High above Lincoln Center, a harmonious new home channels the Art Deco energy of Old New York.
For a Manhattan couple that loves the arts, moving to 3 Lincoln Plaza had a dual attraction: The building is integrated with the performance halls of Lincoln Center, to the extent that the quickest way to reach the music is by an escalator in the apartment building’s lobby. The residential tower is also the neighborhood’s tallest in which one can buy, not just rent, an apartment. When one became available on the 47th floor, the couple snapped it up. Then they called Ron Marshall, the Connecticut-based designer who had already completed a number of homes for the family.
"The apartment was nondescript and aging," explains Marshall. "So we decided it would be a gut job." One of his master strokes was to take down a bedroom wall, creating a sweeping living space that took full advantage of the continuous wall of windows.
As with any custom construction project, adjustments were made along the way. "The husband asked me to redesign the kitchen island with an end overhang so that he could see the Hudson River while eating," he says. That’s now considered "one of the best seats in the house," although frankly, there are no bad seats.
Marshall’s next feat was to furnish the home with a unified sense of place. He did that, in part, by evoking Art Deco—and not by adding replicas, but by acquiring original mirrors, sconces, table lamps and statuary from the 1920s and ’30s. These provide a stylistic link to the luxury and modernity of early 20th century New York.
The furniture, which is from Safavieh, is new and carefully selected to echo a bygone era without seeming antique. Examples include chrome bookend consoles in the foyer, placed together to form one long piece that looks like a kinetic sculpture in its own right, and a bedroom set from Safavieh’s Phantom Collection by Selva of Italy.
Marshall used a restrained palette of black-and-white, silvers and grays. When it came to choosing fabrics and rugs, he didn’t shrink from pattern. Bold geometrics, updated animal prints and stripes coexist in unexpected harmony. These patterns imbue the living space with a subtle rhythm and fairly pulse with energy, much like the performance spaces of Lincoln Center, which are just an elevator and escalator ride away.