This elegant and thoughtfully put-together apartment in New York’s Upper East Side seems like it would be owned by a couple without kids, but in reality, it’s home to a family with three young boys all under the age of thirteen. The homeowners contacted the design firm Pembrooke & Ives to make it into the perfect space for their family of five.
“They had just purchased the home, which was a big upgrade from their previous residence,” the design team at Pembrooke & Ives told us. “The building was brand new but they wanted to personalize the apartment with design elements such as built-in millwork and beautiful lighting.” Their previous home was significantly smaller, lacking most notably closets. Their new space had an ample amount of square-footage with just over 3,000 square feet, which allowed for the family to ensure that this time around, they’d have plenty of places to store their things. “We gutted the powder room and master closets to upgrade the finishes and rework the storage space,” the designers said.
The clients wanted their home to be sophisticated and elegant yet practical for a family with three active boys. Pembrooke & Ives felt that this could be achieved through wall treatments and coverings, as well as sculptural lighting that the kids had less access to. The designers had to lower the ceiling to allow for recessed lighting and to hang stand-out fixtures such as the David Weeks chandelier in the formal living room and the Lindsey Adelman 44-Bulb Kingdom Chandelier over the dining table. Beyond just a formal sitting area, the designers created a lounge with a floating cabinet that houses a pop-up TV for daily use. “It was important that the TV be able to disappear for more formal meals and parties,” they said.
The wife works as an art consultant and therefore wanted the home to showcase her personal collection of artwork. Pembrooke & Ives decided on a neutral color palette to allow her pieces to take center-stage. Through the use of rich materials such as onyx in the powder room, as well as velvets, plaster, and lush rugs throughout the home, they were able to bring in interest and texture. “We steered away from strong patterns and bright colors. It was imperative that things be durable but not lose the look of luxury,” they shared.