Westside Modern

UPPER WEST SIDE – NYC

Westside Modern

Once one passes through the Foyer, this top floor light-filled apartment takes full advantage of the views south over the Museum of Natural history and a broad and expansive view of mid-town Manhattan.  

We reconfigured this pre-war apartment with a more open layout for a cosmetic industry executive. This top floor apartment had a great bonus feature, more ceiling height! The original nine-foot ceiling was removed and the ceiling raised to almost eleven feet creating an enviable lofty experience.

One of our studio mantras is “Storage is a key to mental health!”; the opening up of this apartment did not sacrifice storage – to the contrary, the storage space increased substantially.  Aside from the Kitchen cabinets, there are more than thirty-five linear feet of closet space, a queen-sized Murphy bed, and a washer/drier closet!

In the public spaces, the apartment balances classic modern forms, calm neutrality, and comfort, with some visual excitement. The palette of materials and textiles in the public spaces is a range of grays with blues and some hots pops of red.

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The Dining Area in this open loft-like penthouse apartment has views South over the Museum of Natural History with a broad and expansive view of mid-town Manhattan

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The open loft-like apartment has a kitchen that is partially open to the Dining area allowing the southern light to fill the room during the day.

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Kitchen cabinets are in two different values of grey to add visual layering and to differentiate  between areas of the apartment.

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Living Room seating group with a pair of vintage Robsjohn-Gibbings arm chairs, built-in bookcases, and a striking photograph by Jeffrey Rothstein

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In the 21st century having a television is a common necessity, but finding a convenient and discreet location can be a challenge. The large built-in bookcase and the remarkable view balance the glossy black of the flat screen television, which is a perfect distance and height for viewing.

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The red elements in the artwork tie in with a clear visual line of sight to the red urn in the Living Room. A Lindsay Adelman light fixture marks the center of the room that corresponds to the center of the round area rug below.

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In the bedroom, the owner wanted a calm space with some glamour. The first purchase for this room was an antique Japanese textile with graphic curvilinear shapes on a mottled green field mounted in a gild frame that hangs over the bed. The 1920’s crystal Moser lamps from Czechoslovakia  sit upon custom oval bedside tables covered in an ivory linen. The textile inspired the use of complimentary lavender walls and rich purples, and other green accents.

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A vintage porcelain lamp  sits upon a custom wood bureau with linen-faced drawers. The striking Lucio Fontana work on paper from the 1970’s brings the rich color purple to this corner of the room seen from the bed.

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The Office is open to the Living Room such that there is a flood of light throughout the public rooms due to the unobstructed Southern light. The back wall are cabinets for office storage, out-of-season storage, guest storage and a Queen-sized Murphy bed. The chandelier (one of a pair) are from Schoolhouse Electric.

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Dark slate floors without a curb into the shower and a linear drain help to expand the sense of space in this small interior bath. Graphic marble subway tiles gives the room a lot of visual personality only surpassed by the porcelain enamel vanity cabinet in fire engine red!

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The dark slate floors are used in the Master Bathroom but with a softer veined marble walls and wainscot. An enormous full-height medicine cabinet gave this cosmetic industry executive plenty of room for her lotions and potions.

Reinvented Tradition – Park Avenue

Upper East Side – Park Avenue

Reinvented Tradition

This expansive Carnegie Hill apartment, just steps from The Guggenheim Museum and Central Park, is owned by a couple who have called it their home for nearly four decades. They raised their two children here and have entertained a multitude of friends and family over time.

With the children grown and having moved on to create their own lives, this couple was ready to redecorate the public and private rooms. With a penchant for traditional design and an interest in having their home feel fresh again, they contacted Glenn Gissler Design.

In our initial meetings, my clients shared their appreciation for jewel tones, which informed our palette, as set against warm and cool neutrals that serve as a backdrop. And while virtually all the furniture and furnishings–new, vintage, and antique–were fresh acquisitions for this apartment, we chose pieces that echo our clients’ taste for classical aesthetics.

When the installation was complete, one of my client’s longtime friends came to visit, offering her the ultimate compliment: “It’s beautiful, and while everything is different, I see YOU in all of it!” Glenn Gissler Design considers it a compliment, too.



Glenn Gissler - Sharpe Nyack - New York State

A vibrant canvas by the late American abstract impressionist painter John Opper takes pride of place in the apartment’s gracious living room. Two deep-seated sofas are upholstered in lush blue velvet, with a pair of club chairs covered in a Zak & Fox textile and two Regency-style benches covered in paprika-hued velvet. The curtains were tailored from a Cowtan & Tout floral fabric.

