It was a dream come true for me to decorate this magnificent four story townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, complete with incredible architecture and a storied history. Because of these elements, there were many design challenges that had to be considered in this project.
This 4,500 square foot townhouse is located in the Treadwell Farm Historic District, which is known for its four story row houses constructed between 1868 and 1875. My challenge was to keep with the design aesthetic that the construction of the townhouse represents. The buildings of the district were modernized in the 1910’s and 1920’s, and they reflect a simplified elegance of that era. This particular townhouse was redesigned by architect Raymond Hood in 1919. Hood is known for designing the Chicago Tribune Tower as well as the Daily News Building and the RCA Building in New York.
When beginning any project, I make a thorough review of architectural drawings, furniture placement renderings and fabric selections, conferring with the owners each step of the way, to be sure that the final design is consistent with their vision. My inspiration for this project was its extraordinary architectural features as well as the need to create a design that would permit the display of the owner’s extensive art collection, comprised of 18th, 19th, and 20th century painting and sculpture.
Featuring a double height living room and a beautiful back patio contiguous with the living room, the townhouse also features a mezzanine dining room overlooking the living room.
As the dining room is one floor above the kitchen, I installed a dumbwaiter, hidden in a mahogany cabinet in the dining room. I also created a 12’ long tempered glass dining table, which
balances on two antique urns.
The double height living room provides ample space to feature art. The largest painting, an 8’x6’ 19th century work entitled “Angelica and Medoro” by John Joseph Ansioux was placed there and works by, Miró Chapuis, Kaletski, Peter Lilly, Gilbert Stuart and Jacques Lifschitz were also displayed in the living room and mezzanine dining room.
During the nine week renovation, I modernized the bathrooms as well as dug out the basement floor to add 18” to the ceiling height so that it could accommodate an exercise room.
Cabinetry work in the townhouse was extensive due to the lack of storage facilities.
Another challenge I faced was the lighting because of the desire to highlight the art collection. It was an amazing experience to work on this job, and being able to see the owner’s vision come to life was truly wonderful.
Old world architecture meets new world Newport Harbor views.