24 Classic and Modern Interior Design Ideas To Inspire Your NYC Renovation

Explore timeless style with 24 curated interior design ideas, from classic to contemporary, all inspired by actual NYC renovations.

May 23, 2024


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24 Classic and Modern Interior Design Ideas To Inspire Your NYC Renovation

From classic elegance to modern minimalism, these 24 interior design ideas will inspire you to create a NYC dream home of your own.


A house isn’t a home until you’ve personalized the interior design. But, what’s your style? Whether you’ve got minimal design expertise or are a seasoned design pro looking to add some tricks to your tool-belt, this well-rounded mix of 24 interior design styles and ideas will inspire the updates needed to take your space to the next level. 

[#Classic]Classic Interior Design Styles & Ideas[#Classic]

Architectural Millwork Adds Everlasting Appeal 

While older apartments or townhomes may come with classical shelving or bookshelves pre-built into the framework of the home, many modern spaces require custom millwork to achieve that same permanent touch. When planning a renovation to your apartment or loft, consider splurging on architectural millwork like custom railings, coffered ceilings, carved crown moulding, cabinetry, or trimwork to provide a high-end classical elegance that will stand the test of time and be well worth the investment.

Exposed Brick For A Timeless Rustic Look 

For many apartments, brownstones, or townhomes, one added benefit of renovating your home is getting the opportunity to leave certain brick walls exposed. By maintaining the open-face masonry, your space gains immediate allure with a classical touch that stays in style. See how exposed brick walls accentuated the living area in our pre-war loft renovation in SoHo or in the kitchen of our Greenwich Village kitchen renovation

Tried & True Patterns 

Adding traditional interior design to your home can be simple as incorporating classical patterns in prime areas. This could mean adding a conventional floral medallion wallpaper in the kitchen (like we did in this Manhattan townhouse renovation before and after) or timeless herringbone maple flooring throughout your home, which you can view in our Upper West Side Pre-War co-op renovation. Another strong example of patterns adding traditional pop is the black and white checkered marble flooring we installed in this exceptional Tribeca bathroom renovation

Harmonize Home Design With Symmetry 

A pillar of traditional design in any setting is symmetry. Add mindfulness to your home’s interior design by incorporating agreeable matches throughout the home, whether that be immersive but balanced kitchen cabinetry as seen in our Manhattan loft kitchen renovation, side tables on either side of the couch, even numbers of artwork for a gallery wall, or opposing mirrors in the bathroom like we added in our Prospect Heights condo renovation

Value In Vintage

The right piece can add a ton of tradition to your decor, so consider digging around for choice vintage accents to place throughout your home. While an Eames chair in the living room or an inspired painting with a magnificent frame may be higher-end options, smaller pieces like decorative colorful vases, bold gold mirrors, or even an old wooden crate for your vinyl collection can provide the needed detail to root your traditional design scheme. 

[#Interior]Bohemian Interior Design Styles & Ideas[#Interior]

Layers Upon Layers 

The benefit of BoHo is anything goes. The combination of unlike design elements is key to this warming, homey design style, so don’t hesitate to layer various patterns across your space. Think area rugs with immersive patterns, rich wood textures, fab floral wallpapers, massive textured artwork. Go for the gusto. 

Color Me Bold 

Bohemian interior designs welcome bold colors with open arms. They don’t need to be overwhelming, either. Touches of daring color detailed throughout your home design will go a long way. For instance, check out the custom green vanities in this Manhattan loft renovation we did, which was a perfect match to the city’s 6 train - where our clients met. View the full renovation before and after

Tell Your Story

Another Bohemian style interior design known to personalize a space is adding touches of storytelling. Framed posters from concerts. Family heirlooms. Coordinate them by room theme, or by sprinkling items with certain colors or textures into rooms with distinct themes. This Manhattan loft renovation before and after features reclaimed wooden doors and art pieces as an ode to our clients’ passion for traveling. Notice the backsplash above from our Manhattan apartment renovation at 91 Central Park West which features 100-plus-year-old tiles our clients purchased from the Netherlands while on a family trip. We recommended including them in the enhanced pantry which required our coordination team to secure and source matching subway tile to frame-in these revered relics while narrowing in on specific paint techniques and border colors. The result was a period-specific renovation with personalized touches that the client was thrilled with.

