Dry martinis 90210
Donna Paul -- Interior Design, 5/1/2004 12:00:00 AM
Times Square may be only a few blocks away, but the atmosphere at Trousdale is pure Los Angeles, circa 1969. No, it's not the martini you're sipping. It's the interior: banquettes in robin's-egg blue vinyl, white faux-fur shades on chrome lamps, and bergères with frames painted chalky white. Could that be Warren Beatty in the corner?
The New York lounge takes its name and decor from Trousdale Estates, the Beverly Hills neighborhood developed in the 1960's as the hip alternative to Bel Air. The area was characterized by its rambling bungalows—the quintessential housing type of that era—and interiors were epitomized by sunken living rooms, crystal chandeliers, and wet bars. "You know," says GoodmanCharlton partner Jeffrey Goodman, "that whole bachelor-pad thing."
Elvis and Priscilla bought their first L.A. home in Trousdale Estates. Today, it's once again fashionable. (Even photographer Steven Meisel has moved in.) And Goodman, hired by the Amsterdam Court hotel to reinvent a 780-square-foot library off the lobby, thought it was time to bring the Trousdale Estates living room back East.
Intentionally departing, he says, from today's ubiquitous "spare low furniture and square ottomans," he set out to concoct a luxe Beverly Hills fantasy. His starting point was a chocolate-brown brocade festooned with oversize white medallions. "Very Regency," he says of its elaborate pattern—as well as of the heavy crown molding he used throughout the intimate space. The fabric's period-appropriate color combination inspired Trousdale's overall palette: chocolate-brown walls and upholstery leather, highlighted with crisp white.
Goodman also infused the design with images from his own childhood. An ostrich purse that his mother carried in the late 1960's translated into the white faux ostrich wrapping the base of the bar. The family's metallic-blue Buick inspired the color of the ceiling.
Trained in the fine arts, Goodman even computer-generated "paintings" that evoke the period, their op art look playing off the geometric patterns of the Jonathan Adler pillows propped on the chairs. Assorted custom tables in white acrylic, popular in the early 1970's, move the timeline subtly forward, but the hand-printed cotton stripes on chairs and ottomans bring the mood right back again. Especially as the fabric is cleverly "vinylized," a practical protective measure where red wine could spell disaster. As Goodman recalls, "My mother did it to all of our furniture."