Ask any New York interiors insider to define the city’s style, and the answer is likely to vacillate somewhere between uptown elegance and downtown cool. But in one Gramercy Park townhouse apartment, Neal Beckstedt managed to blend the best of both worlds, uniting competing elements with an aesthetic that could best be described as Manhattan by way of Paris. “There’s an eclecticism about French design that is so attractive,” the designer says, noting the home’s varied influences and Gallic-feeling bones. “We wanted to convey this sense of internationalism while keeping the design rooted in New York.”
It helps that his clients were a young French couple with impeccable taste. “They’re very cultured and worldly and beyond chic, so the apartment is a reflection of them,” Beckstedt says. Riffing on their fashion-forward cues, he transformed the fourth-level space, refinishing the original parquet flooring, adding molding—“Wall paneling was a recurring theme,” he says—and heightening thresholds at the entrances of each room to impart an airy atmosphere of grandness. Furnishings and décor also hew to the concept, from the Empire-style chandelier that hangs above the dining table to the billowing tasseled drapery in the living room to the embroidered Louis XVI fauteuils in the library. In the newly configured master bedroom, a gilded trifold mirror with faux-mullioned panes conceals the new marble bath and De Gournay–covered study while oozing Old World charm—a look that continues in the adjoining solarium, where vintage fabrics that the couple found on a trip to Morocco appear on the throw pillows. “I consider myself a modernist, but I love craftsmanship, whether it’s from the 16th century or from today,” Beckstedt says.
Credits: Architectural Digest