Talk about a room with a view. Steve had snagged one of the city’s most prized apartments, overlooking Gramercy Park. Even before we renovated, the space took your breath away. But the last thing Steve wanted was a glitzy makeover. His goal was to create a calm, zen-like home that respected the area’s history. All I can say is, the ghosts of this building must be very happy with this wonderfully self-effacing redesign, handcrafted to the standards of the 19th century: original coved beams were matched by a European artisan; wood wainscoting took weeks to perfect; handmade tile, hand-planed walnut floors, reclaimed lighting and hardware are exquisite without being showy. The original steel casement windows inspired the kitchen cabinets, fitted with vintage glass panels and Timorous Beasties wallpaper. My favorite things about this renovation are the things we did “wrong:” we made a 1BR into a studio and replaced the tub with a walk-in shower (real estate rules one is never supposed to break). Yet after it was done, the broker who’d sold the place walked in, looked around for one minute, and breathlessly exclaimed that he could double the price of investment. Fantastic. But Steve’s not selling.

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To view the photo gallery for this project, please click here.