This 415-Square-Foot West Village Apartment Is an Interior Designer’s Calling Card

Armando Aguirre was ready to make a change. After living on the Upper West Side for years—during which he turned a 250-square-foot apartment into a pandemic-era canvas of creative expression—Armando felt an unignorable push to try something new. “In my career as an interior designer, I’ve worked on every type of project available,” he says. “And I wanted to be closer to where my social life was.”

Armando in his West Village apartment

That gut feeling was telling Armando to level up and move somewhere in New York with the type of square footage that didn’t feel as precarious during a morning stretch or a late-night return. But the more he considered this shift, the more he also entertained the idea of starting his own namesake design firm. Change, at least in Armando’s case, was contagious.

“My last apartment was about hyper-functionality,” he explains. “This one has a little breathing room. I was less concerned about ‘finishing it,’ in the sense of how a designer packages up a project and delivers it to a client as one complete space. I took my time, because I wanted it to reflect where I am right now.” Armando found the fresh start he’d been searching for in a West Village apartment, where a century-old iron staircase leads to what he refers to as a “very generous studio” about double the size of his last place. There still isn’t a door separating his bedroom from the common areas, but at least there’s a way to partition one. And besides, the walls are made of concrete, the ceilings are high, and when he looks out onto a courtyard, he’s reminded of beloved scenes from Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. “This is a very solid building; I’ve never heard a sound from my neighbors,” Armando says. “There’s a lot of natural light, and I have rounded archways and base moldings.”

A pair of vintage leather armchairs by Charles Pollock sits in the living space beside the daybed Armando built himself. “These are examples of my favorite type of furniture, which is just very simple—it’s two materials, leather and metal. Even the black parts that kinda look like wood? Those are metal pieces that have been painted.”

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