Located on the second floor of a Clinton Hill brownstone with charming pre-war finishes, Nora Deligter’s apartment was clearly the home of someone who subscribes to The World of Interiors magazine and has an eye for design. The inviting living room had a blush-pink couch from ABC Carpet & Home and 19th-century armchairs she had reupholstered in a tasteful linen. There was just one problem: the loud, clunky plastic Friedrich air conditioner unit she inherited from previous tenants.
“It was too big, and too cumbersome,” Deligter, 29, a writer and director, told The Post. “[It was] hideous.”
So in May 2021, she shelled out around $479 for a sleek, pearly-white window unit from the brand July, a Goop-approved, design-forward maker that gives buyers the option to customize its cover in colors like forest green, rose and “cloud.” She first saw this A/C of her dreams in a friend’s window — then learned there was a rumored 20,000 person waitlist to get one herself.
“It had its own identity,” she recalled, describing the smartphone-controlled unit with vents perfectly concealed by a linen cover. She received it a month after placing her order and has been proudly showing it off ever since.
“People are like, ‘Where did you find such a unicorn?’” said Deligter, who now lives in Bed-Stuy with her prized air conditioner.
Forget the hulking, hand-me-down A/C units precariously placed in apartment windows that keep residents cool while wreaking havoc on their interior design. The utilitarian appliance has undergone a dramatic glow up thanks to attractive new units from the likes of July, Windmill and Kapsul. As the mercury rises, New Yorkers are sipping cocktails and taking shelf-fies around their upgraded air conditioners, which have even become a status symbol among influencers and design fiends.
“Not gonna lie, kinda want this bougie-ass air conditioner,” a user commented on July’s Instagram page, beneath a photo of a 6,000 BTU version that goes for $479 and won’t be in stock for at least six weeks. (For 8000 BTUs, you’ll pay $529.) The current delivery estimate is at least six weeks away.
Followers of influencer Patrick Janelle, 40, who goes by @aguynamedpatrick, are more accustomed to seeing him dressed to impress in stylish settings both at home and abroad than prowling the aisles of the nearest P.C. Richard & Son. Still, Janelle’s latest partnership is with Windmill, which makes a 6,000 BTU model that resells for $365.
“You can imagine, being approached by an A/C brand would be the last thing I’d want to take on,” the Flatiron-dwelling Janelle told The Post. But, once he saw how Windmill’s design-y, all-white unit would blend with his light and bright bedroom decor, without any knobs or ugly protruding vents, he was sold.
“I love an elegant solution for utilitarian products, and when that exists, I’m totally down to incorporate it in my life,” said Janelle, who posted a photo to his Instagram, shirtless and in bed, head resting casually against his own Windmill unit. Followers instantly slid into his DMs for the discount code.
Elegant doesn’t necessarily come cheap; these lower-powered units from July and Windmill can get expensive, but they’re a bargain compared to the “world’s slimmest window air conditioner” being hawked by Kapsul. A 5,000 BTU retails for a cool $799.
No matter — the lure of the designer A/C can be plenty powerful.
Rather than retreating to Amazon for a quick fix to combat yet another Los Angeles heatwave, Emily Warburton sweated it out for two long months, waiting for her prized July unit, which she first fell in love with after being fed a number of Instagram ads. The wait was worth it.
“I’ve had a few of my neighbors mention to me how cool it even looks from the outside,” Warburton, 26, an interior designer, said.
“Old ACs were never something I wanted to purchase. I would rather scorch in my living room than have a big, clunky machine disrupt my design flow.”