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Condos Go Couture ■ Brooklyn Blogger’s Brownstone ■ Wild on the Upper West Side

Fall 2010

Urban Opulence

Atoosa and Ari Rubenstein’s Flatiron loft undergoes a dazzling and dramatic renovation

PUMPKIN armchair. Design: Pierre Paulin.

155 Wooster Street New York (212) 253-5629 250 Park Avenue South New York (212) 375-1036 4131 Main Street Philadelphia (215) 487-2800 160 NE 40th Street Miami (305) 576-4662


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IT’S THE PREMIERE OF SOMETHING PREMIER. Davis & Warshow unveils the world’s first next generation Kohler Premier Showroom in the A&D Building. This new showroom experience offers architects and designers a vibrant and exciting presentation of kitchen and bath products in an environment that encourages in-depth interaction. For over 85 years, architects and designers have relied on Davis & Warshow’s unparalleled service to help them achieve results that inspire. Stop by and experience it today.

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Rock & roll memorabilia and decadent color treatment bring West Coast flavor to a California family’s 19th-century brownstone in Park Slope (p. 66).

60 Family Style on the Upper East Side

Businessman-turned-interior designer Philip Gorrivan’s family apartment is a touch of the 6th Arrondisement in the heart of Manhattan. 66 Park Slope Rock & Roll

The Brooklyn Home Company infuses a young family’s Brooklyn brownstone with modern touches and sunny colors. 72 Sophisticated Rural Life

Combining historically accurate adjustments with contemporary local finds, Betsey and Peter Nestler’s renovation was worth the 30-year wait.

A peek inside designer Philip Gorrivan’s glamorous and functional family home on the Upper East Side (p. 60).

FEATURES 42 Urban Opulence

Fashion favorites West Chin and Roseann Repetti give Atoosa Rubenstein and family a cover-ready look for a Flatiron loft. 50 Colonial Charm

Accessorize for fall with unexpected color, texture and pattern (p. 10).

A Colonial-era inn off a Connecticut town green becomes a chic country home for New York decorator Matthew Patrick Smyth and writer Jean Vallier. 56 Animal Kingdom

Gregory Speck’s natural habitat on the Upper West Side is filled with creature comforts and comfortable creatures.


the home observer fall 2010

BANISH INSOMNIA 28 Wooster Street, SoHo, New York City 212 226 3640


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Marianne Rohrlich’s bright picks for home accessories with fresh textures, colors and patterns. Profile 14 Elissa Cullman of Cullman & Kravis

The renowned designer talks with HOME about New York City living and the 2010 Kips Bay Show House. real estate 18 Condos Go Couture

Condos go couture at the Zac Posen– designed 16W21 (p. 18).

Questions about products featured in this issue? Email us at

Rebecca Morse tries on fashion designers’ new looks in limestone and sheetrock. in the kitchen 24 Culinary Arts

Make your kitchen a work of art with Marianne Rohrlich’s selection of whimsical and useful culinary tools.

Iconic design 26 Grace, Space, Pace

Tim Street-Porter reflects on the stylish reinvention of a classic British icon with the new Jaguar XJ and XJL. on the shelves 28 The Joy of Lapidus

A new book pays homage to the forefather of boutique hotel design. 34 Chez Castaing

The first comprehensive look at the French decorator. 38 Star Gardens

A voyeur’s view into the Private Gardens of Connecticut. in the neighborhood 80 Dual Purpose

Every inch of the Dumbacher twins’ Hudson Street home functions times two.

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the home observer fall 2010

evan joseph; getty images

in the shops 10 Light Refreshments

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On the cover: Atoosa and Ari Rubenstein’s Flatiron loft, designed by architecture and interior design team West Chin and Roseann Repetti of West Chin Architect pllc. (WCA) and photographed by Joshua McHugh. In the living room, Steven Klein’s Madonna #01 (2006) presides over the statuary bronze fireplace re-envisioned by WCA. Petitioning for permission to hang the custom Bocce chandelier (at Matter, 405 Broome Street) delayed the project by six months (well worth it!). The couple’s two-year-old daughter might be found curled up in the Smock swivel armchair by Moroso (at Moroso, 146 Greene Street) or playing atop the velvety Corian-topped Jane table by FTF Design Studio, Inc., Chin and Repetti’s own furniture and design collection. The dazzling home is an ultimately livable one, where family fun and grown-up entertaining collide on the double-sided Metro 2 sofa by Piero Lissoni for Living Divani (at BY New York, 142 Greene Street). The full story starts on page 42.

the home observer fall 2010

in the shops

Light Refreshments It doesn’t take much to refresh a home for fall—a jolt of pattern, a dash of texture or a dab of color will do it. But choose wisely and be careful not to overdo: An infusion can become an invasion if there’s too much of it. At the end of the day, calm is still comfortable. marianne rohrlich


The Hawk LED Light, designed by Maria Larsson and Maria Olevik, is made of bone china and stainless steel. $6,000 at Anthropologie. 50 Rockefeller Center (50th Street), 212-246-0386.

Photo Process

A wallpaper pattern of photographs looking down on urban construction sites, taken by Raeanne GiovanniInoue. Rolls are 25-inches wide and 183-inches long. $190 each from, 520-247-1820.


The classic Wassily chair designed in 1925 by Marcel Breuer looks brand new in bright colors like red, yellow or green leather. $2,020; from, 800-343-5665.


Kinetic Static Pillow, 18-inches by 30-inches, made of wool and cotton, is $128., 800-309-2500.

Color Me

The Trip Trumeau two-drawer dresser painted in multicolor stripes is $1,054 at the Future Perfect. 55 Great Jones Street (Bowery), 212-4732500, and


the home observer fall 2010

Rococo SplendoR The Rockefeller chippendale Bed Sale 2350 lot 309

auction Calendar New York · October 2010 500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe, Including Oriental Carpets (#2350) October 21–22 Viewing: october 16–20 Inquiries: Will Russell +1 212 636 2525

Prints & Multiples (#2351) October 26–27 Viewing: october 22–25 Inquiries: Tudor davies +1 212 636 2290

Save the Date

don’t miss the next christie’s Interiors sale on december 16–17, 2010

CHRISTIE’S NEW YORK 20 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020


Join us for the presale exhibitions and auctions, all of which are free and open to the public Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 1pm-5pm. For specific viewing times, please call 212 636 2000.

Register to bid in person or by telephone by calling our Bid department at 212 636 2437. If you are unable to attend the auction, visit to arrange for absentee and online bids. Also available on are the international auction calendar, online catalogues, and a full listing of upcoming valuation days around the globe.

in the shops

On Time Fall Foliage

The Lehti Tray, made of flexible metal mesh, designed by Maria Jauhiainen, is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. It is 11 by 12 inches; $950 at Moss. 150 Greene Street (Houston Street),, 866-888-6677.

The Sliced Grandfather Clock is 3 inches tall and 17 inches wide; $40 at Mxyplyzyk. Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle; or, 800-243-9810.



Table Dressing

Silicone placemats called Damask Bordeaux are 14 inches by 16inches. $22 each from, 877-753-5537.

The Blow-Up Citrus Basket, made of bamboo, was designed by the Campana Brothers; it is $112 at Alessi. 130 Greene Street (Prince Street), 212-941-7300 or

A pair of etched crystal glasses, Night Owl and Finch by Artel, is $298; the mouth-blown glasses are available at, 877-388-7373.

Be Seated: The Squint Oswald Sofa is upholstered in a patchwork of colorful fabrics (the coloring and patterns on each piece vary slightly). The 74-inch-long sofa has feather-filled cushions and costs $6,995 at the Conran Shop. 888 Broadway (19th Street) or, 866- 755-9079.


the home observer fall 2010

sento design . b. hof fmann & t. k端hl


a conversation:

Elissa Cullman


A Fifth Avenue piedà-terre designer by Cullman & Kravis.

