Penthouse 501

“Soaring travertine, grain-matched Carrara statuario and generous use of mirror turn this restricted penthouse into a Manhatten gallery”

The owners were “right sizing” from a four thousand square foot house in the suburbs to a tailored penthouse on one level.  This dwelling had the position “A” view in a first class building but the layout didn’t give one the chance to see it or allow for proper furniture placement.  We were tasked with maximizing the view from the kitchen, living and dining room, “make it comfortable for two but entertain fifteen on holidays….and by the way, display our art collection like a Manhattan gallery, Oh.. and make it a monochromatic flow all the way through.”

Those were the marching orders, other than that we were free to create.

Not exactly easy but I got the Pentel 0.5mm clicked in and started shoving drawings over to Bob on the magic mouse, in no time he informed me “we need the structural engineer to stamp my column placements.” Out came the tiny apartment sized fireplace and in went three 12 foot columns and a monolith of silver travertine. Soft silver stained wood flooring, a West wall of mirror including the entry door gave us depth and light. Photos by Ben Benschneider.

We decided to open the entry wall creating a view corridor from the entry foyer, as well as giving the compact dining area a feeling of space. Walls were also removed to open the kitchen to the adjoining rooms as well as the spectacular city and water views beyond.

A custom two drawer serving platform covered in shagreen with polished bronze trims above and below the drawers provides useful storage and a place from which to serve. Beneath, a suspended polished bronze wine rack holds just enough bottles to serve as backup as well as an artistic element.

The unit had one full bath and a second bath with shower; no powder room and no ability to add one. We decided to disguise the fact there was a shower with a wall of floor to ceiling surface cabinets creating a hidden walkaround shower niche. Silver travertine and stained flooring was continued throughout for continuity, walls covered in dark plumb with a copper sheen add drama.

The master bath was slightly more challenging to put it mildly, with almost 144 square feet laid out with nothing but a ruler and a serious lack of imagination. The shower was stuffed into a dark alcove with a view of the toilet and the bathtub looked like it was designed to hold cargo ice on a trawler. We couldn’t move the drain locations even an inch, so we had to design around the original placements. The idea was to create a walk around glass shower wall one finds visiting a five-star Italian spa. Six slabs of carefully chosen Carrara statuario marble were laid out to match vein patterns with an artist’s eye.

Heated continuous flooring leads to a generous “tea cup” soaking tub. All the doors were taken as high as possible and every column opens to reveal charging stations and storage top to bottom. The “silk” wall covering is vinyl to coexist with the environment, and every surface displays no fussy trims for easy care.

Custom designed floating side tables flank the master bed. An original oil by West Highland Design’s principal Mike Sofie hangs at the head of the bed.