One of the exciting things to do while walking the streets of Manhattan is to guess what goes on beyond the exterior walls of townhouses, windows of lofts or gardens of the upper penthouses. To the savvy New Yorker who gets invited to Manhattan’s luxury residences the process is often repeated but never to be underestimated.
What goes on behind the somber façade of this Murray Hill, New York City townhouse proves the case. If allowed entry, you are to be greeted with an open stair hall, the walls of which are painted with a three storey mural depicting a continuous Italian Renaissance bucolic scene and featuring classical ruins. The mural strives to unify this single family home whose owners are an investment banker and a published author. However, before the architect was finished with this house, there was plenty to do.
The couple entertained often and needed a better flow inside their home. The architect was enlisted to perform a significant re-organization. An office occupied the ground floor front next to the kitchen was taking up crucial space. The small living room shared the parlor floor with the dining room. The space was crammed and nonfunctional. The architect and the owners agreed to move the dining room downstairs closer to the kitchen and in turn have the living room re-occupy the entire parlor floor. The living room is now more suitable for larger gatherings. Despite the narrow width of the house, the space is arranged in several conversation groups thus creating a cozy and intimate feeling. When the ground floor office was transformed into a dining room, the architect asked a notable decorative painter to create exquisite panels within the antique mirrored pilasters. The oriental-themed nature scenes tie in with the stair hall mural. The custom light carpet in the living room was set in contrast to the darker tones of the walls and the furniture. All original ceiling moldings, door casings and baseboards were refurbished. The restored archway in the master bedroom created a cozy niche for the bed area.