Best “instant fix.” Paint! A fresh coat of paint really makes a space feel renewed and is a cost effective way to make a major difference. Lampshades! Change your lampshades—especially if you have dark green or black ones in a room that needs more light. If you change all of your shades to uniform off-white linen, you will notice an immediate, uplifting effect. There is also nothing more cathartic for me than to redo every book shelf and tabletop— I call it “Apartment Therapy.” Table tops, like bookcases, must be arranged and organized with thought. Start by taking everything down, and then carefully put it back, looking at each shelf and every surface as if for the first time. Keep in mind that every tabletop deserves the same considerations as the floor plan of a room to create a cosmos of form, material and color. Favorite local shopping source or haunt. Here’s a designer’s secret: We absolutely love the antiques “supermarkets” in Stamford, Connecticut. Just a short train or car ride away, they are really worth the trip. [Ellie’s Stamford picks: Antique and Artisan Center, Greenwich Living Antiques and Design Center, Hampton Antique Galleries, Harborview, Hidden Galleries.] Favorite catalogs or large chain home furnishing stores you find inspiring. We’ve been ordering a lot from the new “inexpensive” catalogs such as Global Views, Bunthe home observer fall 2010

durston saylor

by rebecca morse It was a failed attempt at a screenplay that sent Elissa Cullman and the late Hedi Kravis into the world of interior design; the producer whom the writing partners approached turned down the duo’s script, but was so inspired by their sumptuous descriptions of rooms that he hired them to refurbish his country house. Twenty-six years later, Cullman & Kravis is a world-renowned interior design firm famed for its English-inspired aesthetic and its work with art and antique collections. The co-author of the seminal Decorating Master Class, Ellie a mudroom! We all want an extra space with Cullman has appeared on Architectural Digest’s ample-sized cubbies for soccer cleats and golf authoritative “AD 100” list for the last 10 years clubs, lots of hooks for extra coats (because in and has been dubbed a “Dean of American DeNew York, our coats are our cars), a dedicated sign” by the magazine. The firm’s current projspace for the dog crate and the cat ects include an Upper East Side box and easy access to the laundry duplex penthouse with 5,000 room. We are more than willing to square feet of outdoor space trade the house in the suburbs for and a shingle-style house in the cultural opportunities of New Sagaponack—as well as a room York City, but it would be really in the annually anticipated Kips nice to have the extra room. Bay Designer Show House, open this year from October How has the way we live as 14 through November 11 at 106 New Yorkers changed over the East 71st Street, a townhouse course of your career? currently on the market for Elissa Cullman Like everywhere else, our lives $28.8 million. Observer Home of Cullman & Kravis have changed in so many ways talked with native New Yorker Cullman (whose father was the longtime owner because of technology. Flat-screen televisions, “Wi-Fi”, and “smart house” systems of steakhouse Peter Luger’s) about inspirathat are accessed from our Black Berrys have tions—and designing for New York living. altered our expectations and convinced us that whatever we want can be instantaneously How does your experience as a lifelong New achieved—and with a minimum of interferYorker inform your process? ence in our lives. In home design, clients are I approach every project from many points of asking for easy access to all of these. We often view, and my process is informed by my experiinstall flat screens in every room, including the ence as a designer, an art and antiques enthusiliving room in the over-the-mantle spot that ast, a wife and mother and, of course, as a New was previously reserved for a precious piece Yorker. As all of these, I truly understand that it of art or for a fine antique mirror, not only beis often a challenge to live here. One enormous cause few New Yorkers can afford the luxury constraint in New York is that while we have of an unused living room, but also because every resource imaginable, space is at a prethey want to be “plugged in” all of the time. mium. The fact is that every New Yorker wants

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A rustic Greenwich, Connecticut home.

galow 5 and Worlds Away. We also like Wisteria, Circa Lighting and Vivre. Ballard Design is also a good resource for basic upholstery. Williams Sonoma Home, Restoration Hardware, CB2, West Elm, PB Teen and Crate and Barrel are terrific home furnishing stores. Some of the large chain stores now let you use COM (Customer’s Own Material) fabrics to customize pieces. Where do you go to be inspired in New York? I love to walk around the city and look at all of the exterior architecture and ornamentation. With the camera on my Black Berry, I can take terrific pictures and notes on what I see. We actually used some of these photos as inspiration for two patterns in our new fabric collection with Holland & Sherry—a brick pattern from a building on the Upper East Side and a curvilinear design from ironwork on the Lower East Side. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how much I enjoy sitting in the international departure lounge at J.F.K. From New York, I can go anywhere in the world, and I always find travel tremendously inspiring. Tell us about your room at Kips Bay this year. We [decorated] the Dining Room ... at 106 East 71st Street for Kips Bay this year. [I] am a passionate foodie, and I have conceived this room as a celebration of food and dining. Called “Dinner at Eight,” our design honors eight of the great chefs of New York City: Mario Batali, April Bloomfield, Daniel Boulud, David Chang, Anita Lo, Eric Ripert, Michael Romano and Marcus Samuelsson. The artworks in the room are wild. We’ve included a whimsical 7-foot sculpture of cooking pots, a 21-inch bright blue ice cream pop and a “portrait” of a typical New York City slice of pizza. I hope everyone will come to the Show House this year to support a terrific organization and to see all of the fabulous rooms decorated by some of New York’s greatest decorators.


the home observer fall 2010

durston saylor

Protect Your Furnishings From Fading








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real estate

by rebecca morse This weekend, 70 to 100 people will trek through the plastic-wrapped lobby of The Aldyn, an Upper West Side development so new that the offering plan has yet to be approved. What’s bringing them to the banks of the Hudson? A show house, New York style: four 14th-floor waterview apartments sport décor by household name designers. Nate Burkus? Martha Stewart? Not quite. It’s fashion designers from Elie Tahari to Diane von Furstenberg who have catwalked on up from Seventh Avenue to dress models—model apartments, that is—in ready-to-live looks reminiscent of the designers’ own runway collections. “The attention that the showrooms have brought has been unprecedented,” said Larry Kruysman of Corcoran Sunshine, who is managing sales for The Aldyn. The show “house,” open through December, “has opened the eyes of the public.” It’s one thing to have fashionistas place furniture, but what happens if you let them at the kitchen cabinets and bathroom fixtures? Forty-odd blocks south of The Aldyn, Zac Pos18

THE ALDYN For the new development at 60 Riverside Boulevard (far right), von Furstenberg dressed a model—a model apartment, that is—in her signature fabric line. Below, Tiffany & Co.’s Lambertson Truex draped a room in a ready-to-live look.


Condos Go Couture

the home observer fall 2010


16W21 Zac Posen’s designs for the Flatiron condo included a couture paint color for kitchen cabinets and custom stair rails. Posen, who dresses Hollywood’s A-list from Gwyneth Paltrow to Claire Danes, found the project “incredibly exciting and also a huge responsibility.”


en has come off the rack at 16W21, a new nineunit glass-faced condominium in the Ladies’ Mile Historic District. A chic Hollywood favorite— Gwyneth Paltrow has worn Posen to the Oscars, Tiny Fey to the 2010 Golden Globes—Posen’s influence didn’t stop at temporary model apartments. 16W21 and each of is residences feature couture touches like Posen-designed molded stair rails and a Posen-customized kitchen cabinet color (teal). Steven Ivankovich of Gruppo C’E, the Monaco-based real estate firm behind the project, told Home that a “brilliant aesthetic eye” like Zac’s “can easily be applied to fashion, interiors and across many artistic applications.” Fashion designers creating apartment interiors? Ring, ring! Sounds like 2005 calling. But surprisingly, this real estate phenomenon, reminiscent of pre-Lehman days, might just have supermodel-length legs—at least according to Michael Shvo, the man who gets (and gives himself) credit for being the first to marry fashion and interior design. “You definitely have—when you deal with these designers—a longevity.” Shvo should know. He was behind what was perhaps Manhattan’s first project to take fashion designers out of the studio and into the studio apartment: 20 Pine, dubbed “The Collection”—a FiDi condo designed by Armani/Casa, where residents can enjoy an hamman and each apartment features the kitchen equivalent of an Armani suit, where anything as mundane as an oven is discreeted away in walnut-stained wood as lush and tan as Mr. Armani himself. 20 Pine’s price tags have been marked down since its opening (lawsuits by disgruntled buyers and an eighth-inning developer switch hasn’t helped), but according to reports, it’s 90 percent sold. Also still wearable is “The Jade” at 16 West 19th Street, with interiors designed by Jade Jagger, a jewelry designer with a genetic bohemian style courtesy of parents Mick and Bianca. Jagger was commissioned to design a building that targeted, says Shvo, “younger, successful females and couples,” and she personally selected design features from finishes to colors schemes. She also, of course, picked the pods: The Jade’s signature is its “pod living” concept in which lacquered cubes stand in the middle of each apartment, hiding kitchens and bathrooms. And be the home observer fall 2010

evan joseph; getty images; patrick mcmullan

real estate

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ood style begins in the home— and with fashion designers moving out of the closet and into the furniture market, your living room may soon vie with you for best-dressed. Those gyspy pants might be eBay-bound, but a great chair is an investment that lasts. Most fashion designer’s home furniture lines reflect their runway sensibilities, especially in the case of Jean Paul Gaultier’s new collection for Roche-Bobois: From the man who brought you Madonna’s cone bustier comes a chair with wheels, a wardrobe adorned with a tattoo print (also on wheels), a full-length mirror attached to an industrial hand trolley and an aluminum-and-upholstered headboard on, you guessed it, wheels. If you prefer your furnishings a bit more conservative—or motionless—Oscar de la Renta’s sophisticated cocktail dresses translate into tailored upholstery and cabinetry fit for a Park Avenue prewar. Buying in Bedford? Outfit your entire life in Ralph Lauren, from blazers to bedroom sets, cashmere to couches. Those dizzying Easter-egg Missoni prints on your favorite poncho also cover lamps from Missoni Home, and for somewhere to rest your Birkin on rainy days, try the Hermès “Pippa” leather director’s chair: At $10,200, it folds up nicely (matching footstool sold separately). Boho Marni loyalists never have to touch ground again; the label’s signature florals dot its carpet collection for the Rug Company, which also offers wild and wool carpet blends from Paul Smith, Lulu Guiness and Vivienne Westwood. If Westwood’s trashy (literally) “Rubbish” rug or lascivious lip pillow speak a little too loudly, perhaps you’ll prefer perching on the disciplined shapes of Armani/ Casa’s extensive furniture line or Calvin Klein’s Curator Collection. After all, Calvin Klein sample sizes might run a tad snug, but a Calvin Klein couch will always fit. — R.M.


