A Contemporary Manhattan Apartment with City Views

Details

Contemporary White Dining Room with Navy Ceiling

Joan Miro’s Tracé Sur La Paroi III is a focal point in the dining room above a settee with a waterfall skirt from TCS Designs in Hickory, North Carolina; the custom Bradley table features an iron base and wood top. Trocadero dining chairs from Therien in Los Angeles are covered in a pebbled Holly Hunt leather. Pendants from The Urban Electric Co. are suspended from the ceiling, which is painted in the same Wescott Navy shade as the kitchen cabinets.

Contemporary Neutral Living Room with Central Park Views

Because the owners are both very tailored, they wanted furnishings and finishes that were timeless, mindful of that masculine edge and a little chic, without being over the top. Interior designer Tammy Connor utilized fabrics that include wool-sateen, mohair and linen-velvet. There’s a strength to the color palette, and eclectic materials such as onyx, bronze, glass and leather provide perfect accents.

Contemporary White Dining Room with Navy Ceiling

Joan Miro’s Tracé Sur La Paroi III is a focal point in the dining room above a settee with a waterfall skirt from TCS Designs in Hickory, North Carolina; the custom Bradley table features an iron base and wood top. Trocadero dining chairs from Therien in Los Angeles are covered in a pebbled Holly Hunt leather. Pendants from The Urban Electric Co. are suspended from the ceiling, which is painted in the same Wescott Navy shade as the kitchen cabinets.

Contemporary Neutral Foyer with Walnut Table

The foyer’s walnut table by New Classics from Ainsworth-Noah in Atlanta is centered on the opening to the living area. Here it is possible to glimpse a chair topped with brilliant blue Prima Alpaca by Sandra Jordan in Healdsburg, California, and an early 19th-century Khotan rug. The antique lantern is from Lumiere. Paneling added to the jambs and new crown molding on the soffit create depth in the room-size space.

Contemporary Neutral Foyer Vignette with Antique Settee

An antique French fruitwood settee from New Orleans, dressed in its original blue velvet, is a centerpiece in the foyer. A pair of limited edition Pablo Picasso lithographs, titled Francoise 1 and 2, anchor the wall, which is covered in Farrow & Ball paint. The camel-colored Kyle Bunting hide rug, with its large-scale grid pattern, adds a modern touch.

Contemporary Neutral Living Room Vignette with Bookcase

In the living room, interior designer Tammy Connor upholstered a Lee Industries chair in Schumacher velvet and topped it with a Fortuny pillow. The mounted bone disks in the bookcase are antique currency pieces from A. Tyner Antiques in Atlanta. Affixed to the antiqued-leaded-glass mirror, the bronze torcher sconce from Morateur Gallery in Los Angeles is a 1940s Art Deco fixture.

Contemporary Neutral Foyer Vignette with Antique Chest

Set on one side of the foyer, an antique chest topped with black marble from B.D. Jeffries in Atlanta holds a pair of antique smoke glass lamps from John Salibello. The Louis Philippe mirror is from Foxglove Antiques & Galleries, also in Atlanta, and the art is by Abstract Expressionist James Brooks.

Contemporary Blue Kitchen with Gray Marble Wall

A painting by Sara H. Tucker, titled Oysters, Mussels and Copper Pot, hangs on a statuary gray marble wall in the kitchen. The moody blue cabinetry is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Wescott Navy and accented with brass pulls. Appointments such as the Kohler brass faucet are simple yet elegant; the floor is composed of Lagos Azul limestone tiles.

Contemporary Blue Kitchen with Open Shelving

Cabinetry in the kitchen is backed by a marble backsplash; the addition of shelves with brackets keeps the small space visually open. A shagreen tray is propped behind a Wolf gas cooktop.

Contemporary Brown Bedroom with Central Park Views

The master bedroom features walls covered in a Holland & Sherry silk-and-grass paper complemented with a gilded-gold linen-hemp drapery by Sabina Fay Braxton from J Nelson in Atlanta. The custom bed is upholstered in a Rose Tarlow Melrose House linen-silk blend and accented with a cashmere throw draped over Sferra bedding. Dark walnut Stepney bedside chests from Hickory Chair feature Greek-key details; the Trigance-Espresso rug, also from Rose Tarlow Melrose House, is a low-pile canvas weave that reads like a stripe but actually consists of small squares.

