Designer Jamie Herzlinger can still recall in vivid detail the excitement she felt as a young girl riding the elevator to her grandparents’ New York Park Avenue apartment and the sensation of stepping into the perfectly appointed foyer. “There was so much classical, old-world architecture and magnificent millwork, it just took your breath away,” says Herzlinger, who was determined to create a similar sense of awe for the Scottsdale pied-à-terre of her client, Martha Martin.
After they were introduced to each other by a mutual friend, the two women had an instant alignment of design sensibilities. “One of my favorite hotels is The Plaza in New York. When I’m there, I can’t resist taking pictures of the chandeliers and the marble details,” says Martha, who, along with her former husband, built satellites for NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense. It was the now-retired empty nester’s involvement in several local charities, as well as a desire to downsize, that precipitated the move into the Scottsdale Waterfront Residences. “I found myself commuting from my home in Gilbert for meetings and events several times a week and decided I wanted a place in Scottsdale where I will likely live full-time,” she adds.
As a self-proclaimed traditionalist who loves layers of molding and trim, Martha wanted a home with a New York- apartment feel, and Herzlinger happily took that desire to heart. Her selection of fluted millwork and plaster moldings would transform the previously ho-hum living spaces, which were lacking in detail, into a jewel box reminiscent of the Upper East Side. “Before, there was no sense of entry, but the addition of columns and exquisite wood wainscoting emotionally creates that classical feel,” she says. “From there, each room has a rhythm that leaves you wanting to see more.”
Indeed your eyes start dancing in the living room, where it’s hard to decide where to look first. Georgian-inspired millwork and a pair of niches filled with matching Jacobean tables with bone inlay establish a strong outer layer, and dazzling 3-by-3-foot marquetry gives the floor equal billing. “It had to be strong enough to carry the millwork,” says Herzlinger.
In response to Martha’s request for “a lot of neutrals with a little bling,” the designer selected a beige camelback sofa for its classical shape and finished the back with two-toned silk cording, a decorative passementerie detail. Rounding out the seating are a pair of tufted club chairs and two small-scale 19th-century Swedish chairs with cane seats. “Gustavian pieces are wonderful. They add a little romance and are the perfect place to sip champagne before heading out to a charity event,” says Herzlinger, also noting that a pair of 1960s crystal flower chandeliers provides the requisite sparkle.
To make the most of the 2,400 square feet, the designer tucked a bench underneath the window on the far side of the room and added a small table with two chairs to create a breakfast nook. “The design for this condo did not include plans for heavy cooking and meal prepping, but more a place for catered events,” says Herzlinger, who turned the adjacent kitchen into a fashion statement with all of the black cabinetry accented with plated P.E. Guerin hardware. “They’re almost like the Van Cleef & Arpels of hardware,” she adds about the latter. “The entire space is like the perfect black dress.”
￼￼Even the media room is designed down to the last detail, with wainscoting, ceiling moldings and custom cabinetry on par with the rest of the residence. “It serves as a place for friends to stay over when the guest room is occupied,” says the designer. “The sectional sleeper was designed with the perfect-size chaise for Martha to curl up on and enjoy a movie.”
The Pratesi linens and hand-painted silver-leaf wallpaper in the master bedroom are the epitome of luxury. An elaborate gilded bracket that the designer turned into a headboard, for instance, serves as the room’s centerpiece. The grand details continue with reproduced Louis XV chests and a classical carpet with flourishes balanced by a neoclassical chandelier to keep things from getting too fussy. “I love bedrooms to reflect a more romantic mood and, in this case, a woman’s touch,” says Herzlinger. “There isn’t a woman I know who wouldn’t want to have this bedroom.” Martha heartily concurs. “It’s my favorite room in the house,” she says. “It’s a soothing space, but it’s the finishes such as the intricacy of the beautiful crown molding and the hand-painted wallpaper that make it special.”
The master bathroom was gutted to make way for marble floors with a herringbone inlay and a freestanding clawfoot tub, and the vanity features French faucets wrapped in cloisonné. “You can’t get more stunning than white marble and gold fixtures,” says Herzlinger.
The designer’s consistently studied approach throughout the house noticeably contributed to the desired outcome. “Everything in the house speaks to the perfect convergence of classicism with modernity.” And Martha couldn’t be more thrilled with the result: “Jamie is so creative, and it was her attention to detail that brought everything to another level.”