House Beautiful Makeovers | Timeless on Park Avenue

The February House Beautiful is all about makeovers. Whether easy and casual, timeless or happy and fun, each project explains its challenges and the solutions found.

House BeautifulAlthough designer Tom Samet has generally worked on country houses, a project in a Rosario Candela building on Park Avenue offered him an opportunity to add a little formality to his repertoire. His clients had just purchased this classic pre-war apartment featuring beautiful proportions and large rooms. But it was bland and tired, with a long, rectangular living room and not quite enough light. He and partner Ross Meltzer updated the apartment with exotic wallcoverings, mirrored walls and statement pieces like the Egyptian Revival sideboard below.

house beautiful

It all started with Samet’s fantasy of a Zuber paper for the dining room. The hand-tooled aqua and bronze Moscova wallpaper he chose then set the tone for the entire apartment.  In a cost saving measure, the team used the Zuber only above the chair rail, installing a Roger Arlington grass cloth below that adds texture and ties into the adjoining bar area. This small room, previously a dead space created by opening up a wall, is now oozing with charm. A giant Chinese Chippendale lantern and 1940’s shelf lend it a classic exotic appeal.

house beautifulAs always, it’s the many details that give the project its nuanced layering. Not content with the already wonderful mix of paper, grasscloth and continental furnishings, Samet enlisted decorative painter Ruben Teles to faux paint the doors a cerused oak and added vintage doorknobs from the Plaza as a fabulous finishing touch.

house beautiful

As Samet explains, “After the Zuber wallpaper, any wall that was just Sheetrock looked unadorned.” The entire apartment features creative wall treatments such as the caning by Fabrizi Furniture in the library which is hung in panels to prevent future sagging. And I love the custom cabinet with bamboo trim and pagoda top – a fun stylish touch.

House Beautiful

The aqua and bronze color scheme continues in the long and narrow living room which now functions beautifully with multiple seating areas. And an antique mirrored fireplace wall adds reflective light into the formerly dark space. Repeating the valance shape from the bar helps connect the rooms visually and imparts a timeless feel to this updated pre-war. Lots of coordinated patterns, finishes and hand made details maintain the interest in the soothing two-tone room.

house beautifulSome of the wall treatments are actually copies cleverly executed by decorative painter Teles. Such is the case in the bedroom, where a banana leaf wallpaper proved too complicated to install. The substitute is a fabulously textured neutral enhanced by pretty pillows from Leontine Linens and Calypso St. Barth.

House Beautiful

I’m looking forward to getting my issue of House Beautiful to see the other makeover ideas – a perfect way to start off the new year!

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16 Responses to House Beautiful Makeovers | Timeless on Park Avenue

  1. I can’t wait to receive my issue of HB since we’ll be re-decorating the entire downstairs this spring I need ideas. Thanks for giving us a peek.

    Wishing you and yours a joyous, healthy and very Happy New Year!


  2. Franki Parde says:

    Eeeeek….turquoise and bronze….luv this….HB should be waiting on our return!! franki

  3. susan niblo says:

    You had me at the Zuber wallpaper. It would have hurt me to hang ANYTHING over that beyond gorgeous wall!

  4. Happy New Year, Stacey! Wishing you a 2013 full of continued success and happiness.

    And it seems like I am not the only one looking to do a bit of makeovering (!). I will be on the lookout for HB but it is a tough score in my neck of the woods. I loved everything about this apartment and would have loved to have seen before photos!

  5. Elle says:

    I love that both challenges and solutions were shared. Totally gorgeous apt. And I’m totally envious- but it gave me some great ideas for my tiny abode! Happy 2013!

  6. I loved this design feature in HB. Neoclassic with more. Just my style.
    Happy New Year.

  7. We just received ours and spent all of lunch oohing and ahhing! When you get yours, take a look at The Best – you might just see something familiar… Happy 2013 and here’s to a year of makeovers!
    C + C

  8. Lisa Porter says:

    Beautiful elements throughout and I always appreciate your commentary. I always go for timeless, easy & casual. Will look for it. Thanks for the peek Stacey and Happy New Years!

  9. Stunning design by Tom – amazing designer and a lovely person!

  10. Eve Wallace says:

    The kitchen cabinets are fantastic – do you have more photos?

  11. Phyllis Z. Engler says:

    Dear Sir: Please, please, please tell me how I can get my hands on the wallpaper on pg. 54.which details birds including lots of aqua/blue/gold colors. My Phone is (205) 260-6669.
    My address is: Phyllis Engler, 122 Alton Drive, Alabaster, Al. 35007 Please find my E-Mail above. Just send me the particulars where I can purchase this same print wallpaper. I’ve tried and looked for hours to no avail. Thank you, very much.

  12. Sonia Jones says:

    The Park Avenue Apartment Living Room design posted in House Beautiful, February 2013 issue, is very interesting. I love the butterfly/moth painting but nothing is said about it. Would you happen to know the artist?

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