lored by Armani/Casa.

jean paul gaultier

Consuelo Castiglioni for marni

oscar de la renta


aware: There are pod people among us. The last sponsor unit, a 1,600-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath penthouse listed at $2.149 million, recently went into contract. The relative success of these branded developments might be attributable to the immediate and clear definition that association with a fashion house’s style gives a building. Not to mention the design itself. “From a real estate point of view,” says Shvo, “I felt that when you go ahead and hire any great architect, yes, they might give you a pretty building but most of the interiors end up being quite bland.” Jean Nouvel might disagree. Fashion designers do garner stronger name recognition than architects in certain circles, especially with international buyers. “With [20 Pine],” Shvo told Home, “we sold to a tremendous amount of foreigners because they come here and see a building designed by Armani, something they know and are attracted to.” The concept is hardly foolproof. Real estate insiders agree that for the concept to succeed, it needs to be the right brand for the right people in the right location. One that wasn’t? In 2005, Belfonti Properties proudly announced a stylish new building at 485 Fifth Avenue, with interiors by Peter Som. Som, a succesful but smaller designer without an Armani cachet or a clear-cut following, didn’t quite fit. Clearance sale! The property is now a Hyatt hotel. Fashion, after all, can be fleeting. As Michael Shvo, who now considers himself semi-retired, put it, “A pretty dress is not a pretty dress on everybody.” the home observer fall 2010

Product images and headshots courtesy of the rug company, roche-bobois, and century furniture.

Out of the Closet

The FiDi condo was tai-

size matters B a c k Pa i n t e d G l a s s w w w. P r e s t e a u . c o m


in the kitchen

Culinary Art Inspiration abounds for home cooks this holiday season at the Museum of Modern Art, where Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen is on display through March 14, 2011 (at 11 West 53rd Street, The exhibition, culled entirely from MoMA’s own collection, explores interwar and postwar kitchen innovations as well as views on the psychological impact of the most-used room in a home. Works like Tom Wesselmann’s Still Life-Kitchen (1968), left, and objets de cuisine, including Peter Behrens 1909 Electric Kettle, illustrate the drama and the history of the kitchen. Make your own kitchen a work of art with marianne rohrlich’s selection of contemporary unusual kitchen tools—small creations as whimsical as they are useful.

Hands On

Cutie Pie

A 9-inch pie slicer that is as sculptural as it is practical will cut six perfect pieces; $38 at Kiosk. 95 Spring Street (Crosby Street), 212-226-8601,

Rubber Peeler Gloves have a rough surface that peels and scrubs vegetables; $16 a pair at the Shop at Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum. 2 East 91st Street, 212-849-8355,


Spaghetti Scrub designed by Hiroki Hayashi, are reusable kitchen scrubbers made of cotton, polyester and corn-core powder (coarse) or peach-pit powder (gentle); $11 a pair at MoMa Design Store. 81 Spring Street (Crosby Street),, 800-851-4509.


The legs of this Turkey Timer pop up when the bird is done. It is $12.95 at Mxyplyzyk. Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle,, 800-243-9810.

courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art

Leg Up Naturals

A one-piece stainless steel grater and tongs also measures dry pasta before cooking, $10., 888-365-0056.

the home observer fall 2010

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iconic design

Grace, Space, Pace by tim street-porter The very first glimpse of the swoopy new Jaguar XJ and the sleek, long XJL triggers memories of the early big cats, a series of softly purring luxury cars that first emerged from the historic Jaguar factory in Coventry, Britain, in the early 1950s. They were as luxuriously roomy and elegant as the very phrase “Grace, Space, Pace” that floated over midcentury Jaguar advertisements. The Mark VII was the first, introduced in 1952; if you had made the money, legally or not, in those austere British postwar days, this was the car in which to flaunt it. With the accoutrements of a Rolls Royce for a fraction of the price, the Mark VII launched Jaguar into the luxury car market. It was created expressly for American consumers, set apart from Lincoln and Cadillac by burled wood interiors and folding tabletops tucked behind the front seats. With the Mark VII and its peer, the XJ120 (then the world’s fastest production car), Jaguar had entered its golden age. 26

The Mark VII and the XJ120 owed their brilliant existence to Sir William Lyons, the cofounder of a sidecar company who gravitated to full-scale automobiles in 1928. Just six years later, the Coventry-based manufacturer introduced the SS Jaguar model (after the war, the “SS” was dropped because of its Nazi connotations). Lyons supervised the design of every Jaguar produced up to and including 1962’s debut XJ series. His touch created those distinctive details that make the “Jag” iconic today. “This car,” he said, “is the closest thing we will ever create to something that is alive.” Sir Lyons retired after the launch of the XJ6 in 1968; it was his final success, often regarded by the motoring press as the most beautiful sedan of all time. The first Jaguar I owned, as a student living on an exchange scholarship in Berkeley, was a voluptuous white 1956 Mark VII with an interior featuring so much bird’s eye maple that it was like sitting inside a piece of furniture. Coming on

Getty images

A model poses on a Jaguar E-type, 1967. Below an advertisement from the 1950s.

the heels of my brief ownership of an Oldsmobile Rocket V8, this new drawing–room–like refinement in my student life was like tuning into Masterpiece Theater after a dose of The Sopranos. Everyone wanted a ride in it—anywhere! The next 30 years were a period of diminished expectations for Jaguar. Mercedes and BMW asserted themselves with superior engineering; Jaguar slipped to the sidelines. Later versions of the XJ6 looked stolid, as if put together by a management committee. In 1990, Ford bought and restructured the company, bringing out new models with varying success. It wasn’t a good fit. The X-Type, with its cramped interior and lame attempts at reprising earlier models’ design cues, was not successful. By the late 1990s, Jaguar had become a liability for Ford, which sold the brand to Indian conglomerate Tata. It is intriguing that a company from India, with its colonial past, has successfully reinvented the automobile that had earlier represented, in its stylish way, the clubby days of colonial rule. Tata has wasted no time restoring luster to Jaguar, giving free rein to chief designer Ian Callum. Callum’s challenge in creating a new XJ was to meld the traditional with the contemporary. And alongside the XK sports car and XF saloon, the new, svelte XJ is appearing in showrooms to much acclaim. Traditionalists will be happy: The picnic trays are back, folded expectantly behind the front seats. The interior is sexy, curvaceous and fun. A continuous band of burled, veneered wood curves around the driver, cradling the low-set dash with a virtual instrument display that is almost futuristic. Having owned three Jaguars since my school holidays watching them on the Goodwood racetrack in southern England, and having abandoned them for German cars in recent years, I’m saving up for a fourth.

the home observer fall 2010

john baldessari Raised Eyebrows/Furrowed Foreheads: Figure with Globe

9 color silkscreen print on Fabriano paper 32(h) x 31(w) inches Edition of 70. Signed by the artist

This edition, entitled Raised Eyebrows/Furrowed Foreheads: Figure with Globe, printed at GEMINI G.E.L., was commissioned by the American Friends of the Tel Aviv Museum in support of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. John Baldessari: Pure Beauty will be on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from October 20, 2010 - January 11, 2011. Please visit the Editions/Artists’ Books Fair in Chelsea, November 4 - 7, 2010, where we will be exhibiting at the Benefit Print Project booth, and at Art Basel/Miami/Sagamore Hotel, December 2 - 5, 2010. To purchase the print and support the Museum please contact: Enid Shapiro, American Friends of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Telephone: (212) 319-0555 Facsimile: (212) 754-2987 Email: eshapiro

on the shelves

The Americana Hotel in Bal Harbour, in 1956. Below: An exterior view of the Americana Hotel entry canopy.

Morris Lapidus, The Architecture of Joy by deborah desilets rizzoli, $65

The Joy of Lapidus by tim street-porter Morris Lapidus, The Architecture of Joy charts the Miami-based architect’s long career, spanning from 1929 to his death in 2001 at the age of 98. After studying architecture at Columbia, Lapidus became a designer of commercial store fronts and interiors in New York. Many of these commercial properties are stylish and significant, exploring themes that would carry over in later years to his hotel interiors. In 1949, he moved to Miami and designed the interiors of the Sans Souci Hotel. It caused a sensation and paved the way for the nine 1950s hotels, five in Miami Beach, for which he is famous. Impressively, he single-handedly designed the buildings, interiors and the landscaping of each of these hotels. The core of The Architecture of Joy is a display of 170 consecutive black-and-white period 28

images by leading architectural photographers of the day, including the great Ezra Stoller. These images illustrate the extraordinary range of Lapidus’ exuberant inspiration, from the organic forms of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, whose work he admired, to delirious decorative touches that are reminiscent of Dorothy Draper and Tony Duquette. They also prove that Lapidus could do mainstream Modernism as well as anyone. Had he limited himself to Modernism, however, he would have been accepted, published—and more or less forgotten today. But Lapidus had something more original to contribute, creating singlehandedly the concept of the theatrical boutique hotels that designers like Ian Schrager (who wrote the book’s foreword) and Philippe Starck developed with such success beginning in the 1980s— resorts like the Delano in Miami, the Mondrian the home observer fall 2010






