New York Spaces: Blue Man Groove
Jorge S. Arango
05 July 2016

An East Side Home That Sings the Blues

It takes some people years—and several residences—to understand what makes a home truly their own. The septuagenarian owner of this 3,580-square-foot East Side apartment, explains designer Ernest de la Torre, “had made lots of money, but he never spent it on his homes.” The client’s son persuaded his father to take the leap, offering to manage the project himself. Novice that he was, the client’s only initial input was that he loved the East River views outside his windows and the color blue.

So de la Torre, who describes his client as “powerful and intimidating,” proceeded cautiously, creating a fairly safe plan. “He looked at me,” recalls de la Torre, “and said, ‘Do you really think I’m that boring?’ He wanted something fun and vibrant.”

He and architect Edward Siegel of Cooper Robertson began by reformatting the layout, collapsing four bedrooms into three and correcting the apartment’s eccentricities. “The dining room soffit looked like a big mistake,” says Siegel. “[It had] nothing to do with anything.” Siegel continued the soffit around the room, creating a shallow tray ceiling. Along one wall the doors leading from the elevator foyer and the kitchen were different sizes and materials so the architect made them symmetrical. Siegel also redesigned two rooftop terraces, building a pergola around an existing fireplace, installing an outdoor kitchen and adding grass and a water feature.

Read more at New York Spaces.