The sleepier side of Manhattan's western edge, Riverside Drive is having a resurgence in interest. A powerhouse design team's latest project shows off the area's smashing views.
Tall order: The living room ceiling features subtle edge detailing to give an illusion of height and light.
The owners of this Riverside Drive penthouse knew they could get more out of their 2,400-square-foot home—especially when it came to the view—so they enlisted the help of interior designer Jenny Fischbach (127 E. 69th St., 212-602-1440) and architects Stephan Jaklitsch and Mark Gardner of Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects (115 W. 27th St., Ninth Floor, 212-620- 9166). In fact, they were utilizing only a small percentage of the space before the renovation began. “They loved the building and the views,” says Jaklitsch, “and wanted a design that would take advantage of the full space.” They also desired a “comfortable, casual home for their family” that didn’t skew too formal, adds Fischbach.
To achieve this feeling, the team, which included project manager Casey Pugatch, had to completely rejigger the penthouse, composed of three separate units that had been combined by a previous owner. “The apartment felt small despite the square footage, and the previous design made the ceilings feel very low,” explains Jaklitsch. During the 18-month process, which had an extended initial design phase due to the complexity of the building, he and Gardner resized many of the rooms and brought fluidity by opening up the spaces to one another and the terrace. They also swapped the layout, moving the master suite to the front and connecting it to the terrace for stunning river views (the kids’ rooms moved to the north side, with views of Riverside Park and the George Washington Bridge). The main rooms were positioned in a continuous line through the heart of the space, with light entering from both ends to make the apartment feel much larger. To maximize the views and light, the ceilings were subtly altered in the living room, and the terrace windows were extended full-height.
Full-length windows give the penthouse stunning views of the Hudson River.
Playing to the bright, open layout, Fischbach implemented pops of color into the décor, such as the patterned wallpaper in the family room, which contrasts with the cerused oak paneling. “We carried the teal color from the wallpaper across the room and painted some of the backs of the bookcases for a matching pop,” she explains. The room also features custom sconces by Collier Webb made of glass rods with capped nickel covers to reflect light from the top. Custom pillows from Holland & Sherry, designed with appliquéd fabrics and varied embroidery techniques, bring dimension to the bedroom.
“The clients were incredibly trusting and appreciative,” says Fischbach of the experience, “so on the whole it was just an incredible project to be involved with.”