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in Los Angeles and the Paramount in New York. The sweeping, Starck-designed lobby staircase in the latter is pure Lapidus. Author and architect Desilets is well qualified to write about Lapidus, whom she befriended in 1993 and whose career she helped resurrect, subsequently inheriting his archives after his death. Her text is written from firsthand experience with Lapidus—the man as well as the architect—and she has immersed herself in his methodology over a number of years. In this way she is an excellent guide for the reader. She is not, however, an architectural critic, and the book does not attempt to authoritatively place Lapidus in the pantheon of 20th-century architecture, as she herself acknowledges. Desilets’ strength is her ability to draw the reader into the Lapidus modus operandi. The architect’s intention, first and foremost, was to give the resort hotel customers an unforgettable experience at a time when hotels were bland and unremarkable. Lapidus sensed that the clientele needed to be dazzled and taken out of themselves—to forget the bleakness of the winter they had saved their money to escape. His was indeed an “architecture of joy,” as the book’s title suggests, and his genius, in addition to his considerable architectural talents, was as a showman. As Schrager states in his incisive foreword, “His architecture manifested both popular culture and the collective unconscious. Through his designs—synagogues and large-scale housing as well as the famous shops and glamorous hotels—he had a powerful way of enhancing an experience and lifting people’s spirits.” As we see in these pages, this was an architecture of considerable sophistication, but it was not until 30 years after its completion that the Fontainbleau Hotel, regarded as his masterpiece, was mentioned in the architectural press. The dictates of the International Style were so rigid in this era that to deviate from the straight lines or add any kind of decoration, let alone any expression of joie de vivre, was to invite ostracism from the establishment that at the time adhered so firmly to the “less is more” doctrine of Mies van der Rohe. The much-heralded arrival of Post-Modernism in the 1970s (a popular movement introduced by architectural theorists Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown, who championed Lapidus as one of their own) was a reaction to an increasing public distaste for glass-box architecture and helped give Lapidus the recognition he had long deserved. the home observer fall 2010

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was hung with a floral garland striped fabric of Madeleine’s creation that continued the views of the garden’s allées.

The World of Madeleine Castaing by emily evans eerdmans rizzoli, $65

Chez Castaing by annie kelly Leading designers have long counted the work of 20thcentury French decorator and antiquarian Madeleine Castaing as an inspiration. Until recently, though, it was almost impossible to find examples of her 19th-century inspired rooms anywhere but in old copies of the English magazine World of Interiors and scattered throughout various interior design books. Thanks to author Emily Evans Eerdmans, we now have The World of Madeleine Castaing, a wonderfully comprehensive work that tells Castaing’s fascinating life story and provides many examples of her stylish and original take on turn-of-thecentury decorating. In his introduction, decorator Jacques Grange explains that Castaing’s personal style was influenced by not only 19th-century homes, but that period’s literature as well: She saw Balzac and Stendhal as unequaled decorators as well as writers. They inspired her atmospheric, otherworldly and timeless mise en scènes. Eerdmans illustrates how Castaing’s style grew in the process of decorating her own home, Lèves, in the country outside Paris. Lèves was taken over by the Germans during World War II, though Castaing eventually managed to reclaim the house. No photographs remain of its earlier décor, but we see here many images showing how she refurnished it anew after its return to her. She threw Biedermeier, Russian and English Regency pieces together with Napoleon III–era details, adding random pieces of antlers or bone Far Left: Madeleine in one of her signature fanciful hats while sitting on an American Federal four-poster bed dressed in snow white muslin and bobble fringe. Left: The gallery looking toward the entrance hall was furnished with banquettes and bookcases—as layered a space as any actual room.


the home observer fall 2010

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for an unexpected texture. The war changed Castaing’s life from that of a wealthy mother and patron of the arts (her husband Marcellin enjoyed being part of the café society of the time) to a shopkeeper and eventually a decorator who defined a look of the French postwar period. You can see influences of Castaing’s decorating in movies like the great Umbrellas of Cherbourg, directed by Jacques Demy in 1964, and in such films of Jean Cocteau as Les dames du Bois de Boulogne and L’aigle a deux têtes. In fact, Cocteau became one of Castaing’s initial clients, hiring her for the interiors for his country house in Milly-laForêt. Cocteau’s chief benefactress was Francine Weisweiller, a socialite from an old Jewish banking family who was married to an American millionaire, and it was the Weisweillers who gave Castaing her first major commissions. In addition to their Paris residence, she also decorated their country house in Mortefontaine and their villa, Santo-Sospir, in SaintJean-Cap-Ferrat. After these projects, many stylish Parisians asked Castaing to help them with their own homes. Eerdmans writes, “Without the benefit of knowing the client’s directives and preferences, it is impossible to decipher how much of a free reign Madeleine was given. However, by comparing pictures of Madeleine’s rooms for herself to those for her clients, one can see ideas and themes played out over and over again.” The World of Madeleine Castaing establishes the decorator in the context of her peers and highlights her influences, predominately the English Regency and Napoleon III styles, which she made fashionable again. As the author of Regency Redux, published by Rizzoli in 2008, Emily Evans Eerdmans is on firm ground here; she writes knowledgeably about Castaing’s life, and it is wholly absorbing to read about this controversial, contradictory and fascinating decorator. the home observer fall 2010

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on the shelves

Private Gardens of Connecticut by jane garmey photography by john m.hall monacelli press, $65

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the home observer fall 2010

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A vista in Bunny William’s Falls Village garden. Opposite: Michael Trapp’s Cornwall Bridge property.

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horticulturalists nationwide. Garmey is an excellent writer and her knowledgeable text is a pleasure. Never pedantic, she envelopes the reader into the very spirit of all 28 properties she has selected for the book—each one a very personal choice, according to her introduction, which reads, “This book was never intended to be a comprehensive survey of private gardens in Connecticut, but is instead a personal and often idiosyncratic selection.” Photographer John M. Hall shows the structure of each garden, an acheivement that many similar works fail to acheive. It is a pleasure to visit, through the beautiful pages, properties like New York philanthoprist Anne Bass’s Rock Cobble Farm rose garden, which features more than 140 varieties of roses. Robert Couturier, in Kent, has an almost entirely green garden with high clipped hedges, parterres and rows of trees that remind him of his native France and has the added advantage of being relatively seasonless in the tough winter climate of Connecticut. The reader will marvel over the extensive views of Oscar and Annette de la Renta’s extraordinary garden, previously featured in this magazine; its clipped symmetry and majestic double row of flowering pear trees never fails to thrill. Inge Heckel has more than 50,000 daffodils that bloom every year in front of her 1790s Lakeville saltbox, stopping passers by in their tracks with the magnificent April sight. Heckel doesn’t seem to have to the home observer fall 2010

We just look expensive.

do much in the way of maintenance, Garmey writes: “Heckel’s chief responsibility is to fill in any of the patches and mow the field twice a year.”! Legendary garden designer Michael Trapp’s wisteria-filled arbors and cobbled paths are an inspiration, and 14 pages on Bunny William’s famous Falls Village garden make the reader wish for still more glimpses into the renowned interior designer’s home. Williams, while not a professional garden designer, has spent years working on hers, adding and subtracting until things look “right.” As Garmey writes, “There’s so much to love about Bunny William’s garden: the bold scale of the perennial borders; the ornamental flair of an enclosed parterre potager; the late summer opulence of the large kitchen garden; the quiet charms of a meandering woodland garden; and a romantic conservatory filled with tender scented plants.” Garmey’s focus on personal gardens illustrates how individual owners respond to their own distinct landscapes and personal aesthetic; it is a pity these gardens are not open to the public. However, a careful look at garden tour schedules of Connecticut next summer might reveal one or two of them open for a afternoon to benefit a charity or a garden club. In the meantime, Garmey’s Private Gardens of Connecticut is a wonderful start to the fastapproaching winter’s garden planning. —A.K. the home observer fall 2010

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Fashion favorites West Chin and Roseann Repetti design a dazzling and dramatic loft where family fun meets sophisticated style



By R e b ecca M o rs e

“I wanted ‘dramatic,’” says Atoosa Rubenstein of her first “grown-up” apartment with her husband, Ari. The editor in chief of Seventeen until 2005 and the founding editor of the now-defunct CosmoGirl, Rubenstein knows a little something about visual drama. As the youngest editor in Hearst’s history, she revolutionized the teen publishing market—leaving little time for décor. The Rubensteins lived in the same Upper West Side rental—“the digs of two 25-year-old kids”—for almost 10 years as they both pursued frenetic careers. When they purchased their 3,000-square-foot Flatiron district loft in 2007, its design needed to be “reflective of our tastes and sensibilities, whereas where we lived before … was literally like a dormitory.” Enter West Chin Architect pllc., an architecture and interior design firm known for its clean, sexy and modern portfolio. Amber Valetta, Shalom Harlow and Christy Turlington and Ed Burns have all turned to WCA’s West Chin and Roseann Repetti, partners at WCA—and in life: The two are married with a 10-yearold son. That parental perspective took on new importance when, well into the project, Atoosa called the firm, “in a panic,” she recalls, “saying, ‘That room is no longer an office! We’re having a baby.’” She was talking to the right team; family living with style is WCA’s niche. With baby en route, and the Rubensteins’ two beloved cats to consider, functionality took priority alongside form. The p h oto g r a p h y b y J o s h u a M c H u g h


the home observer fall 2010

Steven Klein’s Madonna

#01 (2006) hangs above the statuary bronze fireplace. The Moroso swivel armchairs are a favorite hangout for the Rubensteins’ daughter. the home observer fall 2010


