Brick & Wonder member Magdalena Keck has worked as an interior designer for 15 years in and around New York City. Glitterati recently published a monograph, titled Pied-à-Terre: Magdalena Keck, that features thirteen of her projects with stunning photos and detailed descriptions written by Tiziana Proietti.
“I never thought about publishing a book, but after doing interior design for 15 years and documenting the work in a consistent matter, I realized there was an opportunity to have some of the most significant projects presented in one place,” Keck explained to Brick & Wonder.
The danger with minimalism is that, by stripping out excess or ornamentation, spaces can feel cold and unlivable. It takes a certain skill to pare back an interior and maintain a welcoming ambiance.
But this is exactly what New York-based designer Magdalena Keck has achieved during her years of experience in the industry— applying her philosophy across a varied portfolio that includes residences, retail, and offices. Keck brings drama to minimalism.
It is a quiet drama that sings rather than shouts; a choir of harmonies rather than a bold solo. Feature elements in her designs integrate seamlessly into their surroundings while providing just enough interest to catch the eye.
This is even more evident in Keck’s residential work, for which she deservedly received the most attention and praise. Sticking to a strict palette and set of rules for each project allows her concepts to permeate throughout a space—from one bedroom pied-à-terre to a three-story penthouse.
What impresses me most about Keck’s work is that, through careful material choices and selection of both hard and soft furnishings, she manages to make even the most sparse home feel Intimate. The atmosphere of a restrained yet cozy Scandi loft is easily enough evoked with an abundance of pale wood and a set of Wegner’s wishbone chairs. But Keck achieves the result with mostly contemporary pieces, often sourced locally, creating a look that remains quintessentially New York.
In the Twenty-first century, when all are glued to screens and forever touching cold, hard surfaces, it is this kind of minimalism that one craves. Gone are the days of sleek and shiny finishes, we increasingly desire a tactility that comes from textiles and woods. Keck has the ability to integrate these textures into rooms in a way that preserves a crisp, clean aesthetic while feeling soft and sultry. In her hands, less can still be warm.
Photography: Brick & Wonder Member, Jeff Cate