Design Brief and Solutions This client wanted to have a townhouse that reminded them of the life they lived in Paris. Their style preference was a mixture of classical French and contemporary, prefering light neutral colors and a simple approach to achitectural details and furnishings. They appreciated custom details and wanted to live in surroundings that were atypical of their community and friends. They do not live with the typical clutter one accumulates in a lifetime, so the minimal style has been easy for them to maintain. The location of the new home was the same location as a previous home the client lived, before moving to France, and although the house was different in appearance, the neighborhood was familiar. The house lot was narrow, so the we took advantage of the opportunity to make it an attached townhouse and designed the façade to look like it belonged in Les Marais instead of Brooklyn. The French limestone façade design was created by the architect, Claude Puaux; the remainder of the architectural and interior design was done by Kathryn Scott. The interior was also designed to have selected traditional architectural details blended with a clean contemporary feeling. This translated into using traditional handmade materials, such as: custom plaster molding profiles from AMR Plastering. custom bronze stair railings, with a French influence, and bronze exterior door, iron exterior balconies, gates and washstand bases, and many miscellaneous metal details by Victor Carollo. hardware custom made from the archives of PE Guerin , as well as newly designed specialty pieces . custom cabinetry made from lumber stock to capturethe irregularities of wood boards (kitchen, closets and bookshelves), and doors made by American Woods and Veneers Works. The island was styled differently as a painted wood with blackened steel banding around all of the cabinet doors by Michael Tong. Custom blackened steel stove hood by Michael Tong. wide plank pine flooring from Wide Plank Flooring, with radient heat underneath for comfort.The creation of a Den in the back of the house presented some difficult problems to solve. It would have to be built mostly under ground, with only about 5 feet of the room above ground, but we wanted to avoid the feeling of being in the basement. Glass block windows were placed around the room close to the ceiling. They filled the entire space above ground although the main use of the den as a home theater prevents you from realizing it. The windows have motorized black-out screens that automatically close once the tv projector and screen are engaged to come out of their hiding places in the ceiling. The tv simultanteously turns on with the surround sound to play before you. The amazing audio/video design and installation was done by Hy Haddad. The roof of the Den is used as a back terrace off of the Breakfast Area of the Kitchen. There was no backyard remaining after the Den addition so the terrace was their only private green outdoor space. The terrace is paved in slate and bordered in planters of boxwood. Since there was no room to build a small staircase inside to reach the back terrace, we designed a chest of drawers that unfolds to be a staircase. You unfold it towads you and then climb up the stairs and out through the back windows to the roof terrace. When not in use, it folds back up to pose as a chest of drawers again, small and compact. The furnishings were placed with a minimalist approach. There is no clutter or unnecessary pieces of furniture. The colors throughout are cool and warm versions of white, with subtle color as accents, which creates a calm, restful mood. The residence becomes a retreat into the client’s personal world, which is exactly what they wanted to achieve. Most furnishings are contemporary, with a few antique pieces mixed in. Some furnishings were custom designed by Kathryn, such as the Living Room marble coffee and Macassar Ebony side tables, the Dining Room benches and server, a cerused oak desk in the Master Bedroom with a tall gallery around 3 sides and a custom parchment bedside table, as well as a pair of resin coffee tables in the Den. Notice that the dining benches are made to follow the irregular contour of the tree slab dining table, which is not only unexpected, but becomes more comfortable for each guest to be sitting the right distance from the table. The client requested that the master bedroom have a clothing bultler for the husband – something that is normally not very attractive. We made our own version ob turning the Philippe Stark Ghost chair into a clothing butler by adding a wood hanger and a silver soap dish on the top to hold pocket items. The result is playful while being useful. The Living Room sofa is by Christian Liaigre, from Holly Hunt and is striking yet maintains itself as background to the antique iron armoire from Amy Perlin Antiques. Delicate pencil drawings by Dean Brown flank the armoire with chairs from Roman Thomas below. All are upholstered in white linen or wool except for the flea market side chairs covered in white cow hide. The tree slab dining table is from Hudson Furniture and the custom benches were made by Sandringham. The pair of end wing chairs are from Dessin Fournir. The client loved an embroidered fabric for the breakfast table chairs, but when we selected the Saarinen Tulip chiar, we realized the fabric would not stretch properly to maintain the shape needed. We ended up hand painting the design on upholstered chairs in plain white fabric, with sucessful results. The breakfast table top was custom made in cement paired with a cast metal base from Formations. The Kitchen lighting was all designed by Stephen McKay. The Master Bedroom has few furnishings. There is a French style iron canopy bed from Niermann Weeks with a Chinese console table made from old wood across from it. A flat tv is framed on the wall above it. The KSDS designed desk has a pair of small alabaster lamps on the desk top, with a leather strapped chair that echoes the linear pattern of the desk gallery pattern. The single bedside table is a parchement box on a wood stand with the clothing bulter near by. The room feels spacious and open as if it only needs a fresh Summer breeze to be complete. The budget was not endless and the aspirations high, so it took longer than some projects would. Time was taken to research less expensive sources for many items that could be generic without compromising the final result. This was the client’s way to save money and the goal was more important than the time spent to arrive there. The high level of customizationalso took time, and patience is required when working with artisans, as the task is never simple. The process took almost 4 years to completion. Some items selected with no expense spared, as they would not be easily substituted, such as the Tischler windows, including a giant 18’ high french door in the Living Room, Guerin hardware, plumbing fixtures from Waterworks and Urban Archaeology and Viking kitchen appliances. There are many custom details to be found throughout the residence. Some details came about as solutions to their lifestyle preferences. The boys’ bathroom on the top floor was to be a shared bathroom, and the client wanted it to be equally comfortable after the sons were married and bringing their future spouses to visit. The toilet and shower areas were separated by a frosted glass wall and door. A skylight was installed in the shower to allow the light to flood in what is the center of the house, a space which would normally be dark and gloomy. A custom nickel and wood stall door lever latch was created for the glass door to match the style of the bathroom faucets, maintaining privacy for whomever was inside. The bathroom sink area remained accessable to others to share for simple grooming even when the other half of the bathroom was occupied. Let me mention some other details to be found in the house: We designed clothing hampers hidden in wall paneling, which led down a chute to the basement laundry room. There is lighting inside the closet hanging poles to gently illuminate the clothing. The kitchen cabinetry was custom designed for a Kosher lifestyle, and every cabinet interiorwas detailed with special dividers and components to hold everthing more efficiently. There is shelving inside a pilaster to keep the symmetry in the kitchen but still use every inch availble for storage. There are four pierced ceiling medallions that decorate the Living Room ceiling – two of which are used for hvac return air, and the other two only for symmetry in the room. The windows that are unavailable to reach to open for fresh air are opened with mororized switches. There are camel colored suede walls above the Thassos paneled wainscot in the Powder Room, selected to visually soften the starkwhite stone and absorb the echoes that accompany a stone room. The cerused oak doors throughout are based on a traditional French design, complete with wood pegs in the corner joints. The bathroom medicine cabinets are all lined with white marble. There is a low, custom bronze backsplash to add a delicate, but masculine, accent at one of the bathroom marble topped washstands. There are hidden closet doors in several rooms where we didn’t want the interruption of another door on the wall – one appears to be a built in mirror on the dressing room wall. The client’s easy going attitude and genuine appreciation of beautiful things made the sucessful design of the house possible. They were open to an extraordinary amount of customization without hesitating to venture forward in spite of the stumbling blocks that accompany even the most basic construction project. The final result shows it, and we are grateful for the opportunity to step up to their trust.