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150E58 Magazine. The Magazine of the Architects and Designers Building

Design Features

Eve Robinson Reaches New Heights

How one designer creates drama for a family of four in a newly expanded space

New Heights - Stair

Beautifully tapered spindles tiptoe up the staircase on polished nickel hardware. A custom Thread by Thread pendant by Alison Berger, through Holly Hunt, draws the eye up to new heights.

When the opportunity arose for an Upper East Side family of four to combine their apartment with a unit upstairs, drama certainly ensued.

“We loved the idea of making the stairs a focal point: a sweeping, generous, dramatic space,” explains interior designer Eve Robinson, turning a regular engineering task into a show-stopping staircase designed to connect the family’s original apartment with the upstairs space.

“By using these gentle, kind of sinuous forms to create a lot of drama and excitement,” she says, “it still feels very delicate.”

“I love the idea of coming down these stairs. It just makes you feel so special.”

—Eve Robinson

At the project’s onset, Robinson asked the couple what colors they were drawn to, and a nearly exclusively blue-toned sensibility was decided upon.

“Our goal was to create a very serene space, and their color palette definitely lent to that,” says Robinson. “This staircase is right off of the foyer when you walk in, so we loved the idea of creating a height and a gentle curve for the stairs —something we thought was dramatic, but not over the top.”

The stairway’s curved wall is awash in stucco veneziano, chosen for its “luminescent quality,” to enliven the staircase with a glowy, hazy ease, while the tapered wooden spindles are grounded with polished nickel at the base.

A serene blue-sky stair runner by Elizabeth Deacon features an outlining border in delicate silk in an even lighter shade of blue, extending from the second floor to the first, heightening the sense of luxury even further. Dark herringbone floors create a bold contrast against “the lightness and airiness of the walls,” says Robinson. “I love the idea of coming down these stairs. It just makes you feel so special.”

New Heights - Dining Room

Leading into the formal dining room, Robinson wanted to “maintain the pre-war feeling of the building,” but through a modern lens. “The furniture and fabric have subtle plays of pattern, texture, and color that create a tranquil, sophisticated vibe.” An artwork by Vik Muniz offers a muted, yet eye-catching, backdrop.

Extending the stairway’s themes into the versatile living room, Robinson used hues of grey and blue in calming tones and finishes, custom-designed Cove moldings and the addition of layers of lighting, to transform this formerly dark and sullen room. The new design is bright and inviting, and “not just in the daytime, but in the evening too,” shares Robinson, also noting the placement of the family game table, flanked by an original Damien Hirst, for additional functionality.

New Heights - Living Room

Masterpieces by Damien Hirst and Roy Lichtenstein, behind the game table and Holly Hunt’s Guild sofa, grace the walls of this light-filled living room. A Boulonais drinks table, also by Holly Hunt, flanks an armchair.

In the St. Charles kitchen, Robinson opted for creamy pearl hues in various textures to “mix the beautiful light wood, which is around the perimeter of the kitchen, with the island in a contrasting lacquer color,” unified by the Silestone countertops (through Cosentino), for a collection of different textures.

New Heights - Kitchen

Silestone countertops from Cosentino, a lacquered island and a natural stone backsplash add visual interest to the custom St. Charles kitchen, with appliances by Miele and Sub-Zero and fixtures by Ferguson.