Story by Lisa Melone Cloughen – Guest writer
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Lisa Melone Cloughen, Principle Interior Designer for Melone Cloughen Interiors, walks us through a recent Park Avenue renovation
Description: The clients’ directives were fairly straightforward incorporate a sense of glamour and sophistication set against a neutral colour palette. The wife appreciates and edited and refined environment that is devoid of jarring elements be it bold colour or too many design elements vying for attention in the space. Definitely, a less is more mindset!
Given the clients’ preferences and sophistication, I wanted the space to have a grand feeling with more than a nod to the period of the building. All of the millwork is new but it does hark back to an earlier era. I would consider the interiors to be a modern riff on the glamour of Art Deco in New York.
The owners were adamant that they wanted some sparkle and gleam to set off the neutral colour palette, so we used a lot of semi-gloss and high gloss paint finishes. I did not want the apartment to have a cold feel, so we chose a mix of cool and warm neutrals throughout. We also used a significant amount of ambient lighting with warm light sources.
Aside, from the clients’ directives, we of course considered the grand nature of the space. When the owners purchased the apartment it was in poor condition and much of the original charm had been lost so I do feel we added it back in keeping with the era of the building
Simply stated, the overall outline of the apartment is basically a long horizontal rectangle with gracious room dimensions and high ceiling heights. That said the layout could be a little monotonous, so to add drama, the entrance hall was reshaped into an ellipse and an elliptical domed and lit ceiling was incorporated as well.
I also added an antique Orrefors light fixture for added emphasis on the period and of course, for extra gleam. We also cut slabs of lightly polished Afyon White Marble throughout the apartment and I think the result is particularly dramatic in entrance. The ellipse is cut and laid in a pie wedge pattern and the hallways off of the entrance were laid in a beautiful herringbone pattern. The herringbone pattern is particularly opulent in that it is rare to see marble in that type of pattern and scale. The molding and casements are also clean-lined and somewhat oversized in scale to accommodate the dimensions of the rooms and the design concept as well.
Incorporating the homeowners’ art collection was easy as they have beautiful pieces to choose. The clients have a fairly extensive art collection including several paintings of the New York skyline which absolutely knew we would feature in the apartment. We used 2 rather large scale pieces on opposite walls in the living room which is a lovely juxtaposition to the starburst mirror over the mantle and the softness of the paint finish.
In the dining room we considered pieces that would benefit from the moody paint finishes as well as their effect on the mood of the space. In the library, we chose 2 pieces that are older oil paintings that lend a sense of warmth and graciousness to the room.
I love the view from the living room into the dining room and vice versa. The wall separating the living room and dining room was originally there but it was unsound so it was rebuilt. At that point we re-thought the pocket door situation and opted for glass panes as opposed to solid doors. It adds another dimension of elegance and sophistication as does the antiqued mirror on the back wall of the dining room. Again the classical proportions of the rooms are enhanced by the finishes and furnishings. Both rooms have beautiful glazed walls in complimentary tones.
The glazing has a soft sheen and a bit of metallic pigment to enhance the sparkle and gleam of the rooms and the ceilings and trim are finished in high gloss paint. The floors are covered in custom wool rugs with silk borders and they are from The Rug Company. The deco-inspired white gold leaf chandelier is from Paul Ferrante and the dining table and chairs are from the clients’ collection.
The doors to the living room are flanked by a John Salidino (left) arm chair in Bridal silk from Holly Hunt and the trim is custom from Samuel and Sons. The chair on the right is from Niermann Weeks and it is in linen Strie from Osborne and Little with trim from Vervain. The beautiful metal and leafed twig table is from Nancy Corzine and of course the artwork is from the clients’ collection.
I think luxury is about defining and creating a sense peace and beauty that resonates with my clients. Given the frantic world we live and the constant demands on senses we all need to come home to an environment that harmonises with our lifestyle and ultimately enhances us personally. I firmly believe my interiors are meant to evoke a relaxed elegance and a soothing peacefulness that is as conducive to entertaining as it is to quiet relaxation. My design aesthetic is realised through the use of subtle, yet rich colour palettes layered with a variety of textures, sculptural forms often found in nature, tactile fabrics and rugs, appropriate artwork and antique pieces and of course a client's personal talismans. Melone Cloughen Interiors is primarily a residential design firm specialising in sophisticated, nuanced interiors.
I believe good design meets at the intersection of functional and luxurious comfort that is in harmony with my clients’ lifestyles. The aesthetic is realised through the use of subtle, yet rich colour palettes layered with a variety of textures, sculptural forms often found in nature, the clients’ personal talismans and artwork, antiques, or vintage pieces.
The master bedroom is a warm, light filled space. The design of the room is subtle yet layered in shades of cream white, silver leaf and mirrored accents. Then balloon shades are double layers of Jagtar Thai silk trimmed with a Kravet crystal tassels. The Louis J Solomon headboard is framed in a silver leaf with Jagtar Thai silk for the upholstery. The bedding is also silk and it is from Ann Gish.
The writing desk in the corner is a beautiful piece done in a white gold finish and it is from Nancy Corzine. The Lucite desk chair is from Plexicraft and the bureau is from Lillian August. The Starburst was a lucky find on one of my shopping trips and the artwork is from the owner’s collection.
We decided to go for a little drama in the master bath and to great effect! I chose a warm Brescia marble for the perimeter of the bath and Afyon White for the center of the floor. The vanity is a custom piece with a hand glazed finish and hardware by Hamilton Sinkler. The faucets are Phlrich and the beaded crystal sconces are from Sherle Wagner. The drapes are traditionally rendered and the fabric is a tonal stripe from Jagtar Thai silk.
The library is one of my favorite spaces if that is even possible! The entire space is painted and glazed beautifully. The finish has a subtle sheen that is enhanced with a layer of metallic tint. The Baker camelback sofa fits perfectly in the space and I simply reupholstered it in silk/cotton velvet from Kravet. The swing-arm sconces are from Vaughan and iron and glass coffee table is from Lillian August. The Ebanista side chairs were another serendipitous find as they were the last 2 to be produced and they are upholstered in an Osborne and Little linen.
I chose to do flat Roman shades in a tone that would blend well with the wall finish and not detract from the elegance and sophistication of the space. The shade fabric is a silk from Zimmer and Rohde. I think it is a perfect space for a little relaxation and a cocktail and to make sure of that, a small, well-appointed wet bar was added on the opposite wall.
The kitchen is primarily a galley layout, but we were able to incorporate a dining area. We even discovered an additional, previously boarded window behind a false wall during the renovation. It is always serendipity to find more natural light in any city apartment and I took advantage of the find kept and the window treatments and the furnishings restrained.
I used the iconic Eero Saarinen Tulip table and chairs and the table top is a custom, honed Afyon marble oval and I upholstered the chair seats in a metallic leather from Kravet. The windows are dressed a six-ply Thai silk from Jim Thompson in a flat Roman shade style.
First published date: 12 December 2017