Looking Like A Million
Aric Chen -- Interior Design, 9/1/2005 12:00:00 AM
A bachelor pad for a young Wall Street guy might typically be tricked out with foosball tables, hot tubs, and plasma screens galore. But Sara Story Design's client had tastes that were considerably more grown-up and not a little bit traditional. All of which was in keeping with his choice of location, on Fifth Avenue facing Central Park.
The 3,000-square-foot space started out as two apartments on the 18th floor of a 1940's art moderne building. After architecture firm Workshop/ APD joined and gutted them, principal Sara Story came in to consult on the moldings, woodwork, and wainscoting—classics that can still promote modern transitions.
Using clean lines, contrasting neutrals, and rich textures, Story achieved a sophisticated look. The enlarged foyer gains drama from floral photographs mounted against rich tobacco-colored wallpaper. Next to them, Story placed the client's English leather-topped console from the early 1900's.
Straight ahead in the living room, combined from the two previous ones, cream walls offset the dark-stained oak herringbone parquet. To shake up her client's tastes, Story mixed mid-century, antique, Asian, and custom pieces—while maintaining a palette of coffee and cream. A sofa upholstered in off-white linen, a lounge chair in beige and brown velvet stripes, and two stools with darker brown velvet seats gather round a parchment-surfaced cocktail table on a century-old French rug. A Thai chest, lacquered black, stands against one wall, while the brass-trimmed base of a mid-century lamp sits on a bamboo side table.
In the adjacent dining room, pale fabrics and dark woods dominate, the centerpiece being an oblong mahogany table by Tommi Parzinger. To liven things up, Story covered the walls in a subtly metallic wine-colored paper hand-brushed with horizontal and vertical strokes. She also hemmed camel-colored linen curtains in burgundy velvet.
The eat-in kitchen, formed by knocking out the wall between a cramped galley kitchen and a bedroom, is now a generous space divided only by a dark blue sandstone countertop. Alongside, Story lined up brown woven-leather bar stools just like those at Gramercy Tavern, one of her client's favorite restaurants. A tan corduroy-upholstered sofa and a walnut table with brown hemp-covered chairs furnish the other side of the room—what Story calls the "hang out and have fun" area. (The second kitchen, meanwhile, became a guest room boasting a Dorothy Draper black-lacquered chest from the 1960's.)
The master bedroom is awash in shades of white, from the walls to the upholstered headboard, though the cream wool carpet features vines and leaves in gold and coffee. "It didn't have to be stereotypically masculine," Story explains, "just because he's a single guy."
So does anything at all say bachelor? Above the living room's mantel there is, as a matter of fact, a plasma-screen TV—but usually it's hidden behind folding doors of antiqued mirror.