The clients purchased a rarely available condominium in a highly desired building and set out to find an architect / interior designer to transform it. They needed to reconfigure the space and select finishes to create a seamless interior. They found Susan Bower at Mitchell Wall and began reviewing plans for the apartment renovation. They sold their house and many of their belongings to reduce their furnishings, collections and art to a comfortable number.
Two full height and very thick concrete walls were found subdividing the space. These walls were seismic braces for the whole building and were not be touched. The plan took shape around them and a cozy library with fireplace and television nestled right in between the walls. An office with daybed and window seat were planned opposite, and by means of sliding translucent doors, daylight was borrowed from the perimeter of the building and brought into the interior.
Natural light and an airy ambiance was established by the use of light colors and a variety of textured surfaces. The kitchen is glossy white with translucent LED backsplashes and etched glass door panels. Running along the interior circulation path is a series of semi-gloss light grey panels that hide closets, incorporate the bar, wrap into the library, and finish at a dramatic artwork. The floors throughout the public spaces are a light colored, limestone-like porcelain tile, and medium grey carpet in bedroom spaces.
Fitting the dining room proved to be a difficult part of the puzzle. It is screened from the kitchen by a wall of cabinets with a pass-through.
However, the back wall had two windows out of place. These were screened by a translucent shade and artwork was suspended in front to provide an ethereal soft day-lit atmosphere. Storage cupboards float in the adjacent corners and additional chairs are placed on a platform under the cabinets.
The furnishings are a mixture of antique French pieces, modern masters including architects Le Corbusier, Gio Ponti and Mies van der Rohe, and contemporary designers like Piero Lissoni, Ingo Maurer and Antonio Citterio.
The bath has no natural light. To create a sense of spatial depth and layering of light, 3 L-shaped panels were positioned throughout the room. One central panel joins the back wall with the ceiling. Another panel links two walls in the back corner of the tub. The third panel carries the mirror at the vanity. Each panel is outlined with waterproof LED strips recessed behind its edge. Diffuse light emanates from behind the panels and they appearance to float. The face of each panel is divided into two surfaces striking a datum line at 74 inches above the floor. The vanity panel has mirror on the lower portion and flat white paint above. The tub and middle panels are semi-gloss grey colored paint below and white flat paint above. The central panel is a nod to the Ellsworth Kelly painting at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St Louis.
The same matte finish tile is used on the floor and walls. All exposed tile edges were finished with aluminum angles. The same tile floor was used in the owner’s closet featuring lacquered cabinets and a back-lit vanity panel.
Centro Modern Furnishings
Beck Allen Cabinetry
Alise O’Brien Photography