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Makeover in Meatpacking

Julie Hillman brings a perfectly elegant blend to a former warehouse

Warehouses-turned-residences are not exactly rare in today's Meatpacking District in New York City, but this conversion sets itself apart. The stylistic playfulness and French-inflected elegance at work here are evidence of designer Julie Hillman, who brings ten years of experience in fashion to her interior design practice. While contemporary in tone, Hillman's point of view is influenced, she says, by an appreciation for French decorative arts and architecture of  the 1940s and 1950s as well as classic, more typically American modernism. Her goal: “Create an eclectic, elegant vibe without detracting from the character of the space."

Meatpacking District, NY by Julie Hillman | Knoll Inspiration

Photograph by Manolo Yllera de la Concha.

In this project, Hillman approached the space with two additional design objectives: honor the building’s industrial history and make it more livable. “It's a very urban structure,” Hillman explains, “and I wanted it to create an environment that was welcoming.” Plush, velvet textures and curvaceous forms are used toward that end, while geometric side tables and laquered surfaces round out the overall impression of the modern loft.

Meatpacking District, NY by Julie Hillman | Knoll Inspiration

“Platner's Easy Chairs are the perfect blend of nostalgia and timeless, innovative design.”

—Julie Hillman

Photograph by Manolo Yllera de la Concha.

Among the softly textured curves in the apartment's living room can be found two Platner Easy Chairs, introduced by Knoll in 1966. Given her talent for creating spaces that are at once luxurious, light, and understatedly elegant, it is no surprise that Hillman gravitates toward Warren Platner's designs to anchor the room. With the collection of furniture he designed for Knoll, Platner sought to fill a gap he had identified within the modernist tradition.

“As a designer," Platner once stated, "I felt there was room for the kind of decorative, gentle, graceful kind of design that appeared in a period style, like Louis XV, without applied decoration.”

For Hillman’s purposes, Platner provides another benefit: warmth. “One great way to warm up a space is to mix vintage with more contemporary pieces and materials," she says. "Platner's Easy Chairs are the perfect blend of nostalgia and timeless, innovative design.” 


Project Credits:

Design: Julie Hillman
Photography: Manolo Yllera de la Concha

All photographs are courtesy of Manolo Yllera de la Concha.


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Platner Easy Chair
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Platner Ottoman