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In the living room, a custom basketweave pattern area rug carpet in shades of sandstone grounds the space with a subtle rhythmic geometry. In the foreground, a ceramic vessel by Pablo Picasso rests atop a Paul Frankl table from the 1930s. The cheerful brick-colored glazed ceramic lamp, one of a pair, is mid-20th century from France.

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Across the entry gallery, we placed an Aesthetic Movement console table, replete with Wedgewood cameos ringing the apron. The gilded Neoclassical mirror was part of the homeowner’s collection. A pair of mahogany side chairs flank the console, resting atop a custom carpet with a stylized double–helix border. The pale blue ceiling balances the warm tones perfectly.



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On one side of the entry gallery, a pair of lyrical metal sconces recall the work of Alberto Giacometti, bathing the space in an amber glow. Hanging between them is a minimalist work on paper by Ellsworth Kelly. The bench is a custom piece Glenn Gissler Design created for the room; it is covered in a Studio Four fabric and is detailed with brass sabots capping the legs. A small ball-and-stick Aesthetic Movement table from the late 19th century completes the tableau.

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A handsome console table and a pair of vintage chairs greet guests in the apartment’s elevator vestibule. The framed vintage black and white photographs of life in New York City in the late 1940s are by Arthur Leipzig are from the client’s collection.

Divers, East River, 1948
Chalk Games, 1950
Stickball, 1950.
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The dining room walls, and adjacent seating area, are upholstered in a cabbage rose-patterned fabric from Cowtan & Tout; the walls absorb noise and provide perfect acoustics for lively conversations. The wall pattern informed the color choices for the cabinet insets and the upholstered dining chairs, which are backed in a Venetian-inspired textile from Le Gracieux. The Regency-style dining table, which we restored, expands to accommodate larger parties.

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The curious, almost Aztec-like face on Pablo Picasso’s “Visage dans un carré” plate, 1956,  peers into the dining room from the center of the built-in cabinetry.

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Across from the dining room is an informal seating area with gracefully tailored upholstered pieces covered in textured neutrals. A built-in desk at the far end provides space for writing notes or answering emails. Sheer Roman shades diffuse the afternoon light.

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A charming home office was fashioned off one corner of the blue bedroom, stylishly defined from the larger space by a portiere curtain. The striped Roman shade, desk chair, and window seat are all made from Cowtan & Tout fabrics.

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A shade of barely-there blue paint wraps the perimeter of this peaceful bedroom. The photo by Mary Ellen Bartley sets a calming aesthetic. The undulating chandelier provides overhead light, while a pair of crackle-glazed lamps perched atop a pair of mahogany nightstands, illuminate for pre-slumber reading. The decorative pillows are covered in textiles from Kravet.

Photos by Gross & Daley

Global Inspired Modern

UPPER WEST SIDE – NYC

Global Inspired Modern

A young West Coast transplant to New York City found a great two bedroom apartment to put down her roots. The 1920’s apartment had all the character people seek in more traditional apartments, but rather than pursuing a traditional decor we put together a younger, more comfortable style with global patterns and textures mixed with some mid-century inspiration. 

Our young client grew up in a household with a lot of art, and the tradition continues here with works on paper by David Hockney, Henri Matisse, Jean Dubuffet, and others, as well as some multi-cultural artifacts  from Africa, Japan, and Persia.

We established a continuous color palate throughout the apartment that was used for upholstery, curtains and paint colors that includes lavender, light and medium blues, deep purple that were coupled with a white trim and millwork throughout. And used a mix of textures and modern shapes and soft silhouettes to create a younger and more feminine feeling for the apartment. 

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An organic blown glass bubble chandelier hangs over a modern table paired with rattan dining chairs for a less formal feeling. Purple linen curtains frame the only window in the Dining Room, which help to balance the wonderful Jean Dubuffet print. 

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A colorful vintage Persian rug establishes a global point of view at the front door with a grey shagreen covered console table seen against the texture of neutral grass cloth. The purple stool serves a purpose in this shoes-free home, and the vintage sculpture and geometric raspberry lamp add further interest. 

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The large comfortable linen-covered sofa with its bohemian mix of pillows covered in velvet, linen and kilim rug remnants encourage hanging out, casual entertaining, reading or watching a movie. The owner’s love of book inspired the wall of custom bookshelves, which bring a casual den-like feeling to the room. Bronzy golden metals are used in a variety of ways throughout the apartment for furniture, lighting, hardware, trays and some picture frames. 

