Living the life you dream about is all about having a home that reflects who you are, what you love, and how you live. Interior Designer and Senior Vice President of Sotheby’s International Realty, Royce Pinkwater understands this exceptionally well, as exemplified by her New York apartment. Let’s have a look.
In the Entry Hall, pictured above, a 1950s hammered-bronze sconce from an Italian villa is set off by dark walls papered in a scrubbable vinyl wall-covering, Madagscar from Élitis France. “I like to juxtapose high and low. It makes it more casual and homey,” says Ms. Pinkwater, a graduate of NYU, who has lived in New York City for all of her life.
“The most interesting rooms mix cultures and periods,” she states, and are truly a collaboration. On her home, Royce worked with Interior Designer Eric Cohler to make several architectural refinements like englarging the bath and doorways, Interior Designer Sidney Frazier to help with her two son’s bedrooms as well as shades and curtains throughout, and Kyle Clarkson of Ogee Inc. to design rugs and advise her on upholstery.
Of her Living Room, Ms. Pinkwater explains, “A room should be comfortable and inviting. It should make you want to come in and use it, and make you feel good to be in it. Every room had to have space for [her two sons] to hang out. I didn’t want any room to just be decorative. It gives me such pleasure to see my boys hanging out in the living room with their laptops and books.”
Regarding her 12-foot-long Living Room sofa, inspired by a 1970’s Donghia design, Royce says, “I love the scale, the way it fills that whole wall… A lot of my things are large. That José Parlá painting over the sofa had to be hoisted through the window.” She continues by saying, “Another thing I feel strongly about – by far the most compelling rooms are a beautiful blend of styles and eras. I love the simplicity and elegance, [and] the graceful proportions of 1940s French furniture… But a whole room of nothing bur would be static and boring.” Her home is clearly anything but.
Speaking about her choice of lavender walls for the Living and Dining Area, she notes that “there’s very little color other than lavender” not just on the walls, but in the entire room. Royce believes “there is something so incredibly chic” about using one color to great effect. She also explains that, “I have green eyes, and lavender makes them look beautiful. Colors in homes should be flattering. I think I speak for all women – and probably all men – when I say I want a room to show me off at my best.” I absolutely agree.
A view of the Dining Area. “We turned a stiff and formal apartment into something that works for today,” Pinkwater says.
The previously tiny kitchen with entry from the foyer was enlarged and opened up to the Living Room, where the Saarinen table can be set for nightly dining. Pinkwater eloquently states, “For me, the test is, How do you feel when you open the front door? If you don’t feel happiness, something’s not right.”
She continues, “I feel happiness as soon as I enter my foyer. I feel it when I walk into the living room – so cool and calm and light. I feel it when I look at the picture of the nuns in the kitchen area – it always makes me laugh. A home should have vignettes that make you happy… There’s something about beauty that sort of sweeps me away.” In the Breakfast area, an Ingo Maurer’s Birdie’s Nest chandelier hangs playfully above a glass top table from cb2, a custom banquette by Martin Albert Interiors, and a pair of Vladimir Kagan chairs.
Of her design aesthetic, Ms. Pinkwater says, “I like soft, soothing colors and crisp, clean lines. No ruffles and froufrou, or lots of things going on at the same time.” In her Master Bedroom, a tufted blue velvet bed, custom designed by Eric Cohler. Of the Italian chandelier overhead, she simply states, “[it] makes me happy. It’s just so beautiful and feminine.”
In the Master Bath, an Amanda Weil photo on glass creates a window where there is none. Custom cabinetry by Abigail H. Hess Interiors, Thassos marble throughout via Artistic Tile, and Frette’s Checkerboard Collection towels, of course.
Of her 19-year-old sons’ bedrooms, Ms. Pinkwater says “One thing that was very important to be: their rooms had to be very much reflections of them.” The bed is a pairing of West Elm’s Grid Tufted Headboard and Storage Bed Frame, with a metallic hide in silver and white hung behind. George Nelson’s Saucer Criss Cross pendant via Y Lighting floats overhead.
In the Library, the walls are painted Benjamin Moore’s Wet Concrete. After a friend sat on the 43-inch-deepAxis Sofa from Crate & Barrel , he put his custom sofa in storage and went out to buy one for himself. The vintage lucite coffee table is Karl Springer. Frank Gehry Wiggle chairs flank a 1940’s Eugene Printz game table. The end table is from R & Y Augousti New York, and the bookcase is Oly Studio’s Stella Shelf. Underfoot, the rug is from Kyle Clarkson’s Ogee Inc.
“Good or bad, I wanted my apartment to be a reflection of me, a personal statement. I have an intimate connection to everything here,” explains Pinkwater. I believe she’s done a splendid job. She is without question living the life she dreams about, at home in New York.