Contemporary Brown Bedroom Vignette with Stone Table

Framed artwork from a series of Henri Matisse masks hangs behind the master bedroom’s Charles of London chair, covered in patterned linen and topped with a Klostra pillow from Holland & Sherry. The French brass-and-stone table is an antique, as are the midcentury modern crystal floor lamp from Parc Monceau Antiques and its box-pleated shade from Edgar-Reeves, both in Atlanta.

With spectacular views of Central Park, the location alone elevated a Manhattan apartment set in a 37-story building from the 1930s—with its Dorothy Draper-designed lobby intact—to exceptional status. The 2,000-square-foot home away from home for an executive and his family called for an urban, contemporary look with a bit of a masculine edge. “Our design sensibilities were very compatible,” says Alabama-based interior designer Tammy Connor, who first met her clients when she worked on their cottage in South Carolina followed by a more formal turn-of-the-century East Coast residence. “The goal was for it to be approachable and livable, casual enough to feel really comfortable, yet with quality craftsmanship and attention to detail.”

Described by Connor as “architecturally simplistic” upon purchase, the couple’s new city digs were devoid of such features as crown molding and millwork. So, the designer collaborated with architect James Carter to rectify the situation. According to Carter, the existing sheetrock bookcases in the living room lacked personality, proper proportions and detail. “We worked together to create bookcases with more interest that contributed to the refined feel of the new décor,” says the architect, who also created the room’s paneling. “I suggested something along the lines of French Moderne for the paneling to give the background depth and elegance without interfering with the cleaner lines of the furniture.”

After reconfiguring spaces and updating the kitchen and baths, the real game changer was opening a wall and a pair of narrow portals that previously closed off the living room from the spacious foyer. “The key was to enhance the views of the park as you enter the apartment,” says builder Vincent DiSalvo, who also raised the foyer ceiling by taking down and relocating existing ductwork, making it wider and flatter, and dropping a soffit around the perimeter. “The project took about six months, largely because of the logistics of working in a high-rise.”

For the kitchen, the team made the most of its small footprint, removing a gas range on the diagonal and squaring up the wall. A dark navy lacquer on the cabinets—a sophisticated upgrade from the previous maple—informed the different shades of blue used throughout on the dining room ceiling, living room draperies, accent pillows, glass accessories and even book bindings. “This created a flow from one space to another,” says Connor.

Because the owners are both very tailored, they wanted furnishings and finishes that were timeless, mindful of that masculine edge and a little chic, without being over the top. “There are no florals on the upholstery,” Connor says about the fabrics that include wool-sateen, mohair and linen- velvet. “There’s a strength to the color palette, and eclectic materials such as onyx, bronze, glass and leather provide perfect accents.” Although the homeowners love antiques, Connor says the pieces selected are less about style and more about clean lines and their ability to meld with the modern artwork. “An antique can be contemporary if it’s quiet and has refined lines and proportions,” she adds.

Modern art and a mix of materials and styles create a yin-yang tension in the foyer, where the designer teamed a Louis Philippe-style chest and vintage Murano glass lamps alongside Picasso drawings and an antique French settee, all grounded with an overscale-grid hide rug. Centered between the living room’s new painted bookcases and a bold Abstract Expressionist painting,
a custom-built charcoal shagreen cabinet includes a pop-up mechanism for a flat-screen TV. Skirted Madeline Stuart sofas and a John Saladino club chair, ottoman and bench provide seating with a modern vibe around an onyx coffee table.

Just opposite, dining room cabinetry balances the focal wall of the living room with similar detailing. A raised ceiling in the apartment beneath resulted in a step-up to the dining space, where curved railings were added to mitigate the platform effect and make the room more intimate. A skirted banquette in taupe velvet adds flexibility to the seating. “You can seat seven comfortably and you can push the table back to create more space,” says the designer.

The master bedroom taps into the park’s winter palette with a charcoal silk-and-grass-cloth wallcovering as a textural envelope complemented with gold-thread linen-hemp draperies. Like the rest of the interiors, the master suite is not overly decorated. “It’s not all about pomp and circumstance or show,” says Connor. “Everything is rooted in traditional but simplified and layered with clean lines.” And though the view is what beckons, it is that rich balance of mixing materials and styles that really creates a place to call home.

—Elaine Markoutsas

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