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Homes Home Tour: This Penthouse In New York Exudes A Museum's Formal Elegance

Home Tour: This Penthouse In New York Exudes A Museum's Formal Elegance

Home Tour: This Penthouse In New York Exudes A Museum's Formal Elegance
This penthouse boasts enviable city views
By Michele Koh Morollo
March 10, 2020
Using its owner's art collection as its guiding compass, this penthouse marries the formal elegance of a museum with the urban glamour of the Big Apple

London-based interior designer Nebihe Cihan is no stranger to the Big Apple—she studied at the Parsons School of Design and worked in retail design for fashion brands Catherine Malandrino and Michael Kors in New York. In fact, she lived for many years on 57th Street, in the same area where she recently completed the interior design of this stunning 3,576-square-feet penthouse. The three-bedroom apartment is the home of a modern art connoisseur who wanted an intimate, museum-like haven in the heart of Manhattan.

Enclosed in a newly built high-rise property designed by Rafael Viñoly, the penthouse was fitted with large windows that frame unparallelled views of the city. Its high ceilings provide large expanses of wall space that are ideal for showcasing its owner’s collection of modern art.

London-based interior designer Nebihe Cihan
London-based interior designer Nebihe Cihan

“My inspiration for this project was New York itself and the life of an art collector,” says Cihan. “In a busy city, I wanted to create. a sense of tranquillity; I designed the layout and palette around the powerful views of Central Park.” She took a minimalist approach to the interiors, carefully integrating artworks throughout the space so they don’t scream for attention, but rather become part of the overall concept.

A Cerith Wyn Evans painting adds visual interest; the living area features the Flexform Groundpiece sofa and Magi daybed
A Cerith Wyn Evans painting adds visual interest; the living area features the Flexform Groundpiece sofa and Magi daybed

ARTISTIC CANVAS

With this project, her greatest challenge was marrying the artworks with the furnishings. The client wanted his artworks to take centre stage, so Cihan worked with him to curate a selection of contemporary pieces from his collection that would work well within the layout of the penthouse. It was only then that she began sourcing the furniture. “There is a calmness when you first enter a museum, and my client wanted to reflect this in the entrance of his home.”

Upon entering, guests are welcomed by a neon sign by Cerith Wyn Evans, and a bench authored by Vincenzo De Cotiis. In the living room is a sculpture by Tony Cragg, displayed on a plinth of Calacatta oro marble that was custom-made in Bergamo, Italy. “While I love all the artworks we have curated for the project, the Tony Cragg sculpture is my favourite,” shares the designer. “It added so much character to the project, exactly how I wanted it to be.”

A neon artwork by Cerith Wyn Evans adds a dash of whimsy to the hallway
A neon artwork by Cerith Wyn Evans adds a dash of whimsy to the hallway
The "exit" sign displayed above a Kelly Wearstler side table is another playful gesture
The "exit" sign displayed above a Kelly Wearstler side table is another playful gesture

A large painting by Idris Khan graces the dining area and acts as the perfect backdrop for the chandelier by French designer Damien Langlois-Meurinne for Pouenat. To enhance the gallery-like feel of the hallway, Cihan displayed colourful artworks—including a painting by Nicky Nodjoumi as well as a Gimhongsok sculpture from Tina Kim Gallery-along the walls.

ART AND STYLE

Known for her subtle and sophisticated aesthetics, Cihan believes in using clean lines and paying attention to detail to express timelessness without compromising on comfort. “I carefully chose neutral tones and rich finishings so as not to detract from the art or spectacular views,” says Cihan.“My favourite aspects of the architecture [of this penthouse] are the high ceilings and vast windows that frame the sensational views. I also love the long hallway leading to the living room which creates the effect of walking into an art gallery or museum.”

This sitting area is furnished with the Magi daybed, Thomas armchair, a pair of Guscioalto soft armchairs, Zefiro coffee table, and Cestone console, all from Flexform
This sitting area is furnished with the Magi daybed, Thomas armchair, a pair of Guscioalto soft armchairs, Zefiro coffee table, and Cestone console, all from Flexform
In the master bedroom, the Grandemare bed is paired with Gipsy side tables, a Guscio armchair and a Feel good ottoman
In the master bedroom, the Grandemare bed is paired with Gipsy side tables, a Guscio armchair and a Feel good ottoman
A serene view of the living area
A serene view of the living area
The dining area features a Damien Langlois-Meurinne chandelier
A sculpture by Gimhongsok is placed next to a Nicky Nodjoumi painting
 

During the design process, she divided the open-plan living and dining spaces into three parts: the casual sitting area features a daybed and an array of armchairs; the main living area is made more formal with a selection of structured pieces; and the dining zone features a glass-top dining table and dining chairs with leather seats.

Cihan selected modern furniture with sculptural details—mostly from the Italian manufacturer Flexform—to accomplish her goals with this project.“In order to highlight the artworks, I chose a neutral palette,” shares the designer. “The finishes are high-end with soft, tactile and neutral fabrics from luxurious cashmere to butter-soft leather.” This is carried over into the silk rugs from Holly Hunt, which were hand tufted and customised in Nepal. “I usually integrate the artworks at the end of a project, so this was a different approach from what I usually do,” reflects the designer. “I really enjoyed the challenge.”

This article was originally published in Philippine Tatler Homes Vol 24. To bring you all the latest interior trends and practical advice for styling your home, subscribe to Philippine Tatler Homes through here.

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