Tour an Art-Filled Upper East Side Apartment



art-filled upper east side apartmentCan design change lives? Quite possibly, at least in the case of one of decorator Eve Robinson’s clients. Recently divorced, he had been living in a traditional place on Park Avenue, but wanted something very different for his next chapter. After purchasing a three-bedroom property nearby, he asked Robinson to create a new home—one with a decidedly contemporary sensibility—for him and his girlfriend.

The couple requested a timeless design scheme in a palette of neutrals, with color provided by a significant collection of contemporary art, assembled with the advice of art consultant Sima Familant. Robinson obliged by devising a clean-lined, urbane environment with sumptuous gray fabrics in rich textures and complementary accents in the form of mid-tone wooden furniture. Menswear standards such as flannel and tweed lend a tailored, slightly masculine appeal.

Upper East Side Tour

The couple enjoys entertaining—primarily small dinners and cocktail parties—so the living room’s seating plan comprises two sitting areas: far enough apart for separate conversations, but close enough for group engagement between them. Virtually every space in the apartment, in fact, exudes an open, uncluttered feel. In the foyer, for instance, Robinson installed a cantilevered drawer-cum-catchall that offers a focal point against a long, monolithic wall without appearing too bulky, as a heavy desk or console would. Said wall is also separated into panels that conceal storage areas, further keeping everything neat and tidy.

In the dining area, the designer placed an angular table and chairs on an enormous wool-and-silk Tai Ping rug with room to spare. Dining chairs or sofas half on and half off an area rug, she says, “is so disjointed. It feels much more whole when the furniture is on top of it.” The aluminum John Houshmand table was cast from a live-edge slab of wood (grain and all), so it’s organic, albeit in its own unique way. The kitchen’s Pietra Cardosa counters and backsplashes are paired with oak and off-gray cabinets for a look that’s rich, but appropriately nuanced.

For the master suite, Robinson constructed an utterly relaxing, serene cocoon. In front of the window, a pair of chairs forms a cozy spot to read near the firebox, which is amplified by a cantilevered ledge below and artist Jennifer Bartlett’s four-panel work Shadow above. The bed frame is from Liaigre, but Robinson had the back made higher for more comfortable nighttime reading.

In the client’s son’s room, Justin Lieberman’s The Mystery of Snoopy’s Balance adds a whimsical, yet sophisticated touch above a wall-to-wall headboard, whereas in the daughter’s room, Robinson translated a request for “happy and fun” into a palette of pale blues and magenta, highlighted by a striped wall behind the bed. A modern Swedish settee adds something of an adult edge while still appearing youthful.

Upon completion of the project, all was well and good in Robinson’s expert hands, but what about the life-changing moment? At some point along the way, the couple told Robinson that they were going to wait to get married in the apartment when it was done. And that’s exactly what they did.

A version of this article appeared in the October 2019 issue of NYCC&G (New York Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: Arful Aerie.

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Architect Spotlight

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Property of Note Listing

15 Kings Dock Road, Garrison, NY
Enjoy the best that the Hudson Valley has to offer at this 9-acre estate offering awe-inspiring vistas, stunning passive architecture and a unique private deep-water dock on the Hudson River. Sited to take full advantage of the amazing scenery, the three-bedroom residence is a triumph of modernist design featuring airy open-plan living spaces and vast window walls that dramatically frame the blissful water and mountain views. The setting, boasting ¼ mile of frontage along the river, also hosts a two-bedroom guest house, a striking Greek temple/playhouse overlooking the river and a detached garage.



View more details about 15 Kings Dock Road
Nautilus Architects
Christopher Arelt’s practice, Nautilus Architects, involves collaboration and interpretation, with each design evolving in its own way in response to the site, context and client. Chris’ work is seen as a continuation of but also a response to Modernism; or, more specifically, a return to regionalism and artistry, where clients’ projects are developed with the “head, hearts and hands” of all those involved. All of our buildings explore the use of natural light, reveal the inherent beauty of the materials being used, and bring the outdoors in.


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Architect Spotlight

Laura Kaehler Architects
Laura Kaehler Architects is an Award Winning Architectural Firm. Along with Laura Kaehler, AIA, we have a talented staff of 5 architects and designers who create new homes, renovations and additions and apartment renovations. Designing a smaller footprint while obtaining a "big look" with an open floor plan design, better craftsmanship and detailing and richer materials is what we call "Responsible Luxury" and is a key element of our design philosophy.

Laura Kaehler

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Designer Spotlight

Fiona Leonard Interiors
Fiona Leonard Interiors, LLC is a full service design firm that specializes in making a client’s home unique and custom tailored to the owners taste and lifestyle. Projects are personally supervised from initial consultation to installation. Strong relationships with carefully selected creative artisans, highly skilled craftsmen and subcontractors ensures that your project will be in good hands. With over 20 years experience working alongside well established design professionals in Connecticut and Manhattan, Fiona Leonard Interiors, LLC was established.Fiona designs interiors with a casual elegance and timeless approach. Inherent in all her work is Fiona’s passion to combine clean lines and an artistic use of color that is comfortable for the client and reflects their personal lifestyle.

Fiona Leonard Interiors

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Architect Spotlight

Daniel Conlon Architects
Wind and weather, the ebb and flow of the tide, changing color and light define the rhythm of coastal living. This recent home embraces the idea with light-filled spaces , expansive views , cozy niches, and outdoor living environments. Landscape terraces and stonework ground the building to the site, while respecting all current building codes. Daniel Conlon Architects, based in Wilton CT, has designed numerous waterfront homes throughout the Northeast.

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