Bert Stern’s 1962 photograph of Marilyn Monroe watches over the Piero Lissoni for Porro P.04 dining table. Opposite, clockwise from top: The media room; custom Bocce chandelier from Matter; Peter Pracilio’s My Mother the Hunter on a Jane table in Corian from FTF Design Studio.


the home observer fall 2010

the home observer fall 2010



the home observer fall 2010

WCA extended the kitchen’s rosewood panels to enclose the home office, powder room and pantry. The .25 white lacquer tray is from WCA’s own FTF Design Studio. Opposite: Menhir tables by Piero Lissoni for Living Divani in the media room.

the home observer fall 2010



the home observer fall 2010

Primary colors like the bright red of a Cuba sofa bed by Rodolfo Dordon pop in the nursery. Below: Dylan crib by ducduc. Opposite: The serene master bedroom reflects “who we want to be,” says Atoosa Rubenstein. The Saarinen womb armchair is from Knoll.

resulting flawless loft is a riddle (a child lives here?): The answer is that anything not stain-proofed can be wiped down, particularly the spectacular— and indestructible—Corian pieces from WCA’s design arm, FTF Design Studio, atop which the Rubensteins’ daughter, now 2, can often be found dancing with friends. “It’s the most decorative apartment in the building,” says Roseann Repetti, “but it’s also where all the kids and families in the building go to play.” For now, at least. “We laugh because we are surrounded by breasts,” laughs Atoosa about Bert Stern’s print of a topless Marilyn Monroe and a similarly sexy piece by Ghada Amer and Rez Farkhondeh in the media room. “I’m terrified that once my daughter continues on at school, this is going to be the place where kids are not allowed to come.” But it’s that avantgarde style that most embodies the young family, who requested of WCA a certain quirkiness for their home—though not enough to compromise resale value. “They wanted to keep the space loftlike,” says Chin, who incorporated his signature core box concept by wrapping the powder room, pantry and home office in rosewood enclosures extending from the kitchen. Attention to lighting is another WCA signature; in the Rubensteins’ loft, huge windows flood the space with natural light. “The window treatments are just dreamy,” says Repetti, “elegant, linen-y and soft.” “Dreamy” might just be the world to describe the entire space, where contemporary, cool minimalism nonetheless evokes a livable warmth. Driving the success of the project was the ease of communication between Atoosa and Repetti, who also has roots in the publishing industry. That shared shorthand made the process smooth, even for first-time renovators like the Rubensteins. “Your home is something you don’t want to rush,” says Atoosa, whose quest for the building’s permission to install the custom Bocce chandelier delayed the project for six months, “but we didn’t freak out about it. We wanted our home to be exactly what we wanted it to be.” Sometimes that meant negotiating with husband Ari. “I remember when Roseann and I were picking out furniture, accessories and even some architectural details, I really had to drag him to the point of ‘yes’ at moments,” in one instance to install remote controls for the lighting. Now, however, each detail is beloved—and the few suggestions not taken regretted. “You have the right partner in a project like this,” notes Atoosa of WCA. “You really do have to take a leap of faith and realize that they know what they’re talking about. [S]ome things that may just seem extravagant ... make a huge difference in your quality of life. This said by the girl that kisses ther chandelier’s remote control every night!” the home observer fall 2010


Colonial Charm

Matthew Patrick Smyth’s late 18th-century home in Sharon, Connecticut, sets 21st-century contemporary style against classic Colonial charm

B y a n n i e k e l ly

Like many busy New York decorators, Matthew Patrick Smyth enjoys leaving the stresses of the city and driving out to peaceful Litchfield County. With his partner, author Jean Vallier, he also maintains apartments in Paris and Miami, but they are too far away for a quick weekend escape. If he is lucky, he can add an extra night or two in Connecticut by visiting clients in Greenwich and Westport en route. Nearly eight years ago, Smyth came across his house in Sharon on the Internet while searching areas near train stations for an easy commute to New York. The town’s main street has many well-kept 18thand 19th-century houses on either side of a small green, and Smyth’s “find” was set back a little on this road as it continues through the p h ot o g r a p h y b y t i m s t r e e t- p o r t e r


the home observer fall 2010

The comfortable seating area on the sunporch is upholstered in linen from Hinson, with pillow fabric from Claremont.

the home observer fall 2010



the home observer fall 2010

Smyth designed the living room furniture. Painting by Sewell Sillman.

Opposite: The sunporch dresser is filled with a collection of objects found all over the world, including tankards from Germany and a tip box from New York state. Right: An eclectic mix of objects on the dining room table.

town. It was probably a good thing he saw the house in winter, as its run-down appearance was not hidden by summer foliage—allowing an unvarnished look at the actual work that was needed. With a long waiting period before the property could be bought, Smyth was able to get all his plans and the necessary quotes in place so he could start immediately upon the deed being filed. Luckily, the house took only a short five months to renovate. Smyth learned that his late 18th-century house was once the Iron Cauldron Inn, a hotel for teachers from the school next door. Since 1790, when the house was built, the upstairs had been cut up into many different rooms. After a hundred years as an inn, the Iron Cauldron became home to families with lots of children. Smyth feels that he is giving the house a rest, as it is occupied most weekends only by the couple, who enjoy it for its peace and quiet. Vallier likes to write here, and the two can stroll into town and enjoy the small village atmosphere without using their car. During the restoration, there were surprises. A beautiful tiger maple stair rail was discovered under a later-period wall, and the Palladian-style the home observer fall 2010


front window, found hidden away on the stair landing, was reopened to the interior. This mezzanine space then became large enough to use as a small, informal sitting room. Smyth converted the upstairs into three useful bedrooms and put some of the spare rooms to work as adjoining bathrooms. Downstairs he gave the house a new kitchen and reworked the back into a comfortable living and dining space. An entrance does double duty as a dining room, and its wall of 54

antique maps of Paris remind the couple of their home in France. The living room, to the left, was created from several smaller rooms and is furnished with an eclectic collection of furniture, making it seem traditional and modern at the same time. Smyth loves being in the country, especially here in northwest Connecticut. Smyth’s favorite town? He enjoyed renovating the White Hart Inn in nearby Salisbury, but, according to the designer, “it’s hard to say what the prettiest town is!” in the beautiful area. the home observer fall 2010

The guest bathroom wallpaper was customdesigned for Smyth by Dennis Lee for Tyler Hall. Opposite: An antique Irish mirror hangs inside the guest bed canopy.

the home observer fall 2010


Animal Kingdom Gregory Speck goes wild on the Upper West Side with a menagerie of remarkably well-behaved roommates

Author, celebrity journalist and zoologist Gregory Speck is used to the inevitable double take from first-time visitors to his apartment. They would be forgiven for assuming Speck is a big-game hunter. After all, room after room of stuffed animals might not seem like the typical habitat for a conservationist. Each one of Speck’s trophies is, however, a rescue. Anything spotted on his travels that looks like it needs a home is purchased on the spot and brought back to his Upper West Side apartment. He prefers those animals that have died from natural causes; his pheasants, a gift to round out his collection, were raised from eggs by game-bird breeders; both a huge moose and a beautiful swan were roadkill brought back to life by taxidermists. Speck has owned his apartment near the Museum of Natural History since he was a young reporter for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine in the 1970s. In those days, he was more likely to collect people—old Hollywood movie stars were his speciality. He spent hours interviewing all the greats, most of whom have since died. Everyone from Lillian Gish, Helen Hayes and James Cagney to Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland sat down with Speck, as did Audrey Hepburn, Ava Gardner and even Katharine Hepburn—a notoriously hard person to track down, let alone p h oto g r a p h y b y t i m s t r e e t- p o r t e r


the home observer fall 2010

In the living room, a portrait of Speck’s late wife hangs above her collection of antique porcelain from Sèvres, surrounded by his stuffed animals and birds.

the home observer fall 2010



the home observer fall 2010

A black bear greets guests in the entry. Below: Gregory Speck. Opposite: Deer and elk hang in the dining room.

interview. Perhaps stuffed animals were an easier collection to gather. Speck can count 200 animals in his two-bedroom apartment and has another 200 displayed in his country house in Virginia. Touring the collection with Speck is like visiting with an aimable zoologist—he describes each animal in detail, including its habitat and rarity. He is quick to point out that each one comes from the U.S.A. Sitting on an entry table, “Bob,” the stuffed bobcat (“roadkill, I’m afraid,” Speck explains sadly), seems almost alive. Unexpectedly, all the animals bear a patient, bemused expression, as if they are aware of their good fortune to have been rescued from commercial store refrigerators and taxidermist storerooms. Speck plans to create a museum someday, where his extraordinary collection of trophies can be seen in one place, as remnants of the vanished tradition of hunting wild game. —Annie Kelly the home observer fall 2010


