Tour A Colorful Manhattan Flat Nestled In The Central Park Treeline

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neutral living room with lattice...

A piece by Damian Hirst adds instant street cred to the living room, where a lattice-patterned rug brings the outdoors in. Drapes of Clarence House fabric and a banquette upholstered in a green Kravet strié fabric add to the earthy elegance.

entry rattan mirror

In the entry of this Manhattan apartment, designer Katie Ridder chose Pierre Frey’s Djembe wallpaper to create a calming envelope with a hint of intrigue. Atop the fruitwood console by Carl Malmsten is Aero’s Elena table lamp. Above hangs a vintage rattan mirror in the manner of Consuelo Crespi.

camel sofa living room

A John McLaughlin artwork echoes the Scalamandré tape on the sofa and equally graphic Sean Scully watercolors at right. Burgundy table lamps by Christopher Spitzmiller tie to the custom zebrawood coffee table by New Old World Woodcraft and to Penny Morrison’s Inca Vertical Stripe on the armchair. A handwoven area rug by Brunschwig & Fils anchors the room.

Danish sideboard with mirror

De Gournay’s exuberant Amazonia wallpaper provides an element of surprise in the dining room, where an Alexander Cohane Danish sideboard and an octagonal mirror, scored at RT Facts in Connecticut, add to the eclectic mix.

Green degournay dining room

Daniel Scuderi chairs upholstered in Dualoy Leather horsehair ring a Keith Fritz Fine Furniture dining table lit by a vintage Murano glass chandelier from John Rosselli & Associates. Millwork painted in Pantone’s Watercress keeps the mood playful.

mauve library

In the wife’s office, walls painted Farrow & Ball’s Cinder Rose cast a warm, welcoming tone. “Not everyone loves mauve, but I think it’s a fun, different color,” Ridder says. A Room & Board sleeper sofa in Pierre Frey fabric provides a cozy reading spot illuminated by Vaughan sconces and a Robert Abbey chandelier. The artwork is Marina Adams.

powder room flower wallpaper

Ridder’s team imbued the powder bathroom with vintage charm, selecting Scalamandré’s Flora Sanbergica wallpaper and a rattan mirror by Franco Alibini for Bonacina. Sconces by The Urban Electric Company hang above a Waterworks crystal leg washstand with unlacquered brass hardware.

Blue bedroom with chandelier

Dix Blue by Farrow & Ball blankets the primary bedroom walls in a restful mood, complimented by shades of a floral Nilofer Azurite fabric. Joseph Albers artworks hang above the bed and a vintage chandelier by Helena Tynell for Venfield sparkles overhead.

classic bathroom white marble

Sheathing the primary bathroom in Carrara marble strikes a timeless chord while Ann Sacks floor tile, cabinetry painted in Benjamin Moore’s Buckland Blue and engineered milk glass counters keep the tone current. The roman shade is Cowtan & Tout’s Sackville fabric and the sconces are Visual Comfort.

It’s not often that you get to move into a brand-new residence while keeping your current address intact. But that’s exactly what this New York City family of four did when they zipped two separate apartments into one expansive flat—right within the same prewar building they’d been living in for the past 12 years.

Their transition to a lower floor did more than give them room to roam: it nestled their living quarters at eye level with the lush tree line of Central Park. “They’re on the perfect floor now,” shares their longtime designer Katie Ridder, who outfitted their previous home upstairs and whom they confidently enlisted to reimagine their new digs. “You’re in the canopy, as opposed to sitting above it, looking down. You’re living within the greenery,” she adds.

The verdant panorama kick-started the prismatic palette that would guide the year-and-a-half long renovation, a project in collaboration with architect Kay Leong, general contractor Joseph Galea and Katie Ridder Inc. team members Hillary Paulen, Caty Owen and Danielle Kelling. Brought down to the studs, the troupe laced the layout back together, crafting a rainbow enfilade that proceeds from the primary gathering rooms fronting Central Park West and carves an L-shape towards the back of the unit. Ensconced there, intimate spaces like the wife’s office and childrens’ bedrooms best enjoy the privacy and quiet. “The most important thing when joining two separate apartments is to make them flow as one,” notes Leong, citing the herculean efforts that went into overhauling the floorplan to achieve an organic hierarchy of spaces.

Aiding that flow is Ridder’s artful progression of hues. “We enjoy Katie’s sense of color,” says the husband. “Our first apartment wasn’t our forever home, but this one is much more likely to be—so we really encouraged Katie and her teams’ creativity.” Ridder’s own family homes are notoriously vivid, with luscious details like mulberry walls and lilac floor tiles. Here, the designer gladly embraced her clients’ directive with the added assurance that the luminous canvas could handle such saturation. “You can always use more color in a sunny apartment, because it will absorb the light,” she says.

The home’s vibrant disposition is perhaps on boldest display in the formal dining room, where pistachio millwork frames wallpaper panels replete with monkeys, parrots and palm fronds. Ridder and her clients combed the racks at de Gournay together and fell for the tropical pattern’s unexpectedness. Adding another layer of exoticism to the space is a vintage, icy-white glass chandelier with leaf-like motifs—a favorite category of lighting for the designer. “I love Venetian chandeliers,” Ridder says. “They’re whimsical and have a lot of liveliness to them, but they’re clean at the same time.”

The secret garden feel continues into the adjacent living room, with its lattice-patterned carpet and buxom corner sofa in grass green fabric, which was inspired by the influential 19th century painter, city planner, designer and architect, Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Ridder visited Potsdam, Germany, several years back, touring many historical homes of his design and developing an affinity for the graceful, round-back furnishings he’d often use to fill corners. Schinkel’s signature silhouettes have practical raison d’être on the infamously cramped island of Manhattan: “Corner sofas make a great use of real estate,” notes Ridder.

Yet what’s truly impactful about this home isn’t just what’s there, but what isn’t. Given the rich tapestry that shifts from chartreuse to emerald to russet just beyond the windows, “we didn’t want to crowd the rooms with furniture,” explains Ridder. “There’s a lot of space to breathe and move around in.” The final effect has the sweeping, room-to-twirl feel of a picnic in the rolling grasses of Central Park.


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