Home Tour: A Ballerina's Manhattan Paradise

A 25-year-old designer has a unique vision for a piece of New York history.

DOSSIER: NAME: Sasha Bikoff TRADE: Interior Designer VIBE: Ballet Russe meets Studio 54. ABODE: Apartment in The Dakota building on the Upper West Side of New York City. At just 25 years old, Sasha Bikoff is one of New York City's most promising new talents in design. After working at the Gagosian Gallery for three years, she's now jumpstarting her design and art career. "I tackle a blank canvas the way I tackle a home," she says. "One thing leads to the next, and I take my time until I find the perfect pieces." Years spent in Paris and Miami have helped shape her vision, and the result is a chic aesthetic that's equal parts Scarface and French midcentury. Her latest project is a total renovation of a 4700-square-foot apartment in the legendary Dakota building in New York City, where she draws upon her client's creative journey to create a "closet de curiosities."

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Bikoff's client is a pianist and a ballerina of Iranian descent who was a fixture on the Studio 54 scene, and that background gave the designer much to work with. The space is decidedly feminine and elegant, combining old world luxury with '70s glam and a dash of '50s nostalgia. To execute her vision, Bikoff scoured antique stores and auction sites looking for unique items of historical relevance, and scored some rare pieces for her client. "People do not entertain like they used to with fancy cocktail and dinner parties," Bikoff says. "When I buy vintage pieces, I try to bring that panache back into the home. I try to create a lifestyle that they will want to live in forever."
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Eames® Hang-It-All, $199, Design Within Reach Antique Bench with Shell Inlay, Price Upon Request, Andrianna Shamaris  19th c. Gilded Louis XVI Settee in Vintage Suzani Upholstery, $5800, 1st Dibs

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One of Bikoff's many talents is designing for each client's personality. "Creating a home for me is more than just the design, it's about having a deep understanding of who you are working with," she says. "My clients may not know it, but I notice everything from the shoes on their feet to the cars they drive." As evidenced by the grand salon, which is home to a Steinway Concert Edition Grand Piano, Bikoff creates rooms perfectly tailored to her client. From the ivory petal chair reminiscent of a ballerina's tutu, to the black Milo Baughman chairs that hail from the client's heyday, it all has meaning.
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Milo Baughman Cantilevered Barrel Chair, Price Upon Request, 1st Dibs French Bronze Palm Chandelier by Bagues, $4800, 1st Dibs Chippendale Arm Chair, $795, Jonathan Adler

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Both the foyer and the master bedroom are covered in hand-painted de Gournay wallpapers. "I am always incorporating foliage and leaves in my spaces because it creates a certain exoticism, as if you are entering another world," Bikoff says. The entryway, with black and white Eden wallpaper and a custom-made brass palm chandelier feels like an escape from the city. The wisteria wallpaper in the bedroom is restful and regal, especially when paired with a canopy bed that's fit for Marie Antoinette. Touches of emerald green are scattered throughout the bedroom and the adjoining closet, which is a fashionista's fantasy. "I think that people are very afraid to use color and opt for neutrals because it's safe," Bikoff says. "Smaller rooms are great for color because you can create a little jewel box of a room, and have a whole new experience just by setting a different tone."
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Etched Arcadia Mural, $298, Anthropologie Drum Lampshade Malachite Emerald Green, $60, Etsy Versa Cotton Carpet, From $450, Madeline Weinrib
_headshot Photography: Nicole Cohen
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