Home & Garden Tour a New York City Apartment That Uses Every Possible Shade of Blue
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A cozy cocoon. That’s the vision interior designer Elizabeth Cooper had for one family of four’s prewar apartment, located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.“Because the family spends most of the summer at their house on Long Island, and lives in New York City from the fall through the spring, we decided to make quite a bit of the color palette and materials a little richer—velvets, wool flannels, deep blues and greens, and chocolate brown, et cetera,” she explains.
One color in particular became central to her scheme:“As we kept going, I was drawn more and more to the blues,” Cooper recalls. Inky de Gournay Temple Newsam panels (“absolutely the single largest investment of time and detailed effort in this project”) turn the entryway into a snowy woodland scene. The designer painted the interior doorways in Fine Paints of Europe Zuider Zee Blue, matched to the background color of the panels to carry the feeling throughout the apartment.
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Given that blue is a color that can come across as icy, the palette choice is somewhat of a surprise. But “when you get into deeper-colored blues, it becomes warmer,” says Cooper, who intentionally paired robust indigos and navies with comforting upholstery.“For example, in the parents’ bedroom, I think that the jewel tone of the peacock green velvet on the chair, and the rich mineral colorway and pretty flowing tendril pattern of the headboard fabric relate to and enhance the warm, deep blue wall color.”
As the daughter of a painter and sculptor, Cooper is highly attuned to the emotions certain tones can evoke.“I think that color is such a meaningful factor in a home, resonating with clients and making them happy,” she says.
Where some designers might push clients to adopt a risky palette, Cooper would instead“encourage a decorative pillow in a color that’s outside their comfort zone, but definitely make it a priority to surround homeowners in spaces that are filled with their favorite colors.” The pink coffee table, the orange kumquats on a topiary tree in the living room—these are just glimmers of spring in a wintry wonderland.
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The designer melds old and new to refresh a family home on the Upper East SideLocated in a 1920s building on the city’s Upper East Side, the 2,600-square-foot flat is “so beautiful and grand and has such great soul,” Brent observes, adding that he had been recommended for the job by the owners’ nephew, who happens to be one of Brent’s clients. Of the uncle and aunt who have now become close Brent friends: “He is practical and logistical but has this funny art eye that gravitates to bold, emotional pieces. She’s as chic as it gets, seriously smart, and likes things that are refined, soft, and luxurious.
“We wanted to make it exceptionally beautiful,” says Elizabeth Cooper of this thruway, which is visible from the foyer of the Upper East Side apartment she designed for a family of four. Rugs: Stark. Wallcovering: Soane Britain. Doors: Zuider Zee Blue by Fine Paints of Europe, with Houlès nailheads. Art: Karenina Fabrizzi, Michele Mariaud Gallery.
A place where Cooper envisioned the family gathering to“watch movies, read, and spend time together.” Paint: S 4005-B20G by Fine Paints of Europe. Sconce: Galerie des Lampes, Iatesta Studio, with custom silk shades. Art: Hunt Slonem. Chair: Howe London, in Penny Morrison fabric. Sofa: George Sherlock, in Holland & Sherry wool flannel. Pillows: Soane Britain (white floral) and Penny Morrison (dusty rose). Curtain fabric: Holland & Sherry, with Samuel & Sons trim.
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Paint: S 4005-B20G by Fine Paints of Europe. Art: Mark Shaw, Liz O’Brien. Bench: Lucca Antiques, in Pavoni leather from De Sousa Hughes. Ottoman: Du Long et Du Lé, John Derian.
Paint: Chalk White by Benjamin Moore. Sconces: The Urban Electric Co. Medicine cabinet: RH. Sink and faucet: Waterworks. Vanity: custom, Elizabeth Cooper Interior Design, fabricated by Steadfast Interiors. Marble: Arabescato (walls and countertop) and Nero Marquina (floor).
Chandelier: The Urban Electric Co. Wallcovering: Temple Newsam, de Gournay. Paint: All White by Farrow & Ball. Floor lamp: antique Japanese, 1stDibs. Settee: antique Regency, Windsor Smith Home, in George Spencer velvet, with Samuel & Sons piping. Pillow: Clare Louise Frost. Rug: Verdi. Chair: Cisco Brothers, in Fortuny linen.
Paint: Dimpse by Farrow & Ball. Curtain fabric: Holland & Sherry. Green sofa: Windsor Smith Home, in Rubelli velvet, with Soane Britain pillow fabric. Blue sofa: George Sherlock, in Adam Bray fabric, with Penny Morrison pillow fabric. Coffee table: Rita Konig for The Lacquer Company. Accent chair: antique, Amy Meier, in Jasper leather. Mirror: KRB. Rug: Stark.
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A lively mix of patterns and textures in monochrome give the small room a jewel-box feel. Paint: Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball. Curtains, shades, and headboard: custom, in Soane Britain fabric. Bedding: custom Matouk, Sue Fisher King. Bolster fabric: Soane Britain. Lamp: Christopher Spitzmiller. Chair: Kristen Buckingham, in Rogers & Goffigon velvet. Mirror: vintage Swedish, Howe London.
Cooper hired Jonathan Kutzin of America Painting to custom mix a“very serene blue that pulled the whole space together” and hand-paint it on the formerly white kitchen cabinets. Hardware: Rejuvenation. Backsplash: Carrara marble. Sink: Rohl.
A Carlyle daybed (in Stefanidis fabric from Harbinger) allows the space to double as a guest room. Shade fabric: Stefanidis, Harbinger, with Samuel & Sons trim. Paint: Dutch Door Green by Fine Paints of Europe. Art: client’s own. Lamp: vintage Swedish, Evergreen Antiques. Table: Ann Madonia Fine Art & Antiques.
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