms and colorful light fixtures and furniture in the kitchen. Throughout the home, there are floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the Hudson River and Lower Manhattan.
“Sometimes having these very open windows can be very overwhelming,” Mahdavi says. “It’s so beautiful and attractive, but it can be very overwhelming. I put shades on the windows so you can actually feel a bit more embraced. I needed that sense of feeling embraced.”
Art also plays an important role in her projects, and she heavily incorporates a variety of styles of artwork in the residence. Oftentimes, it’s not overt, but there are subtle playful nods. For example, in the living room is a straw marquetry table, which is part of her furniture collection, with a depiction of Bugs Bunny on it that you might not recognize unless you’re up close.
“I always try to collaborate with makers, and in this case it was Atelier Lison De Caunes, who works with straw marquetry—a very aristocratic material,” she says. “The material is very noble and beautiful so I wanted to create a contrast with this material. I had my own history growing up in the United States where my first memories were in technicolor. I was so immersed in cartoons when I was young. I used to wake up with cartoons and Bugs Bunny was one of my heroes. I like to use this very pop culture character from cartoons mixed with this straw marquetry.”
The building will welcome residents in 2023, and there are 236 unique one- to five-bedroom residences within the Bjarke Ingels-designed building. There are two towers and an array of amenities, like a 75-foot lap pool, Jacuzzi, spa, steam room, sauna, training studios, a golf simulator and more. Residents will also receive services from the Faena Hotel.