Recently I discovered that perusing Manhattan real estate web sites reveals a treasure trove of published apartments designed by the cream of the cream interior designers working today. Contrast Manhattan real estate with Houston real estate: Myself, I've been lucky to find one house designed by a nationally acclaimed design firm (Holden and Dupuy from New Orleans) after several years of looking at Houston Real Estate.com. After only one day of looking at Manhattan real estate I found more apartments professionally designed than I can even show you here. How fun is that? Well, for me, it's a lot of fun I confess. Here is my bounty:
Townhouse #I: Designed by MAC II (Mica Ertegun)
East 75th Street
5800 sq. ft.
Beautiful, brick townhouse, designed by MAC II. No garage though. Parking is extra, I suppose, in some garage blocks away.
Large entry way with gorgeous English library table. I love the triptych on the left wall. As there is no formal dining room, this probably doubles as one when Thanksgiving rolls around.
Living room overlooking the street. This room is large enough for two seating arrangements. I love the green and cream striped fabric that punches up the mostly monochromatic color scheme. The artwork plays an important part in this MAC II design.
First floor family room with comfortable velvet upholstered furniture. Overlooks the back terrace.
First floor kitchen overlooks the street. There are two front doors off the street, one into the kitchen, the other into the stair hall.
The back, bricked terrace which probably accounts for much of the high price.
Apartment #II: Vicente Wolf
West 9th Street
$6,023.71 Maintenance Fees
2300 sq. ft.
Recently renovated and published, this co-op is large, with 7 rooms. Here, a see through book shelf divides the space between a tv room and the living room.
The dining room with tailored skirted table and two different types of chairs. Note the light fixture by David Weeks (see Katiedid for her excellent post on this light fixture.)
The living room with large sectional sofa.
Same room, different day. Ethnic accessories are so typical of Wolf.
Industrial type kitchen with eat in bar.
Master bedroom with floating bed and oversized mirror - again, two constants of Wolf's designs.
Same bedroom, different day. Doesn't look quite as glamorous or spacious shot from this angle.
Gorgeous bathroom with unusual finishes.
Apartment #III: Designed by M(Group) Mallea and Maloney
Published, this apartment was shown with both the professional photographs and the not-so-professional photographs. The difference is profound. Here, the living room, as published, quite stunning with matching Oriental screens flanking the marble mantel fireplace.
Here the same room is almost unrecognizable as such. I prefer the other arm chairs to these more dyed to match ones.
As published, gorgeous paneled library, stunning rug, paisley and mohair fabrics.
Same room: well - one of the chairs is different. I think it may be a case of bad lighting that so effects these photos. In the previous professional photo the paneled walls have a rich red finish, here they are dull brown.
Published, the dining room is aglow in creamy tones. Quite stunning.
The same room, as is - wow! Quite plain. The paneling again is dull and lifeless here. Amazing to see the difference between the two pictures. I wonder if the apartment actually looks this way or the published way. I'm almost afraid to know!
Published picture - looking through a charming mirror, the master bedroom is all styled out.
The same room, unstyled. I love the rug here. Notice the adorable dog bed under the secretary.
Published, the entry hall, all sunny creams again - wonderful artwork and antique console.
I give up! The walls here must have been repainted. Right? The professional pictures are actually questionable for truth in advertising.
The kitchen - not sure if this is professional or "as is" - but it's pretty with the subway tiles and stainless counters.
#IV: Designed by Tony Ingrao
East 79th Street
$7,000,000. (under contract - sorry!)
Beautiful entryway with domed ceiling, arched entryway into library, gorgeous Empire lighting fixture, marble floors.
The living room is filled with beautiful antiques. The mirror is a show stopper, as are the matching desks on the far right. Through the arches you can just see the tufted banquette in the dining room.
Another view of the living room - you can see the mirror better in this picture.
Another view of the living room - you can see the entry way through the archway.
Closeup of antique chest and mirror in the living room.
Room that is half dining room and half study. The millwork in this apartment built in 1929 is wonderful. Note the coffered ceilings and ebony parquet floors.
The master bedroom - again, all in creamy tones as is the rest of the apartment. Beautiful canopy bed.
Master bedroom closet - to die for!
Guest bedroom done in deeper tones.
Triplex #V: Designer - your guess!
Park Avenue in the 70s
This beautiful English inspired three story apartment was too pretty not to show, but the designer was not named. I have my thoughts on who the designer is - see if you do too. The entry stairwell is notable for its hand painted wallpaper which gives a somewhat whimsical touch to what could have been an overwhelmingly formal room. I think this is an apartment with a younger family living here.
The living room filled with french antiques. Note how light this room appears even though the walls are painted dark brown.
The turquoise library. Does the bow on the painting over the mantel give a clue as to who the designer is?
The second floor landing. Notice how the wallpaper goes up the three floors. I hate to imagine how much this paper cost.
The dining room with trellised paper and checked tablecloth.
TV room on the third floor where the terrace is located.
Does this bedroom make you more secure in whom you think the designer is?
Third floor terrace with striped awnings. O.K. Does the designer you think it is have the initials MB?
So, after finding all these gorgeous, professionally designed apartments, I started to look for an apartment that maybe I could live in, something that I could afford. Not much is available in my price range. Houston has a very different housing market than NYC. I found this one bedroom apartment that I liked. Actually this one bedroom is twice the price of my current 4 bedroom home. Located on E 57th Street.
I love the front windows overlooking the street. The room is large with a marble fireplace and painted wood floors which I love. I also love the way this room is decorated and could move in just as it is. Except, it's one bedroom!
I love the coffered ceiling and the interior french doors. Actually, maybe my daughter could sleep in the entry hall on the day bed! That would solve the problem of the just one bedroom. This must really be the apartment for me. For some weird reason, they already have a painting of me hanging up!
The bedroom looks spacious enough for a three room apartment. Ok, if this was half the price, and I really was moving to NYC, it would be mine.
Reality: Here's what I found that I can truly (sort of) afford in NYC. Located on W.24th Street. 840 sq. ft. - huge!
Nice building with an awning and a doorman! So far, so good.
Living Room with lovely refinished black wood floors and an even lovelier air conditioning window unit! Wonderful light fixture, too.
No, this isn't the living room again, it's the bedroom. It's workable, but the window unit has to go. And one important issue, where would Elisabeth sleep? There's no entry hall in this apartment.
This is the entire kitchen, which has been totally redone. Nice. So, if I want to trade in a 3,000 sq. ft. home for a 850 sq. ft. apartment plus throw in an additional couple of hundred of thousand dollars - this would be just about my only choice.
Wow! It comes with a swimming pool! Wait, do I have to share this?
To see more designer apartments for sale in New York, go to these links:
Thierry Despont designed apartment - here.
Jeffrey Bilhuber designed apartment - here.
Mariette Himes Gomez designed apartment - here.