Upper West Side – NYC
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.
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.
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.
The richly patinated mahogany finish on this Chinese Chippendale breakfront lends a note of historical reference while housing a collection of Asian pottery and cherished books.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...!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.