photography by @movingbodyofwork
When entering Barbara Corcoran’s bright, airy living room, there is an immediate sense of relaxation and calm. In the bustling metropolis that is New York City, this soothing oasis has been created as a respite from the craziness of the every day. Crafting a space that has such a peaceful atmosphere can be daunting. Enter Josiane Raphael. Josiane is one of Arhaus’ star interior designers. When the challenge came to transform Barbara’s space, she used her fabulous talents to construct a place that you never want to leave.
Josiane’s style is a fusion of past and present. After growing up in Cameroon, where her mother once found her drawing all over the white bed sheets, she left for France to study architecture. And this was just the beginning of the journey that would one day lead her to Arhaus and Barbara Corcoran.
Over the next 25 years, Josiane would transform museums and private mansions in France, create custom designs for embassies and Presidential Palaces in Africa, and complete numerous projects in the US. For each endeavor, her love of tradition and culture would shine through her own modern interpretations, taking into account her African origins and bringing each visitor on a journey through chic, elegant, unique designs.
Her travels would lead her to create unique spaces that reflect different styles from around the world. In fact, it’s why she fell immediately in love with Arhaus. The artisanal, sustainable concept, the hand-crafted furniture and globally inspired eclectic one-of-a-kind pieces caught her imagination. With this immense library, she could make a visual storybook for any client. The possibilities were endless!
About the space
Enter Barbara Corcoran, who stepped into the NYC showroom looking to remodel her family room in the Upper East Side. The project had been causing her much frustration; it needed to reflect her busy lifestyle full of kids, pets, and a love for entertaining. Ultimately, she wanted to create a light, casual space that was both comfortable and low maintenance, yet chic and modern.
Working off a floor plan, Josiane suggested the Tahoe Sofa. With its solid wood frame, tailored look, and low-profile silhouette. It was the perfect choice. To further customize the experience, Josiane used soft white linen fabric and upgraded the cushions to a down and foam core blend for a more supportive seat.
In the window boxes, she created additional seating for guests by adding customized cushions created in the same fabrics. Everything was then topped off with blue, patterned pillows to add a bit of texture.
The final piece to Barbara’s peaceful palace was a beautiful soft blue relic bench in the upstairs hall—a cozy nook that both compliments her incredible art collection and the perfect spot to enjoy the fabulous Central Park views.
This is the part of the process which is Josiane’s favorite, the “Épanelage Symbolique,” a French saying that symbolizes the transformation of her version coming to life. And, it was a favorite of Barbara and her family’s too, because this was the moment they could fall into the couch, and enjoy their new space together.