BoHo Botanical 

Houseplants are a mainstay in BoHo spaces, bringing fresh air and color palettes to any space with light. Cover your counters with pots of succulents. Compliment the lamp on your side table with a ZZ or two. Pot some snake plants in massive clay pots and place them on floors in nooks around your home. Go wild and hang some pathos from the ceiling. While house plants require routine upkeep, adding greenery adds an immediate fresh feel indoors. 

Lean Into Your Library 

An easy way to add Bohemian appeal to any room is with an assortment of miscellaneous books. By featuring your reading collection via a walk-in library-slash-office as seen above from our full renovation of a 4,000 pre-war co-op in Manhattan at 1035 5th Avenue or the built-in shelving system as seen in our Brooklyn condo renovation before and after, your expressive side thrives via organic and expansive pops of variety and color.

[#Spanish]Spanish Mediterranean Interior Design Styles & Ideas[#Spanish]

Curved Architecture

Curves are not only a key component of Spanish Mediterranean interior architecture, they’re hotter than ever in 2023. When renovating, consider rounding out the interior design of your living space with arched doorways or a fully-curved ceiling. For example, bask in the curved archway on display in this built-in sitting nook from our Brooklyn brownstone kitchen renovation before and after

Beaming Ceiling

A typical element of southern European interior architectural design is having exposed, oversized wood beams on the ceilings, adding textured strength to the design that helps deliver a modern yet rustic feel to large indoor spaces. For example, see the beams anchoring the design of our Manhattan loft renovation at 466 Washington.

Glass Lighting

Add old world colonial class to your design with glass lighting fixtures, which are often found in Spanish and Mediterranean interiors. View their added flare throughout this Manhattan pre-war apartment renovation from our before and after portfolio.  

Let There Be Light

Mediterranean and Spanish style design are meant for temperate climates, allowing the steady sun to enlighten interior elements. Keep that warming design ideology in mind when renovating in NYC and consider walls full of oversized windows, which open up any area immensely and illuminate your well-curated space with blankets of natural light. 

[#Ideas]Contemporary And Modern Interior Design Styles & Ideas[#Ideas]

Open-Floor Concept

Although far from cutting-edge, the open-floor concept remains the most common way to create a modern decor for your home. By blending kitchen, dining and/or living spaces, you’re creating an engaging environment conducive to any of the many interior design styles like minimalist, industrial or urban modern. One of our favorite open floor concepts is this free-flowing kitchen and dining room combination we did amidst a Bed-Stuy brownstone renovation.  

Set The Mood With Scandinavian Design

One way to convey contemporary design with a calming nature is Scandinavian design. This Northern European interior design style is known for creating clean and sleek surroundings via decor elements that offer organic textures and curvature, light color palettes, and lots of open space to let the area breathe. See how we took a client’s request and incorporated Scandinavian design into this apartment combination in Columbus Circle.

Glass Or Wood Slat Divider Walls

Create division between spaces with minimal spatial investment using glass divider walls. These glass partitions are a sleek and practical method to create transitions that breathe, like the one we built alongside the staircase in this SoHo Townhouse Renovation. Another approach to informal room division is with a vertical wood slat wall. By offering a unique and sophisticated approach to open floor concepts, these are more trendy than ever in modern interiors. 

Linear Lighting 

Bold, complicated lighting fixtures are being replaced with more contemporary linear lighting in many modern interior design layouts. Whether recessed or suspended, slimmer designs deliver a more accessible, focused frame of light. For an example of their sleek style, see the hanging modern Eurofase pendant lights in our Manhattan condo renovation before and after.