Family Style

on the Upper East Side Interior designer Philip Gorrivan and his family retreat to a glamorous, colorful apartment where everyone from growing children to a large standard poodle can feel at home

In Manhattan, where space is at a premium, many families with young children abandon all hope of a glamorous adult life. Interior designer Philip Gorrivan and his wife, Lisa, however, manage to have the best of both worlds with an elegant Upper East Side apartment and two energetic children, 11-year-old Isabelle and 8-year-old Charlie. Philip Gorrivan’s career began in the business world, on the publishing side of Hearst magazines and later in venture capital. He began to decorate as a career when encouraged by friends who liked what what they saw when they came by the family’s home. “I always loved design and was always interested in building a business in that field, and finally I had the opportunity to make this a reality,” explains Gorrivan. Today, he is included in the lists of up-and-coming designers, with work regularly included in all the decorating maga-

zines. His corporate background may well explain the orderly precision of his work on his own home. The bright red kitchen banquette and chairs are upholstered in a sturdy child-friendly leather. The living room is accessorized with books in neat piles on tables and shelves—no brittle china and glass here with young children around. Isabelle and Charlie have colorful rooms of their own, placed off the living room to create a distinct space for them to enjoy during playtimes not spent at the family’s sprawling Connecticut country home. There, they go shopping with their mother in local farmers’ markets, accompanied by Leo, the family’s large standard poodle. The apartment was purchased more than three years ago and took about a year to redo. It was two spaces quite recently joined together, and Gorrivan reworked the combined apartments so that they were more logically connected. The second

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the home observer fall 2010

Gorrivan planned the kitchen to look like a streamlined butler’s pantry. Opposite: Leo, the family dog, blends into the living room dÊcor. the home observer fall 2010


Gorrivan designed the banquette and the limed-oak tables in the dining area. Opposite: The painting over the bedroom chest of drawers is by William Betts.


the home observer fall 2010

the home observer fall 2010


The master bedroom’s walls are covered in Manila hemp by Phillip Jeffries. Below: Piggy, Piggy Junior and Scruffy go everywhere with the family. Opposite: Isabelle’s bed linens are made from Lee Jofa’s David Hicks fabric. A feather pendant light found by her father in Paris hangs above the bed.

kitchen became a large, well-planned laundry, an essential room for a young family, and what was once a dining area is now a cozy family room, enveloped by a sectional sofa upholstered in fabric designed by Gorrivan for Highland Court. The black lacquered foyer provides a note of whimsy: “I always wanted to do an octagonal entry, and this element, although in its raw state, was what sold us on the potential of the apartment,” says Gorrivan. “I was inspired by Dorothy Draper’s black laquered lobby for the Carlyle Hotel.” The sophistication of the entry sets the stage for the overall tone of the apartment, as does the very personal choice of art. The wall behind the dining area in the main room is hung with a collection assembled by Gorrivan over the years. Old Master drawings from the 17th to the 19th centuries mingle with a 64

nearby photograph by Michael Wolf that can be seen from the entry. Gorrivan insists his poodle, Leo, was not the inspiration for the colors of the apartment. After all, he arrived after the family had moved in. Somehow, though, he blends in perfectly with the browns and beiges of the main living room. France, especially Yves Saint Laurent’s Paris apartment, was another strong influence for the apartment’s design, and Gorrivan travels there whenever he can. His fabric line for Duralee/Highland Court recently appeared in the prestigous Maison et Object trade show in Paris, and in fact, Gorrivan’s apartment could pass for a chic and modern place in the 6th Arrondissment. But he is happy here in New York, especially now that he has found his true métier. —Annie Kelly the home observer fall 2010

the home observer fall 2010


Park Slope Rock & Roll From oceanfront in Santa Monica to an 1888 Neo-Grec townhouse: Courtney and Matt Winslow’s Brooklyn home brings Los Angeles flavor and a touch of rock & roll to Park Slope

They had six months to complete the “soup-to-nuts” renovation— from facade work to furniture placement—but Fitzhugh Karol and Lyndsay Caleo of the Brooklyn Home Company were up to the challenge. Their clients, concert producer Matt Winslow and his wife, Courtney, had found the ultimate Greek revival townhouse on Park Slope’s historic Lincoln Place but had yet to make the move east with son Cash, now two and a half. “They were still living in California during the renovation,” says Caleo, “so they had to trust us a lot.” Even from a distance, though, the clients were involved in the project. “Courtney had a great vision. Often times clients say, ‘We have no idea what we want to do,’ but in this case it really was a collaboration,” Karol recalls. That cross-country collaboration resulted in a richly colorful and dynamic 21st-century take on the 3,500-square-foot 19th-century brownstone—with contemporary floor-plan adjustments, custom Sapele woodwork and a sprinkling of Santa Monica style. The Winslows “had that California vibe,” explains Karol. “We wanted to go with that.” Thanks to Matt Winslow’s musical background, the Winslows had “all kinds of prints and music-related photography. We had a lot of things to work with that we knew were mainstays,” including the architectural details of the townhouse, many shared by its neighbors in the historic Park Slope district. “The house is full of amazing original details,” wrote Caleo in an email, “and we wanted to emphasize all the beauty of those details but update them. I became obsessed with painting the foyer, hallways and kitchen, which are all heavy p h ot o g r a p h y b y E m i ly G i l b e r t


the home observer fall 2010

Brooklyn Home Company salvaged and restored original flooring for a dressing room that separates the master bedroom and bath. Walls shine in Benjamin Moore’s Royal Flush.

the home observer fall 2010



the home observer fall 2010

with this amazing cake molding in a rich, gorgeous off-black. It added a lot of drama and modernized the space while still keeping it classic.” After highlighting the brownstone’s historic architure, the design duo paid tribute to their clients’ individuality as a young, stylish family. “We took [an] antique chandelier in the kitchen and dunked it in red rubber,” says Caleo. “We had some offbeat ideas but they were great with letting us really go for it.” From roof cornice to stoop, the house is a testament to the family-run Brooklyn Home Company’s core mission—to create rooms with a sense of “escape.” Using eco-friendly materials, nontraditional treatments and pieces with a handmade component, Karol and Caleo and their team of local Brooklyn artists and builders work to create spaces where, says Karol, “you feel you can exhale when you walk in.” Perfect for a Brooklyn home in which you can—almost—catch the Santa Monica breezes blowing through. Courtney Winslow may have best summed up her new home in the blog that she has started since moving to Brooklyn. Its name? “Fabulous in Park Slope.” —Rebecca Morse the home observer fall 2010

Clockwise from top: The brownstone’s kitchen features the original fireplace redone in Carrera marble and a red-rubber-dipped chandelier (reflected in the mirror); the parlor room was wallpapered and painted in a soft gray; a pop of red in a guest room. Opposite: The dining room.



the home observer fall 2010

In toddler Cash’s room, a striped ceiling and music memorabilia set off rich original architectural detail. Opposite: A playroom for a wordly tot.


Rural Life A long-awaited renovation in Connecticut combines historical accuracy with local design finds

Washington, Connecticut, is a perfect location for businessman Peter Nestler, who travels around the country for an international company and appreciates the proximity to New York. When Nestler and his wife, Betsey, bought their 1845 house in Washington more than 30 years ago, it was in worse condition than it appeared. ­Betsey claims she had no idea how much work was needed. It was a mess, she says, and the couple were too busy working and raising their children to turn their attention to a complete renovation. In the intervening years, Betsey busied herself opening several local design stores in succession, each of which sold vintage furniture and found objects. Finishing the house was the climax of years of planning and waiting; in the meantime, Peter, one of her two sons, had grown older and ready to help. Admittedly, the family had gotten the essentials out of the way. They had replaced areas of the house damaged beyond repair, including the kitchen porch at the front left-hand side of the house. The dining room’s antique brick floor had been an inspired and economical choice to replace a rotting wood floor, but a final crisis came years later when Betsey flatly refused to use the kitchen unless it was renovated. Son Peter came to the rescue with the help of a fellow carpenter and built his mother a brand-new kitchen. He added marble countertops and a very functional kitchen island and created a seating area on one side by opening up the back staircase, which

The white-painted entry features bright red chairs from Jennings and Rohn in Woodbury.

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the home observer fall 2010

the home observer fall 2010


In a corner of the dining room sits a console table with a large wooden elephant from Betsey’s store. Opposite: The kitchen was opened up and renovated with the help of the Nestlers’ son Peter.


the home observer fall 2010

A Victorian iron bed makes a sculptural statement in the guest bedroom.

the home observer fall 2010

adds space to the already well-sized room. Renovated bathrooms followed, and the upstairs rooms were updated and painted. Betsey had known all along that the front porch looked “wrong,” and a recently discovered photo of the house in 1950 revealed the stairs in their original position. Today, the restored stairs leading to the front door are a distinctive architectural feature, flanked by a pair of chinoiserie-style white outdoor chairs. Inside, the front room spans the main section of the house and is filled with finds from Betsey’s stores that sit against a neutral background of white walls and a wood floor that was painted black. The rest of the house’s treasures were found in Litchfield County: The red chairs in the entry were discovered at Jennings and Rohn in Woodbury, Connecticut, and the metal kitchen furniture came from the late Judy Hornby in nearby Bantam. Antiquarian and landscape designer Michael Trapp was the source for additional Asian-inspired fabrics and pottery. The Nestlers could have lived anywhere in New England, but they found that Washington was the ideal choice, with its combination of sophisticated rural life and easy distance to New York City. —Annie Kelly 75

HOME Gallery

American Friends of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is a non-profit organization founded in 1974 to raise funds for the Museum and to seek gifts of notable works of art for its collections. AFTAM hosts a year-round calendar of events, including gallery visits, art lectures, private tours of art collections, and a Gala. Please call our Executive Director at 212-319-0555 or visit our website at to learn more about the Museum.