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Casual linen-covered sofa with a  back-drop of a built-in bookcase.

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A pair of mid-century modern sideboards, each with a pair of modern purple lamps and large mirrors over them, create an infinity spatial effect in the Dining Room.

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An organic blown glass bubble chandelier hangs over a modern table paired with rattan dining chairs for a less formal feeling. Purple linen curtains frame the only window in the Dining Room, which help to balance the wonderful Jean Dubuffet print. 

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The bright second bedroom serves as a modern home office, with a large built-in work surface and extensive storage as well as a chic daybed that can accommodate overnight guests. 

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A deep purple paint was used to create a rich calm sleeping environment with a mix of soft colors as a compliment. Linen curtain, velvet bench, waffle textured bedcover and an over-scaled knit throw continue the tactile surfaces used in the apartment. 

Maine Summer Retreat

SORRENTO, MAINE

Maine Summer Retreat

Shore House, as its owners call it, is a new house with deep roots in history, intimately connected to both to both time and place. Its architecture reflects the strong vernacular traditions of downtown east Maine but in a modern enough way that you know that it is of now, not then. Like so many of the best houses, it i a study in subtle contradictions, some yin and some yang. At once elegant but casual, buttoned-up but laid-back. Inside you’ll find family treasures mixed with auction house finds and up-to-date additions. Throughout, says interior designer Glenn Gissler, it shows the owners’ “appreciation for patina, quirkiness, and the willingness to tolerate less than perfection, giving the house a sophisticated and considered aesthetic with a ‘nothing precious’ vibe.”

It is a quiet retreat for two but near enough to extended family to be a gathering place for many. It is, as the owners spelled out, a house that is comparatively small but, as Gissler puts it, “lives spaciously.” Gissler, who is based in New York, had worked with the homeowners before; their home base is Boulder, Colorado, but they have a pied-à-terre in Manhattan that he designed. The architects–Kay Stevens Rosa and Augusto Rosa of Bar Harbor’s A4 Architects—had not previously worked with the couple but found that their goals and ideas for making the house were perfectly aligned.

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The design of the house, both inside and out, recalls vintage summer houses on the Maine coastline. The spacious, yet cozy, Living Room takes full advantage of the view across the water towards Mount Desert Island dissolving the relationship between inside and out. offers a plethora of different seating and lounging options depending upon the time of day, the activity at hand, or the number of people that have gathered.

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A vintage Thebes stool is set with a pair of modern wing chairs in rich raspberry cotton velvet that flank the fireplace used on cool summer evenings. The custom-made tile surround soft iridescence. When the nights are warm, the chairs have the best view looking south towards Mount Desert Island.

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The stairway features an American arts and crafts table, circa 1910, with a  number of vintage and antique items, with a flower arrangement gathered from the property. The print on the stair landing is from a local artist, 90-year-old artist Dan Miller.

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While much of the furniture in the house was already in the family, the farm table was custom made for the living room; the chairs are Yorkshire spindle-backs with rush seats from the late-eighteenth or early-nineteeth century.

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In the kitchen, vintage turned chairs with rush seats pull up to a center island topped with Vermont granite. Overhead is a new vintage-style Holophane light fixture. The cabinets, which were crafted locally, are hand painted in Farrow and Ball’s “Pelt.”

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Nearly every room in the house has views of the water with the Kitchen being no exception. The spacious eat-in Kitchen has stools and vintage chairs with rush seats, with the understated vernacular building methods including board & batten walls, and a wood-clad ceiling.

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Dreamy spot in all seasons with a  view to Mount Desert Island beyond

"Wow, Glenn and Craig, the interior lighting you have found for us is wonderful. We love the look of every piece, and as a whole. Great job, thanks very much."

– Client

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The design of the house connects it both to its setting and to the coastal traditions of downeast architecture.

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A circa-1910 American arts and crafts oak desk provides work space in the office, and an articulated oak armchair with wide drop-leaf arms (also American, circa 1910) offers a spot to relax and read. Sailing memorabilia, including a framed chart, serve to reinforce the house’s seaside location.

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The bedroom features a window seat as well as an antique hooked rug. The antique painted table was bought at auction. The jolly and stylish Lollipop chair by George Hunzinger is from the late-nineteeth century.

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In the owner’s suite has an understated country elegance, the steel four-poster bed and the Gustavian-style chests are paired with vintage cloisonné lamps.