Kitchen Face-Lift With Frameless Cabinets  

Cabinets are not only an essential component to practical storage in kitchens, they’re a straightforward way to establish the room’s design. Those looking to modernize their kitchen design can take a giant step forward by adding frameless cabinets, which offer expansive swatches of sleek, contemporary design that not only provide a full-access storage option, but also compliment other modern musts like quartz countertops, seamless backsplashes, and a waterfall island. See them in their full faceless glory in our Midtown condo renovation before and after or via the kitchen above from our Manhattan condo renovation at 252 7th Ave which ultra ultra modern fingerprint-resistant FENIX cabinets.

[#NYC]New York City Specific Interior Design Styles & Ideas[#NYC]

Pre-War Restore 

Although older homes in NYC come with complications, they also have incredible character. If your pre-war apartment, condo or brownstone has historic accents like gothic corbels, enriched cornices or custom window treatments that need some polish, consider refurbishing them to ensure their timelessness endures. For example, see the custom wooden fireplace we restored for this classically-inspired interior when renovating an Upper West Side pre-war co-op. View the full renovation before and after or more about our speciality in New York City pre-war renovations

Get Creative With HVAC & Radiator Enclosures

In NYC, radiators tend to stand out like a sore thumb. If more invasive than preferred, clever cosmetic interior architecture can help. Consider building around the AC unit with built-ins like a bookshelf or closet, then safely screen-in the radiator with a sheen aluminum mesh grill for ventilation. For this Brooklyn kitchen renovation, the radiator sat directly in the center of the space, requiring us to build an island around the unit - making the most of the space and the radiator a complete afterthought. For more complicated HVAC systems in larger homes, a more custom-tailored solution may be needed. For example, our pre-war co-op renovation in Manhattan at 1035 5th Ave required us to create central air in the space without having to drop ceilings that would impact the period aesthetics, or more importantly block any of the Central Park views. Our solution was a true split HVAC called a VRV system, which would require availability only few times per year. To hide the unit but offer convenient access, we placed the unit within the walls, behind a hidden closet (see above) for convenient but discrete ad hoc adjustments.

Sophisticated Style

New York City interior design is naturally associated with sophistication. That elevated style can be conveyed in various ways, whether through permeable solutions like high-end furniture and artwork or permanent fixtures such as an ultra modern bathroom design as seen above Manhattan condo renovation at 252 7th Ave or elegant marble countertops in a centerpiece kitchen, as seen in our Tribeca sky loft renovation before and after. 

Mid-Century Modern Motif 

Because of the flexibility mid-century modern design offers, smaller New York City apartments and lofts often bask in this amorphous blend of vintage and modern decor. A key to that NYC MCM look is function over form, making sure every offering has purpose. Don’t hesitate to pair contradicting styles and textures either, which is another pillar of MCM design. For more ways to incorporate this timeless design, read our Mid-Century Modern Bathroom Renovation Guide.

Celebrate Columns 

Load-bearing columns are common in many properties throughout New York City, but they’re not always leveraged properly in a home’s decor. While a steel or cast iron beam may add industrial style interior design, there are various ways to build around those exposed beams to maximize space and design for added charm. For instance, build an island around the column like we did in our Tribeca kitchen renovation or turn the column into a built-in bookcase like we did in this Manhattan condo renovation before and after

Now You’ve Got Your Ideas Down, What’s Next?

Considering a residential renovation in NYC? See how we continually guide the interior design for clients via our portfolio of renovation before and afters, learn more about Gallery, or simply contact us today. We are an award-winning design-build firm in New York City with a full-service approach to renovations in Manhattan and Brooklyn that includes everything from interior design and architecture services to filing permits and construction. We’re experts in renovating pre-war spaces, kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, millwork, and all that falls in between. Let us bring your dream home to life.

Marketing Director

Ben Bowdonhttps://www.gallerykbny.com/authors/ben-b

Ben Bowdon is the Marketing Director of Gallery KBNY, a full service design-build firm specializing in the design and interior renovation of apartments, townhomes, and lofts in NYC. For over a decade, Ben has navigated the ever-changing landscape of online marketing, delivering digital strategy solutions for companies of all sizes, until finding a permanent home with Gallery. As lead brand champion and curator, the proud Western Michigan Bronco strives to deliver thoughtful, industry-leading expertise to Gallery’s esteemed clientele via the most seamless omnichannel experience possible.




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