So often dreams are depicted as floating clouds, and for these international clients, the long-held desire to have a New York City home was realized high in the sky.
Having purchased a sprawling apartment in an iconic building centered on Central Park, they commissioned us to design their pied-à-terre from top to bottom. We started by refining the existing architecture, improving on the proportions of openings, adding hefty wall finishes to the gypsum board walls, upgrading all lighting, HVAC grilles and covers. This created a sense of strength and superb quality to the new construction. A clever floating wall between the living and dining rooms creates a sense of separation, to shield the view before and after dinner, yet allows the light and space to flow around it. Framed in bronze and double faced in chiseled white-gold leafed glass, it also handsomely conceals a TV that appears at the touch of a button.
In every room, from the fluted plaster walled foyer, to the Venetian plaster clad living room and dining room, to the silk velvet upholstered cocoon of the ultra-luxurious main bedroom, contemporary furnishings and art from the best artisans and galleries abound. In the small cloak room, the entire space is clad in gilt panels accented with glistening mother-of-pearl commissioned from artist Nancy Lorenz. Another unique commissioned piece travels celestially down the long bedroom hall: poured glass “planets” individually applied by Rob Wynne. The foyer’s cabinet by Hervé van der Straeten sits against the fluted walls, across from a wonderous canvas by Barbara Takenaga that continues the galactic theme with its spiraling composition.
In the living room two groupings provide ample seating, arranged for entertaining or private time. A vast Promemoria sofa anchors the east end, while the north facing the park is left more open to take full advantage of the park facing view, and the changing seasons. A monumental light by Frederikson Stallard from David Gill in London balances the large-scale circular columns that are strategically placed throughout the apartment. All are clad in the same dragged dry plaster finish amplifying—and celebrating—their structural function. This is no mere lamp, but a klieg light of industrial steel and Swarovski crystals that echoes the glittering nighttime views. Other pieces were carefully selected to add unique points of interest.
In the dining room, the expansive lacquered table sits atop a floor covering of glimmering woven metal by Hechizoo from Cristina Grajales. The chairs surrounding are covered in woven strips of leather that embrace hammered satin backs. A magnificent painting by Elaine de Kooning adds fresh vibrancy to the neutral palette, and a sculpture by Tony Cragg leads the eye to the river view to the west.
The client directed that they wanted a color story that would not stop one from enjoying the views in all four directions. We settled on platinum and pearl as the background, and accented it with cobalt, wisteria, lavender and citrine. A signature of the design duo is their love of mixing materials, and here they went to town: wood, lacquer, stone, gypsum, glass, velvet, leather, mirror and bronze all mingle in provocative interaction.
For the clients, their dreams truly came to life.