Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Perfect Penthouse

Recently, on one of my favorite blogs, The Realestalker, I came across the apartment of the late Dominick Dunne. It came as no surprise to me that Dunne had one of the most PERFECT NYC apartments that should I ever win the lottery, I would snatch up in a heartbeat!
It's not the space itself that is so wonderful (small but cozy, see the floorplan below) but the enormous south facing terrace that is larger than most New York apartments at 850 sf. I would fill this with trees and ivy with potted geraniums for low maintenance greenery.

The best room which takes advantage of the terrace views is the study, where I assume Dunne wrote his Vanity Fair column. Since I'm a movie buff, I would put a long deep couch under the windows facing built in bookshelves with a tv mounted on the front. The couch of course would double as a guest-bed for overnight guests. A low coffee table would hold bowls of popcorn and jelly beans during movie nights and dozens of potted orchids and plants on a console behind the sofa would enjoy the sunlight with 2 lamps for nighttime.The long living room, seen below, would house my collection of framed architectural watercolors, be painted a french gray and receive an antique oak herringbone wood floor. I would also need to source an antique white marble fireplace and some lalique crystal wall sconces to brighten the space. I would leave the french doors without any window treatment for a clean look and an antique rug would define the seating area. 2 comfortable reading chairs in a warm velvet, an antique sofa and mirrored coffee table would finish off this end of the room.The other side I would treat as a dining area with 60" round dining table, perhaps with parsons chairs for comfortable seating for long suppers with friends. The kitchen I would continue in the same french gray color (including painting the lower cabinets. A mirrored backsplash and countertops (ala Miles Redd) and painted wood shelving instead of cabinets to open up the space would be a great way to display my collection of china! I might even go with undercounter refrigerator drawers to create more counter and shelf space. That plate rack has GOT to GO as does the dated light fixture. I would continue the same wood flooring from the living room.The fussy roman blinds in the bedroom would be replaced with simple drapes in a gray linen to match the wall color: Continue the wood floor and a soft carpet would be nice underfoot near the bed. Would a mirrored 4 poster bed be too over the top, or perhaps overdone as many NY interior designers seem to favor this look? The dressing room currently has a beautiful chipendale mirror, seen through the doorway, that I would definitely want to keep!What would you do with the space? Would you prefer such a generous terrace or a larger apartment?

20 comments:

Merilin said...

The Terrace is absolutelly stunning!:)

Summer is a Verb said...

My all time fav author! No big surprise his apt is a winner. Off to buy my Powerball ticket...XXOO

laurelstreet said...

That terrace is a knockout - and what incredible views! For me, the generous outdoor space is the equivalent of several extra interior rooms. I'd be out there even in winter!

Michael Mattison said...

Thanks for posting, Stefan. Yes, this is the quintessential NYC penthouse. That terrace!!
And Dominick Dunne's VF pieces -- magic.
Take care,
Michael

Terry said...

Please, in invitation the a late spring time housewarming after the your Lottery win and re-do,

Karena said...

A large terrace is fabulous, and you can do so much with it! I lived in San Diego 13 years and loved entertaining outside on the terrace.
I loved Dominic Dunne!

Zach Schofield said...

Its an amazing space that is definitely dated. I would consider an antique iron greenhouse in the big terrace area that can have lots of windows open in the summer and give you some extra use in bad weather...a nice walkway around the greenhouse with hearty potted plants. It is a great apartment, they just don't make them like that anymore.

Kwana said...

It's a perfect space for 1 or 2. I'd take it.

home before dark said...

It's wonderful to hear your inner interior designer come out to play. Love the ideas of mirrors in kitchens. I intend to panel my kitchen walls in it. Because most of my kitchen will be open shelving, I'm using a bar door mechanism to slide open (4' wide) and will use the inner stud walls for pantry. That idea would work very well in this limited space kitchen. And Zach Schofield (commenter above) WOW! WOW! WOW!

Thomas said...

i love the large terrace. its great for those days when you want to do something but don't want to leave your house. cup of tea and magazine on the terrace-perfect!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

the magazines we have left, thomas -latelyi've been buying a lot of the foreign magazines, even when I don't understand the language! Expensive but fun!
Zach - love your idea of the greenhouse!

lady jicky said...

I would leave it as is - infact I would buy the furniture and fittings and just change the blue walls in the bedroom. I think I would like pale pink or a pale grey/mauve on the bedroom wall.
I must buy a lottery ticket.

* Oh, I fancy a little pond with a fountain on that terrace too !

Renee Finberg said...

i would have given my left 'something' for an apartment with a terrace like that.

his terrace was bigger than the apt.
i could have snowball fights on that terrace.

xx

La Petite Gallery said...

I had to WIPE MY MOUTH!


If you get that apt. get me one too.
Now That's living..

yvonne in Maine

Debra Healy said...

I had a penthouse in an art deco step back building. It was on the roof. The building was designed By Emery Roth. It had a 3000 square foot terrace and a 550 sf. apartment, and 12 foot high ceilings. A very talented friend of mine landscaped the terrace for me. When I was single it was heaven on earth on East 52nd Street. These Photos make me wistful.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

HOLY COW, Debra! You gave that up! It must have been amazing -any pictures?

Suzy said...

It's divine!

David said...

If it were single me I think it's about perfect. Having gone through the exercise of downsizing (even though we've upsized again) the smaller square footage doesn't frighten me at all, and having the outdoor space makes all the difference.

I'm so with you on french gray and herringbone floors.

Transformations Home Stylists said...

WOW! I have his book "The Way We Lived Then" which features his house in Beverly Hills where he and his wife held parties that every A-List celebrity in Hollywood attended in the 60's and that house was spectacular too.....Thanks for the photos. Robin

Bo said...

I heard it went into contract today. What a perfect place! I remember seeing amazing shelves built over and around the bed (you can see a peak in the recent photos), maybe in a shelter magazine. I've tried finding that spread, but to no avail....maybe you will have better luck!! Enjoy your blog!