Bachelor Apartment – Upper West Side, NYC

  • The dense impasto of an abstract painting inspires the neutrals of the living room sofa and wall color.

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When an Ivy League lawyer approached us to design his 1,250 square foot ‘bachelor pad’ in the Normandy on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, designed in 1938 by architect Emery Roth, we were more than pleased. The apartment had the promising starting point of exceptional architectural interest, with rounded towers and views of the Hudson River. Banks of windows followed the curve of the exterior, and the dining room walls possessed a curving half-moon contour.

The client had an educated eye, with a growing collection of contemporary and early 20th century photography – as well as a mind open to the complementary power of great furniture and decorative design. The Normandy, with Roth’s conflation of Italian Renaissance style and aspects of Art Moderne, inspired us to combine early 20th century furniture–Viennese, and discreet pieces of art deco (note the lower case!)–with more contemporary design, as well as some earlier moments, notably Regency. The result is an interior ‘masculine’ but not austere in feeling, a gentleman’s quarters which might be described as rich yet subdued.