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Emmy Rossum Wants Her Apartment to Look Like "a Modern Girl Inherited her Grandmother's Stuff"

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Alison Gootee, Studio D
Alison Gootee, Studio D

Emmy Rossum‘s New York City apartment was in such rough shape when she bought it, she nicknamed the place the “pied-á-teardown.”

A combination of the French phrase for “crash pad,” pied-á-terre, and well, you know the other half. She needed a professional redo, and fast. The star of Showtime’s Shameless, which returned for its seventh season Sunday night, asked Elle Decor to hook her up with not only a designer — Brooklyn-based Antonino Buzzetta—but all the necessary elements to outfit the space, from cabinetry and tile to chairs and hardware. The magazine obliged, and Rossum and Buzzetta set about gutting the 800-square-foot, 1928 apartment to create the “chic, European” space she envisioned.

“I wanted it to have a young energy, but with old fashioned touches,” says the actress, 30, who describes her aesthetic as the “look of a modern girl who has inherited her grandmother’s stuff.” Unfortunately, the “before” state of the place only spoke to the grandma half of that equation.

RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Shay Mitchell Gives PEOPLE a Tour Of her Glam L.A. Guesthouse

Joshua McHugh
Joshua McHugh
Joshua McHugh
Joshua McHugh
Joshua McHugh
Joshua McHugh

In addition to low ceilings, a closed-off kitchen and an abundance of red paint, “you walked in and there were doors everywhere,” explains Buzzetta. “Doors to closets so small you couldn’t fit anything into them.” When the demolition was complete, he says, “the only thing left was the floor.”

“I really liked the construction aspect of it,” Rossum adds. “Taking down the walls, solving problems. It can make you want to pull your hair out, but there’s an amazing sense of accomplishment.”

Joshua McHugh
Joshua McHugh
Joshua McHugh
Alison Gootee, Studio D
Alison Gootee, Studio D

The actress won’t likely be giving up the enviable pad any time soon. Now outfitted with Scavolini cabinetry, a Bertazzoni range and hood, and Kohler faucet, the newly open-plan kitchen is beyond rare in Manhattan. The luxe, if small, bathroom is clad top-to-bottom in Ann Sacks tiles, and the living room and bedroom host a range of luxe furnishings — including a brilliant blue sofa from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and artwork by Rossum’s mother, Cheryl, a photographer.

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Her favorite piece in the house? The antique fireplace, which she found at the Paris flea market. “We FedExed it back to New York” from Marché aux Puces,” she says. “I love the idea that I have a fireplaces from a trip to France I took with my mother. It’s so sentimental and nice. If I ever move, I’ll have to rip the fireplace out and take it with me.”

Read the full feature in the November issue of Elle Decor, on newsstands October 11.