A Designer’s Residence on Central Park, The place the Views Dictate the Décor

A Designer’s Home on Central Park, Where the Views Dictate the Décor

Adrienne Vittadini was known for her signature bold colors and prints in the clothing and accessories she designed, but when it came to her sprawling Upper East Side home, a more neutral palette prevailed.

The apartment, on the ninth floor of the James E. R. Carpenter-designed co-op at 1115 Fifth Avenue, between East 92nd and 93rd Streets in the Carnegie Hill neighborhood, offers stunning vistas of the nearby Central Park reservoir, adding to the serene ambience.

It was the views that sold Ms. Vittadini and her husband, Gianluigi Vittadini, known as Gigi, on the prewar unit in 1986, and also influenced their interior design choices. “I really wanted the outdoors to dominate the indoors,” she said. “I didn’t want anything to clash with that or impact the view.”

After many months of renovations — “The apartment was in terrible condition,” she said — they created a soothing refuge done up in shades of cream and ecru, where they could unwind or entertain after a hectic workday. The couple ran the Adrienne Vittadini fashion and lifestyle brand together until it was sold in 1996.

Now retired, they find themselves spending far more time at their homes in Italy and Florida, and have decided to sell the New York apartment while looking for a smaller Manhattan pied-à-terre. The asking price is $7.5 million, with $9,916 in monthly maintenance, according to the listing broker, Kathleen M. Sloane of Brown Harris Stevens.

The apartment, measuring around 2,915 square feet with nine-foot ceilings, is currently configured with two sizable main bedrooms and three full bathrooms, plus a staff wing off a laundry room with another full bathroom. There’s a formal dining room and an extra-large living room with an open, connecting library/study that was once a bedroom before the wall was removed.

“I wanted more view,” Ms. Vittadini said, explaining the changes. “I now have all this view, and without the obstruction of a wall it makes a much bigger impact. It’s so much more spectacular.”

Ms. Vittadini hired Italian craftsmen to create custom doors and stylish storage areas and built-ins throughout the home, like the bookshelves in the library that cover one wall and surround the window on another, and the wall of storage in the primary bedroom. Gilded touches were also applied, and the parquet wood floors were bleached and stained to match the silk walls in the living room and library.

“I just love the coziness when the walls and the floors are the same,” Ms. Vittadini said.

The neutral background has also helped showcase the eclectic mix of Art Deco, Regency and antique furnishings, along with the artwork that the couple picked up from their travels abroad. What she didn’t find in shops, Ms. Vittadini, ever the designer, created pieces herself, like a sofa and upholstered cocktail table that she had manufactured in Italy.

“Occasionally I had to redesign,” she said. “The sun becomes very strong in the afternoon. The sun is the enemy of silk fabrics.”

The home is entered through a formal gallery lined with artwork and settees, some from Mr. Vittadini’s family home in Milan. The gallery leads to the living room, which is anchored by a wood-burning fireplace with a carved marble mantel. A large niche with inset lighting showcases a Roman torso sculpture. Separating the connecting library area is a pair of wood columns stained with 24-karat gold leaf. Both spaces have oversize windows facing the reservoir.

“We have exquisite sunsets,” Ms. Vittadini said. And over the years she has also enjoyed watching the changing seasons in the park, where she and her husband would frequently go to speed walk twice around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. “So three miles together,” she said.

Off the living room, tall double doors open to the dining room, spacious enough for the large dinner parties. (Past guests lists have included the singer Luciano Pavarotti.) Throughout the room are boiserie paneling outlined in gold leaf and hidden storage, and there’s a decorative fireplace, also with a carved marble mantel.

Beyond the dining room is a pantry-like bar area with a wine fridge, sink and dishwasher, and a custom Bulthaup-designed kitchen equipped with laminate countertops, a breakfast bar and high-end appliances, including a six-burner, commercial-grade Garland stove. Nearby is the laundry room and the staff quarters, which are currently being used as an office and additional closet space.

“The staff area can probably be turned into another large bedroom — you can do a lot with that area of the apartment,” Ms. Sloane said. She noted also that the library could easily be converted back into a bedroom.

The two main bedrooms, each with reservoir views, are at the opposite end of the apartment from the entertaining space. The primary suite, with heavy linen walls, has two full bathrooms that are tiled and a walk-in closet; hanging on the bedroom wall is a drawing by Picasso, a birthday gift for Ms. Vittadini from her husband. Outside the guest bedroom is a full marble bathroom.

Ms. Vittadini says she will miss one of her favorite spots in the home: the window seat in the library overlooking the park. There she would curl up with a good book or retreat to after a full night of entertaining.

“It’s a magical spot,” she said.


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