General Contractor: Think Construction
Styling: Cristina Sonneman
Text description provided by the architects. The renovation concentrated on maximizing the already well- proportioned formal spaces, including a generous entrance gallery, formal living room and dining room; while converting the dark and crowded storage and service areas into functional contemporary living elements. Because the historic layout was quite segmented, MKCA set out to create enlarged openings to increase circulation between spaces. MKCA’s selection of furniture, finishes, and unique art and design objects played a large part in maximizing natural light, visual interconnectivity, and playfulness throughout.
Off of the gallery, MKCA created a powder room and cloak room duet. The sleek and moody new powder room inhabits a former closet, and is lined from floor to ceiling in handmade metallic black tiles from Heath Ceramics and features a floating custom console of barely pink Rosa Aurora stone, lacquer, and smoke mirror, conjuring images of nightclub naughtiness. In contrast, the generous new cloak room across the gallery boasts powdery pink lacquer built-ins, integrated LED lighting, and puffy flamingo wallpaper, projecting a sunny and playful disposition. The cloak room absorbs baby strollers, shoes, and coats for the family and their guests in crisply detailed millwork compartments.
In the living and dining rooms, a tiny door opening was substantially enlarged and infilled with a black metal and glass sliding partition creating a generous portal between the two spaces. Facing the doors, a grey onyx and bronze fireplace mantel is flanked by turquoise glass sconces with a vintage Fontana Arte mirror above. A massive circular custom sofa designed by MKCA is upholstered in a bright blue synthetic textile from Maharam.
The dining room is shrouded in a desaturated pink paint and anchored by an eleven-foot custom table in high gloss lacquer, steel, and gold leaf from Los Angeles designers Alex Drew and No One, show stopping yet visually very light. The table is surrounded by vintage Joe Colombo dining chairs in their original well-worn fabric, and a pair of voluptuous leather and steel lounge chairs are used by the family to have coffee in the morning and to read after dinner. A massive vintage chinoiserie panel, chosen by the client at Housing Works, hangs above the vintage Henry Glass sideboard from Converso, beautifully integrating all of the colors of the room.
To create a light-filled kitchen where there was only one window facing a courtyard, Chen relied on high-contrast materials. The lacquer and ebonized oak pantry links the dining room and kitchen, which is lined in glossy three-dimensional tile from Ann Sacks, and pale iridescent wall covering from Flat Vernacular. The rear wall of the kitchen was removed and replaced with a sliding acid etched glass partition, which picks up the ambient light from windows in the service entrance beyond and glows all day long, replaced at night by an even glow from the overhead fixtures that bathe the partition in light.