Anthony Lombardo Designs is preeminent in creating the finest, most authentic custom fireplace mantels and wood paneling. Our master carvers can reproduce and re-proportion finely detailed appointments with breathtaking beauty. We have 20 antique models to choose from, but can also create from your drawings. Our mantels are available in walnut, mahogany, cherry, oak, poplar, maple and pine. We can also carve from any wood species you prefer. Each mantel is created as a single unit, No assembly is required.

Atelier offers an exceptionally innovative selection of Italian residential and contract furniture, lighting and accessories. The contemporary designs offered are exceedingly advanced in quality, comfort, functionality and aesthetics. 
 Atelier presents a plethora of life-style alternatives in contemporary living while providing highly personalized and comprehensive furnishing services for their clients. Atelier partners with suppliers who invest in eco-friendly production aiming to significantly reduce the negative impacts on the environment. Atelier is not only a valuable resource for high-end contemporary furniture but also operates as an art gallery showcasing works of national and international artists. 206 Lexington Avenue, Suite 202 212-696-0211

Center44, the Midtown Manhattan marketplace for antiques and modernism. 75 dealers and every period are represented at Center44’s showrooms, open MondaySaturday 10am-5pm, 222 East 44th Street, New York, NY 10017 212-450-7988. Take a look at our website www. Nate Berkus recently said “Center44 is my favorite place to shop!” 222 East 44th Street, New York, NY 10017 212-450-7988


Since 1995 when the family-owned Broadway Kitchens & Baths opened its flagship Manhattan store, customers have asked the same question, “I want to redo my kitchen and bathroom, but where do I start?” The answer is “Broadway Kitchens & Baths”. BKB now has 3 convenient locations; Manhattan, Englewood NJ and Stamford Ct. BKB has a simple mission to help the customer make good choices, then execute the renovation on time, and within budget.

With 8 wholesale branches and 7 showrooms, Davis & Warshow is the NY metro region’s resource for all things plumbing, from the largest industrial valve, to the most elegant faucets and fixtures available. Legendary for superlative service, Davis & Warshow has been named Supply House Times “Wholesaler of the Year” in 1988 and again in 2003. Davis & Warshow is a 100% employee-owned company. For more information on Davis & Warshow, visit

Antique and Vintage Woods of America (AVW), located in the historic Hudson Valley, offers one of the most respected and diverse inventories of antique and vintage hardwood beams and flooring. AVW salvages and reclaims historic wood and brick materials from century old barns, houses, gristmills, factories, and mushroom facilities and incorporates the materials into new and restorative construction projects. Wide plank flooring is our specialty. We offer an extensive line of precision milled wide plank flooring in a variety of species and styles, from rustic to modern elegant. Wide planks typically range from 3 – 24 inches wide and 4 – 20 feet long. All of our floors, are hand selected, made to order, and milled to your specification. Antique & Vintage Woods of America 2290 Route 199 Pine Plains, NY 12567 518-398-0049,

At Carlyle you can: Purchase a new custom sofa or sofa bed that will last for over 50 years. Have that same sofa recovered over and over again, by us. Have your cushions and/or mattress replaced when needed, by us. Have a trusted source for all your heirloom reupholstery and cushion needs under one roof. Over 50 years of family owned pride and expertise, our own showrooms and our own local factory make us the wise choice for quality driven New Yorkers. Engineered for every night sleep with the STEELWEAVE™ mechanism. East Side 1056 Third Ave. , New York, N.Y. 10065, Tel: 212-838-1525 Chelsea 122 West 18th Street., New York, N.Y. 10011, Tel: 212-675-3212 Factory, Showroom & Clearance Center 6 Empire Blvd., Moonachie, N.J. 07074 Tel: 973-546-4502

For over 60 years Elgot has been Manhattan’s premier source for kitchen and bath design, remodeling and major appliance sales and installation. That’s why discerning New Yorkers rely on Elgot for quality, service and experience. Our staff is always happy to help you choose energy efficient and eco-friendly products to allow you to support green living in Manhattan. From too-tight spaces to arcane building codes to co-op regulations, we’ve seen and done it all! 937 Lexington Avenue (68th/69th Sts.) New York, NY 10065 212-879-1200,

the home observer fall 2010

English Country Antiques Chris Mead, has been in the home furnishings business for 20 yrs. Originally a photographer of home and gardening books, he now has two stores with 20,000 sq feet of inventory, and is one of the leading suppliers to home owners , designers and architects across the country. The Bridgehampton store has one of the biggest fabric libraries on the east end, where our experienced staff help designers and homeowners a with window treatments, upholstery and wall coverings.

Tel 631 537 0606

HIXENBAUGH ANCIENT ART New York Hixenbaugh Ancient Art is an Upper East Side gallery specializing in fine quality authentic antiquities. We handle Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek, Roman, Celtic, and Byzantine art, including marble and bronze statuary, weapons, manuscripts, vases, glass, mosaics, terracottas, paintings, and ancient coins. Our inventory includes modestly priced decorative objects for the casual collector as well as museum quality masterpieces of ancient art for the true connoisseur. Member: Appraisers Association of America (AAA) Art and Antique Dealers League of America (AADLA) Confederation Internationale des Negociants en Oeuvres d’Art (CINOA) Tuesday – Saturday 11 -6 320 East 81st Street, New York NY 10028, 212.861.9743

While the principles and tradition behind Greenbaum Interiors’ prevailing success remain intact, Susan Gross foresees “new beginnings.” “We intend to refocus our design center to make full use of the latest technology. The world becomes a little closer with each passing day. Through the use of this technology we have immediate access to more than 2,000 suppliers worldwide. If an item can’t be found, we can still design and manufacture the piece in our own workshops. 101 Washington Street l paterson l (973) 279-3000

Established in 1938, Jaguar of Great Neck was the first Jaguar dealership in the Country. Our experience has led to a reputation of value, personal service and after-sale support that is unrivaled. For 70+ years we have been selling to and servicing the New York area with the pride and attention it deserves. Model for model, option for option, no one is more competitive than us. We will beat any advertised price in New York...Guaranteed! Fulfill your passion for perfection with one of our awesome 2010 Jaguar XF or XK models. One is waiting for you at Jaguar of Great Neck. 888-263-4158

the han horse For 12 years The McCormick family has handpicked and brought to NYC the best antique treasures from China. Their two-story gallery showcases this exquisite 18th/19th c. Qing furniture, along with Han, Tang and Ming Dynasty artifacts and a range of wonderfully unique accessories and artwork. These pieces are loved for their unusual elegance and great utility. The website shows pieces in context along with full inventory, including two books written by The McCormicks: Chinese Country Antiques and Old China/New Style. 973 Lexington Ave. 212 988-4558   

Just Shades has been in business for over 40 years, so it comes as no surprise that Just Shades offers the largest selection of ready-made shades in New York City. From traditional pleats and silks to the more contemporary parchment shades, we carry a shade for every lighting situation. We cater not only to top designers and decorators, but to individuals looking for that perfect shade. For the hard to please, we also create custom shades from our fabrics or from your own fabrics. 21 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012 212-966-2757

Manufacturing furniture is our expertise – providing an unforgettable experience is our passion. Lazzoni does not design, manufacture, and market extraordinary furniture for the home, but for the individual. We embrace the diversity, inconformity, and uniqueness of our customers and furniture alike. The foundation for this philosophy was established over 50 years ago, and Lazzoni has never looked back since. If we are as exceptional as our customers, who knows what will come next.

Founded in 1823, Lee Jofa is the industry leader in high-end, to-the-trade home furnishings, including fabrics, furniture, wall coverings, carpet, trimmings and lighting. Lee Jofa specializes in style and luxury, offering products distributed under exclusive brands such as Lee Jofa, Groundworks, G.P. & J. Baker, Mulberry Home, Cole & Son and others.

Lerebours Antiques features an eclectic collection of Continental as well as American antique, vintage and mid-century modern furniture, lighting and art. Open Monday thru through Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday and Sunday by appointment. Please view our website, . Matthew Patrick Smyth recently described Lerebours Antiques as “one of the nicest shops in NYC.”

154 West 18th Street, New York NY 10011 212-242-0606

For further brand information, please refer to

220 East 60th St., NYC 10022. 917- 749-5866.

the home observer fall 2010


HOME Gallery

Lighting By Gregory is the nation’s premier distributor of designer lighting and fans. LBG provides a comprehensive selection of the industry’s finest brand names. One of our top brands, Estiluz, has become one of the leading decorative lighting manufacturers in the world due to its unique fixture design always focused on functionality, high quality, and user-friendliness of its products.

