In the Clouds

Using furnishings, fixtures and accessories as their vocabulary, a young couple writes a personal story in their 18th-floor condo overlooking Ardmore Park

To interior and architectural designer John Plaster of John Plaster & Company, design is a sort of language, allowing him to communicate through materials, fixtures and fabrics. That vocabulary helped him and his partner, Whit Wood, to understand each other on a deeper level after they moved into an 18th-floor condo overlooking Ardmore Park. “This is the first place that was new to both of us, and it was a cool way to get to know each other better,” Plaster says.

Inspired by the clouds floating outside, the couple went with a celestial palette of whites in the living room, incorporating a pair of plush sofas and matching chairs underneath a pair of modern three-armed chandeliers that Plaster describes as “inherently playful.” Over one of the sofas, a large three-dimensional rattan wall sculpture adds another layer. “I wanted a really strong textural element there, and Whit found it,” Plaster says. “He has very good instincts.”

With expansive views from every room, Plaster saw no need to treat them as sacred. Indeed, he mounted a painting of George Washington to the window frame in the main living area. And he placed an upholstered bench against the window in the breakfast area, pairing it with a set of wooden chairs with shearling seats and a white Saarinen tulip table.

The vibe is moodier in the TV lounge, which was formerly a small bedroom. A tailored velvet sofa fits perfectly into a niche where the closet once was. Above it, a piece of reflective bronze made of plexiglass wraps the corner, mirroring the handsome walnut cabinetry on the opposite two walls. “We’re very high-low, and that makes it a place where we can live and not just gawk at,” Plaster says. “As long as the look and feel are correct, you get to invent your own world.”

The eclectic mix has been carried into the master bedroom, where ’70s-era wooden lamps that belonged to Wood’s grandfather flank a streamlined upholstered headboard with nailhead trim. Painted Japanese panels span the length of the wall over the bed, adding texture and interest.

After work, the couple often lounge on the sofas in the living room, the sunset casting a warm glow when filtered through the floor-to-ceiling draperies. It’s their time to unwind, talk about their day and enjoy the story they’ve created together through design. “We’re definitely a good team,” Plaster says. “It’s fun to have a partner who you can geek out on design with.”

INTERIOR DESIGN John Plaster, John Plaster & Company, (334) 467-5518;