Saturday, January 22, 2022

Dreamy West Village Townhouse


From Architectural Digest:

On a leafy stretch of New York’s West Village, there’s a 1901 Georgian-style townhouse owned by a celebrated music executive and his auction house director wife. It’s permeated by themes of blossoming and growth, which makes sense, given his expertise in nurturing and cultivating creatives, and the fact that the couple acquired the home for their expanding family.

Both wanted to preserve elements of the previous owner’s renovation—done by AD100 architect Steven Harris—but felt the townhouse needed some practical renovations (think additional storage). They also wanted to put their own stamp on the home as a tailored yet unexpected space for socializing with family and industry friends.

To bring their ideas to life, the couple enlisted architect Amie Sachs, who had recently started her own practice after years with Annabelle Selldorf’s firm. Designer Penelope August (another Selldorf Architects alumna) collaborated on the furnishings and finishes. “The client had a very clear idea of how he wanted his family and guests to experience the home,” Sachs explains. “He was interested in creating spaces that foster gathering and conversation.”

After falling in love with his work at Paul Kasmin Gallery, the owners commissioned artist David Wiseman to create the ultimate conversation piece for the dining room, visible as soon as one steps through the front door. The installation—a treelike bronze and porcelain light fixture that climbs up the wall and across the ceiling, bursting with a profusion of porcelain flowers—is a statement of whimsy and romance. It hovers above the dining table, which is bordered by a curving banquette upholstered in Jiun Ho green velvet and surrounded by Gio Ponti and Pierre Jeanneret chairs. It’s a spot that works equally well for intimate family dinners and late-night celebrations with guests. That is, if they haven’t retired to the cozy front library, which features chrome and velvet-upholstered Cy Mann chairs and a jewel of a bar lined in celadon limousine cloth from Gretchen Bellinger.

Throughout the townhouse, Sachs and August used an intentional and unified palette. The homeowners had returned from a trip to Kyoto with ideas about blooming flowers and a piece of plummy-red silk cord that ended up as the inspiration behind multiple elements, including the shade of moiré silk wallpaper that lines the entry hall closet. That same color winds up the stairway in a wool runner, and can be found in the main bedroom’s luxurious felt curtains. More subtly, it can also be spotted in a mohair panel inset atop the dressing room’s custom table. “The clients gave guidance well, but also left plenty of room for ideas and development,” August says.

The lower floors are grounded in the greens of the back garden (updated by Michael Franco of the firm Blue Plant), which features an inky koi pond with a floating marble walkway and a wall of towering bamboo. On the garden level, there’s an inviting sitting room with midcentury sofas oriented around a streamlined white granite fireplace and a custom desk designed by Sachs. Flanking the desk is a pair of massive white Wilson Audio Watt speakers. The adjacent eat-in kitchen is outfitted with cerused oak cabinets and a mossy green tile backsplash.

The primary bedroom suite, which overlooks the garden, was inspired by the idea of a pale rose. Burgundy felt curtains and walls clad in a blush Savel Inc. cotton velvet provide a rose-hued backdrop for a white wool bouclé bed and a vintage Paul Mathieu bench from Ralph Pucci. The primary bath, meanwhile, is an expanse of luminous Rosa Portogallo and Rosa Aurora marble from ABC Stone. The shared dressing room, which joins the bedroom and bath, has open shelves in warm cerused oak and a central dressing table with a burgundy mohair top and Ted Muehling knobs. It’s all overlooked by a vintage Paavo Tynell “Starry Sky” ceiling fixture.

The townhouse’s other three existing bedrooms were reconfigured into two more spacious rooms with en suite bathrooms and a laundry room between. Completing the floral theme, a Clarence House crewelwork floral covers the headboard in one room, while a blush velvet clads the headboard in the other—all choices thoughtfully considered by the husband. “He was truly interested in getting it right for his family,” August says. “It was really lovely to see how much he cared. He went with me to do the upholstery and sat on all the cushions.” (Read more.)

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