Fashion Forward

Bill Musso and Seth Van den Bergh cultivate a vibrant condo that blends sleek modernity with comfortable warmth to accommodate a pair of fashion-forward clients.

Fashion rules the roost in this Midtown condo, where a spectrum of fabrics and furnishings pops against sleek fixtures and finishes. While the loft was a downsize for homeowners Jeffrey and Felix, a dynamic couple who love to entertain, the limited square footage did nothing to deter designers Bill Musso and Seth van den Bergh of MUSSO from making the most of the 1,650-square-foot space. Inspired by their clients’ penchant for fashion and all things stylish, Musso and van den Bergh set out to create a contemporary interpretation of 1970s glamour and Miami chic.

“From the beginning, we all were in sync in what we wanted to achieve: a dramatic, sexy place where you can expect the unexpected,” says Musso. The duo began by adjusting the floor plan and shifting walls to open up flow and provide plenty of room for entertaining.

Formerly located on the farthest end of the condo, the kitchen, a collaborative project with Matthew Quinn of Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio, was shifted to the center of the space to take its rightful place as the heart of the home. To keep from competing with the vibrancy of the adjoining spaces, the design dream team selected neutral finishes and clean-lined cabinetry, which also provide plenty of storage and keep clutter at bay.

To that end, much like the format of an art gallery, white walls (Sherwin-Williams’ Pure White) and floors serve as a fresh backdrop for the glamorous furnishings decorating the condo’s public spaces. “The white gave us a chance to highlight certain things without feeling complicated,” notes van den Bergh. “Budgets and small spaces encourage thoughtful editing. That’s what I think really makes this a strong unit.”

This artistic balance is evident in rooms such as the dining area and den, which exude a laid-back elegance thanks to jewel tones, lush fabrics and gold accents. Eye-catching artwork from the clients’ own collection is also a staple throughout the condo, including a creative gallery wall of portraits depicting some of Jeffrey’s inspirational figures, including Betsey Johnson, Alexander McQueen and Grace Coddington.

Musso and van den Bergh continued this playful palette in the living room, where a lacquered aubergine wall and canopy designate the space. A punchy photograph by Nicolas Bets, paneled mirrors and custom furniture give off the feel of a sleek cocktail lounge, while layers of textured fabrics and thoughtful accessories add coziness and comfort. “They wanted it to have this energy of living in the city—almost like you could have plucked it out of Miami—yet also be comfortable,” notes van den Bergh.

It’s this deliberate editing that allows the home to accommodate the clients’ modern tastes without skewing too cold or too busy. “I think one of the most rewarding things was when Bill and I did sort of an open stage reveal with the clients,” says van den Bergh. “Talk about seeing yourself really change someone’s life.” Yet Jeffrey and Felix weren’t the only ones satisfied with the final product.

“It’s always rewarding when people love what you do,” Musso agrees. “But at the end of the day, to finally see something come to fruition and have everything fit how we expected it to fit—we wouldn’t have done anything differently.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Bill Musso and Seth van den Bergh, MUSSO. (404) 873-1773;