Skip to main content

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

Design

Gray Matter

Andrew suvalsky merges styles and eras to give a midtown east manse a novel context

Gray Matter

In the living room, Suvalsky began with the ceiling light, working his way down from there. Artwork by Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe over the sofa, gold leaf walnut shelves, and club chairs in a gray velvet add a bit of shimmer.

Executing a lofty vision is not for the faint of heart as designer Andrew Suvalsky can confirm. “My client was coming from an opulent Park Avenue apartment that was very traditional and heavily ornamented—she wanted a much cleaner, more modern interior away from all the prints, colors, and trappings of her previous residence,” says Suvalsky. She also shared that she was “not the type of client that will take off to Palm Beach and come back to somebody’s vision for her.”

Gray Matter

Artwork by an unnamed student of Chagall, iconic Cherner armchairs, and a Mondrian- inspired cabinet form a striking vignette.

To cater to his client’s affinity for more traditional historic furnishings, Suvalsky incorporated antiques she curated from her personal collection into the townhouse, creating a beautiful mix layered with modern, midcentury, and midcentury-inspired pieces. Besides incorporating her collection, she had a very distinct point of view. “She wanted everything gray, gray, gray—and I tend to relish color,” says Suvalsky. The directive gave the designer license to push himself, realizing “if the overall skin of the apartment was more subdued and the walls were not emphatic,” it gave him the opportunity to make the furniture stand out in an entirely different, compelling manner.

Gray Matter

Left: Pop artwork by Quentin Curry sits over an antique demilune table updated with a black stone top.
Center: A Murano glass chandelier hangs over a streamlined Eggersmann kitchen.
Right: A soaking tub with Vola fixtures adds to the primary bath’s appeal.

On the ground level, a chic vignette in the entry foyer sets the tone for the intricate design narrative—a vintage 1940s French, Mondrian-inspired rectilinear bronze, brass, and black-painted glass console is juxtaposed with the sinewy pencil arms of Cherner pretzel chairs, two Minglike vases, gilded Empire-era sconces, and a Chagall- influenced painting. A direct view of the sleek Eggersmann kitchen—which incorporates an entertainer’s dream blend of appliances, including a Gaggenau cooktop and oven as well as a Miele refrigerator and freezer, speed oven, and a coffee maker—is defined by a glamorous 1960s Murano-glass Vistosi chandelier over the island. It creates an architectural allure and twinkles in the light. At the far end, a Platner dining table and armchairs forms a cozy breakfast area enhanced by a relaxing niche replete with a custom banquette. The owner’s vintage ceramics adorn the minimalist floating walnut shelves

Gray Matter

Soft gray walls create a soothing ambiance in the dining room and throughout the home.

On the parlor level, a striking tableau stuns—a geometric, abstract work of embroidered art by Tony Cox in vivid blue hues sits over the client’s gilded opera chair. To one side, a dining room is characterized by an Empire-style chandelier over a walnut dining table featuring a reverse tulip base accented in gold leaf. The Cherner chairs’ molded wood silhouettes add interest. Two gilded Louis XVI chairs upholstered in a navy royal velvet, artfully poised between the arched windows, offer a sense of poetry. On the opposite side, a living room anchored by an Art Deco-like chandelier welcomes conversation. A custom-designed sofa flanked by two Gigi Radice Italian armchairs is complemented by a black-glass-and-brass coffee table and a vivid artwork that echoes the pops of blue seen throughout—including on the game table’s four Dan Johnson Viscount chairs.

“She wanted a much cleaner, more modern interior away from all the prints, colors, and trappings of her previous residence”

—Andrew Suvalsky
Gray Matter

Left: Floating walnut shelves and a custom banquette form a welcoming nook.
Center: Artwork by Tony Cox over an antique chair.
Right: A refined palette defines the primary bedroom.

The third floor, which houses the client’s private quarters, reflects a lighter, more serene palette that speaks to the owner’s elegant demeanor. To add drama, Suvalsky upholstered the primary bedroom’s focal wall in a soft, cream dove leather rather than employing a traditional headboard. A French provincial bench, dazzling bedside pendant lights, and a brass-and-textured-ice-glass 1950s Kalmar chandelier solidify the glam look. In the bath, a monumental Murano-glass lighting fixture, a 1940s Venetian mirror, and Vola bath fixtures keep to the Old Hollywood feel of the floor. In the end, the townhouse’s interiors reference history without being mired in it—each of the client’s antiques is celebrated in an environment that allows them to shine from a new perspective. “It’s a really beautiful play of not just different periods, but also different sentiments” explains Suvalsky.