You don’t have to reject modernity in favor of tradition. To wit, this five-story townhouse on New York City’s elite Upper East Side, which serves as a great example of how to smartly mix and match original architectural features with fun and contemporary artwork and furniture.
Vintage marble fireplaces, gorgeous parquet flooring and original sash windows all coexist happily with neon peace signs, one of those cheeky infinity mirrors that mall retailer Spencer Gifts sold tons of back in the 80s, a tufted 1970s Camaleonda modular sofa by Mario Bellini and for reasons only known to the owner, Iranian-American real estate developer Karmely Shahab, a mosaic portrait of Napoleon in the wine cellar.
Priced at $22 million and available via Douglas Elliman’s Madeline S. Hult Elghanayan, the 20-foot-wide townhouse spans a commodious 7,400 square feet with six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and two powder rooms. Outdoor spaces include a backyard garden and a roof terrace. Dig the eclectic furnishings? Well, you’re in luck because the listing notes, “This turn-key home can be yours with all brand-new designer furniture and even comes with a caretaker/doorman.”
Built in 1924, everything inside and outside the red brick and stone neo-Georgian home has been renovated and rebuilt during the current owner’s residency. It now offers top-of-the-line lighting, security, and audio/visual systems. And because some rich people like to have two or more of everything, there are two living rooms, two study/offices, two kitchens and, in the master suite, two bathrooms.
Starting from the bottom, the cellar offers laundry facilities, plenty of storage and the aforementioned wine cellar, along with firewood storage and, for pooch lovers, a handy-dandy dog washing station. The main entrance and foyer are on the ground floor, along with an en-suite office, a sleekly appointed eat-in kitchen, a small den and an even smaller study. Access to the rear garden is on this floor.
On the parlor level, the two living rooms are separated by a gallery, the glass-roofed dining room has French doors to a slim balcony, and the second kitchen opens to an exterior staircase down to the garden.
The third floor is given over to the master suite, which consists of a spacious bedroom, two huge fitted dressing rooms and a pair of deluxe bathrooms, one sheathed in marble and the other wood-paneled with grass-green mosaic tile accents.
On the fourth floor are a library with powder room and a couple of bedrooms. One of the bedrooms is notably tiny, barely bigger than a prison cell, but opens to a private deck. Two more ample en-suite bedrooms are on the next floor, the larger of them wrapped in custom paneling and outfitted as a media room, and above that is the bi-level roof deck that offers wraparound city views.
The icing on this dramatically decorated cake is definitely the location, which can’t be bettered for art and nature lovers: it’s just a block or so from Museum Mile and Central Park.