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The flagstones for the terrace were found on the property which helps to literally ground the house. The double sliding doors make for a dissolution between outside and in, with a view to the sophisticated but livable decor inside.

Bachelor’s Home – Upper West Side

Upper West Side – NYC

Bachelor’s Home

This comfortable, graciously-scaled apartment, purchased by a new-media maverick, came with a rather imaginative client brief: Create a New York apartment that felt like a European magazine editor lived there.

Rising to the challenge, Glenn Gissler Design began by establishing a refined palette of burnished jewel tones: topaz, aquamarine, citrine, garnet, and amethyst. Taken collectively, the colors draw the eye from one surface to the next in much the same way the 18th-century gentry traveled from London to Paris to Rome and then on to points East. The furnishings extend the concept with silhouettes and finishes that reference many of the far-flung locales to which our itinerant client has decamped.

And as for far-flung locales, items purchased abroad–from art and artifacts to furniture and textiles–were incorporated into the design. The result? A serene haven perched above the city’s frenetic streets, deeply reflective of the homeowner’s wanderlust lifestyle.

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A melange of textures inflects this stylish living room–a nubby bouclé tub chair, crisp linen curtains, a sumptuous velvet sofa, and a thick pile rug. Wooden pieces, and the marble coffee table, add an organic quality, all nestled in a subtle envelope of barely-there blue-gray walls and ceiling.

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A Chinese scroll painted by Shanghai-born, Singapore-based artist Hong Zhu takes pride of place above an expansive four-seat sofa in the style of Jean Michel Frank, which is upholstered in lush velvet. Framed and hung in landscape format, the work creates a horizon, establishing a dialogue with the striped club chair seen to the left. The small Isamu Noguchi lamp enhances the linear motif. 

The Choros Chandelier, designed by Barry Goralnick, strikes a serpentine counterpoint.



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Crisp geometries forge a masculine edge in this corner vignette, which is subtly mitigated by the barely-there curve of the club chair arms and the sinuous brass lamp fashioned from a Late Qing Dynasty Chinese urn. A matching lamp illuminates the dining room.

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The richly patinated mahogany finish on this Chinese Chippendale breakfront lends a note of historical reference while housing a collection of Asian pottery and cherished books. A single carved side chair, which compliments the cabinet, stands at the ready to be pressed into service for guests.



Fantastique! What a setting...Sophisticated and timeless...!

– Client

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In the apartment’s entryway, an arresting painted-wood Lanna Thai Buddhist manuscript holder, which once held contemplative texts, now provides a surface to display an ever-changing montage of books, flowers, and object d’art. The ink-on-newspaper drawing above is by the Vietnamese artist Dinh Y Nhi.

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The multipurpose seating area does triple duty as a combined dining room, sitting room, and office. “Join The Circle” 2003, a joyful, exuberantly kinetic work by the artist Pacita Abad, informs the color palette.

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Anchoring the opposite side of the entry, an expansive collection of oft-referenced books, housed on oak shelves, creates a pleasing rhythm while revealing the interests of the homeowner. Donald Sultan’s “Eight Red Poppies” 2002 hangs above. The Chinese infant is actually a porcelain headrest from Beijing.



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A more expansive view includes a bronze sculpture titled “Dancers” by the late Israeli artist Noemi Schindler, who reimagined the human form. The armless sofa was chosen to reflect the space’s casual, eclectic vibe. The orange lumbar pillows were fashioned from a textile purchased in Myanmar.

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The silhouette of this bronze table lamp can be traced to prehistoric China when potters modeled their work after organic forms. The adjacent lacquered box, in the shape of a deer, is from Cambodia and is one of our client’s favorite treasures.

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Hand-engraved hardware set against patinaed wood defines this Korean blanket chest, which historically held a bride’s wedding dowry; the modernist table lamp provides a counterpoint.

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White subway tiles and a hexagonal black-and-white patterned floor evoke a retro-sensibility in the master bath. Their graphic lines are set against a naturalistic malachite-patterned wallpaper designed by Piero Fornasetti, which can be seen in the mirror. The surprisingly glossy cinnabar ceiling warms the architecture.

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A pair of Korean blanket chests, one taller than the other, serve as bedside tables in the master bedroom. The walls are sheathed in muted sapphire and are complemented by the terracotta-toned pic-stitched bed cover. A seagrass area rug and a canvas by Southeast Asian artist Eric Chan anchor the room.