Apartment tour: Mod pod

This designer's apartment is more modern than MoMA-and a little less conventional.

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  • This sparkling gold Swarovski table is the centerpiece of the apartment

  • Treasures from her travels: "I fell in love with these pots when I went to...

  • A cozy sitting nook with an amazing view

  • Landau's sprawling patio offers 360-degree views of the city skyline

  • On her Zen-like abode: "I know I'm in the city, but it's such a peaceful place...

  • Landau lounging with two of her loves: art and fur

  • "They bring me good luck," she says of her Buddha collection

"Ten years ago, everyone told me not to move here," says fashion designer Adrienne Landau, gazing at the city skyline from her penthouse apartment in Hell's Kitchen. Landau gut-renovated two top-floor studios to create her sleek, sophisticated abode. "I like a lot of glass, stone and organic-feeling objects," she says of her streamlined home. Her monotone walls are adorned with standout accessories: An Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe supergraphic, which she received as a present, hangs above a gold-embossed lion she bought in China. Landau describes her eclectic design aesthetic as "Rothschild meets modern art; old Renaissance, but interpreted in a new way; and caveman meets Art Basel." It's random, but it works.

"I wanted the whole thing to feel like a gallery," she says, explaining the raised flooring throughout the main space. Most of the pieces in her apartment are certainly museum worthy. Some items she picked up while traveling (the colorful clay pots, from Beijing), others she snapped up at a local flea market (the kitchen chairs and Lucite side table) and some she made herself (the paintings and all of the fur pieces). Every object has a story behind it, like the Swarovski gold table—the centerpiece of the apartment—that she won in an auction, even though she had no real use for it. Among a collection of good-luck Buddhas is a gold statue from Thailand. "It belonged to my mother," Landau says. "She had it with her during Hurricane Andrew in Miami and she said it kept her safe."

Landau further personalizes her home with a little DIY. Most of the artwork on the walls she painted herself. Inspired by "nature and creation of the world," she starts by laying a large canvas on the floor, then mixes together unconventional materials, using sponges, towels and even paper instead of traditional paint brushes. "They are never planned. I think that's what makes them interesting," she says. The abundant fur accents scattered around her apartment (there are rugs, stools, beanbag chairs and more) are from her eponymous fashion line.

Landau is an expert at combining unusual materials to create beautiful masterpieces—both in her apartment and in her successful fashion brand. "I actually got into designing by accident," she says. "I traded my friend a painting for a fur coat and just fell in love." Her friend had scraps of fur lying around, so Landau started reworking the textiles just for fun. 30 years later, she's still designing her famous fur coats ; her brand has expanded to include home goods; and her designs can be seen on bercelebs like Madonna and Sharon Stone. "When you're meant to do something, everything just falls into place," she says, describing her career and her apartment.

Why Hell's Kitchen?

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