Both of Ligne Roset’s Manhattan locations display Europe’s largest collection of brilliant contemporary furniture designs. We are proud of our sustainable practices, beautiful stores, large quick ship program and our very special team of experienced interior designers and factory trained installers. Our talented staff is always ready to work with you on that one needed piece or on a total plan for your home.

158 Bowery, New York, NY 10012. Tel: 800-807-1826. www.lightingbygregory

For the full Roset collection and Quick Ship program:

Does your home or office have a great view? Explore and enjoy  it to the utmost with Oberwerk LongRange Binoculars and Binocular  Telescopes.  Highest quality optics provide Stunning clarity and  sharpness at surprisingly affordable prices.   See us online at For free catalog, call 866-623-7937 or email to

J. Pocker & Son has spent over 80 years developing a superior reputation for good taste, product knowledge and customer service in picture framing and decorative prints. We are a thirdgeneration, family-owned business. We strive to make relationships with our clients the focus of our business. Our clients include neighborhood loyalists, the best of the interior design world and the next generation of New York trendsetters. This makes J. Pocker & Son the perfect resource for “The city that never sleeps


Roberta Roller Rabbit is a sunny bazaar packed with colorful chic apparel, life style accessories, and furniture and home furnishings. The products feature Indian hand block prints, inspired by the cultural curiosity of New York designer Roberta Freymann. Roberta’s whimsical outlook, vivid imagination and effortlessly sophisticated style translates to each piece. Visit us for design inspiration or just to get away from it all - New York, The Hampton’s, Santa Monica or on the web www.RobertaRollerRabbit. com


Contact: Website, By Phone: 1-800443-3116,

Savoir Beds, the London based brand that since 1905 have provided the ultimate night’s sleep for some of the world’s luckiest and most well rested inhabitants have now opened the doors of possibilities to the US consumer. With the motto “Banish Insomnia” and the opening of the New York flagship store Savoir have clearly shown their intentions and positioning as the luxury bed brand. Stop by the SoHo showroom, you’ll love it… 28 Wooster Street, NYC.

The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center, New York’s largest antique center, houses 100 galleries on three levels an entire city block long. Specializing in fine furniture, silver jewelry, tapestries, paintings, clocks and objects of art, their varied collections hail from America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Featured in the photo from Flying Cranes Antiques is a bronze and parcel gilt tennin-in-flight. Miya-o signature plaque. Meiji Period. Japan. The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center 1050 Second Ave. NYC Tel: 212-355-4400

My approach to painting reflects my philosophy about aesthetics in general... that the key to what “works”... and by the same token doesn’t work for me, lies in the transitions. The effective juxtaposition of what may seem to be conflicting or incompatible colors, may lie in the way they blend... how one handles the segue. As my work evolves, I seek to explore that core concept... the effect of blending and transition from one color, form...and even material to another. www. p r e s t e au. com 847.337.0944

Stickley collectors anxiously await the introduction of the newest limited edition item every year. Many customers purchase them as gifts to honor a special event such as a birth, wedding or graduation.  Every limited edition is permanently retired after one year, adding to its charm and value.  This graceful prairie-style piece can store books, wine bottles, or 100 CDs or DVDs. Specially priced at $999 and available at Stickley, Audi & Co., Manhattan and White Plains.

the home observer fall 2010

Beautiful Greenhouses & Solariums

Applied to the interior surface of your windows, Sunshield Energy Control’s invisible coating offers high tech protection of fine furnishings, fabrics and artwork from the destructive effects of sunlight. Their proprietary preservation products are utilized in the world’s finest homes and most prestigious museum environments. Energy conservation benefits are additionally realized through solar heat and glare reduction.  Sunshield’s knowledge and expertise will ensure that your valuable investments will remain safe for future generations to enjoy. 

Sunshield Energy Control Systems “The Intelligent Solution to Solar Control” 129 Union Avenue New Rochelle, NY 10801

Wittus – Fire by Design has the finest selection of European contemporary indoor and outdoor fireplaces, stoves, and accessories.

40 Westchester Ave., POB 120, Pound Ridge, NY 10576 914-764-5679

the home observer fall 2010

Because New Yorkers’ have everything but space: techline Studio- furniture that fits. Architect owned, we measure, design, and install our modular systems for a custom fit solution. Our job is to help you make the most of your home and office space. And to find spaces and places for the things that matter. 35 East 19th Street, NY, NY 10003 212-674-1813

Yael Sonia’s modern cutting-edge jewelry creations are as unique as each of its owners. Inspired by children’s toys this kinetic jewelry is comprised of rolling spheres, swinging pendulums and spinning tops. It’s jewelry that comes alive with its wearer as the melodic sounds are perpetually emitted when the fine gemstones and pearls meet the art of handcrafted 18K gold structures. Yael Sonia art jewelry boutique at 922 Madison Avenue (btw. 73rd & 74th Sts.), 212.472.6488

Beautiful Greenhouses & Solariums Over 150 years of history in building custom designed greenhouses, solariums, skylights and glass enclosures Custom Design • Greenhouses • Solariums Skylights • Glass Enclosures Under Glass Mfg. Corp. is the exclusive manufacturer Under GlaSS MFG. Corp. of the original Lord & Burnham greenhouses and solariums. High Falls, New York • 845.687.4700 We were established in 1989 after acquiring the Lord & Burnham product line. At Under we areofcommitted ExclusiveGlass manufacturer the original Lord & Burnham product to our Motto: “Elegance and Function”.Over The growing 150 years of History environment cannot be compromised.

Under Glass Mfg. Corp., PO Box 81, High Falls, NY 12440, 845- 687-4700. Email:,

Zarin Fabrics is the largest resource of discounted designer fabrics in New York City. Established in 1936, this third generation business is stocked with thousands of bolts of upholstery and drapery fabrics.  Zarin offers custom window treatment and upholstery services, as well as a wide selection of blinds and shades, ready made drapes, drapery hardware, upholstery supplies and trimmings. Zarin Fabrics is the only place to go for your fabric, window treatment and upholstery needs! Zarin Fabrics 314 Grand Street, New York, NY, 212-925-6112


in the neighborhood

The studio’s workbench hides two pull-out beds. Left:

Dual Purpose Thinking for two is a natural way of life for artists Joe and John Dumbacher. The not-quiteidentical twin brothers are also close collaborators in the work they create together as artists. This creation, however, occurs on a cross-country basis: John lives in Washington, D.C., while Joe is based in Pasadena, California. Their geographic divide plays an important role in their art. The Dumbachers create models made from foam and tape, which they mail back and forth across the country to each other, eventually rendering them actual size in aluminum, chromed in black. Like their art, the two travel to a final destination of collaboration—a shared loft on Hudson Street in West Tribeca. The 1,000-square-foot space was once part of a 19th-century printers’ warehouse. Richard Gluckman of Gluckman Mayner Architects, the architect responsible for the apartment’s elegant transformation into a dual-purpose home and studio, has an artistic pedigree that includes work on a huge slice of the New York art world—galleries for Larry Gagosian and Mary Boone, the Andy Warhol Museum, the 80

Dia Center for the Arts and the Whitney. For the Dumbacher brothers, Gluckman was the clear choice for the project because of “his incredible designs, and great work with artist’s studios [for] clients like Richard Serra, Chuck Close and Robert Ryman,” explains Joe. The photo of a wooden workbench that John brought to the twins’ first meeting with Gluckman was to become the inspiration for the main room, which needed to function as both studio and living space. Design details allow every corner of the studio to multitask. A 22-inch-long Coriantopped cabinet bisects the space and hides beds that pop out on each side. A dressing room and closet for each brother flank a small open kitchen on the end wall. And a two-way bathroom window that provides a view across the living space to Hudson Street becomes, when viewed from the other direction, a mirror that maintains the privacy of the bathing area. “We loved what Richard did,” says Joe. “It’s very workable and functions like a watch. It is very integrated and well designed.”

During a five-hour meeting, the architect and the artists decided on the colors and materials for the loft. The walls are painted in soft shades of gray and white, and panels of ice-colored recycled refrigerator glass slide to enclose the kitchen and twin dressing rooms. In the “paint room,” where things get dirty and dusty, the floors are gray vinyl. Just as each detail of the loft was meticiously planned, so was its location. “Hudson is an extrawide street, which provides better light for a studio,” says Joe. “We liked that it was south of the galleries in Chelsea, as we can see shows there and walk back along the river,” says Joe, who spends up to six or seven weeks at a time in New York, while John makes the trek from Washington on weekends. “We both find New York invigorating and exciting, as well as a different kind of art scene from Los Angeles.” The twins, or at least their art, are more permanently in residence through October 30 via a solo exhibition put on by Backroom NY at Leffot, a West Village shoe salon.

CUT: A solo exhibition by Joseph and John Dumbacher Through October 30, 2010 at Leffot, 10 Christopher Street. Visit for details. the home observer fall 2010

Tim Street-Porter; David Miezel, Courtesy Backroom NY

#260 (2010) in aluminum.




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The Home Observer Fall 2010  
The Home Observer Fall 2010  

The Fall 2010 issue of The Home Observer, the New York Observer's biannual home decor and design magazine.