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That’s a Wrap: introducing our latest Park Avenue project

The dining/ family / kitchen area. Previously, the kitchen was closed off and the dining room was strictly formal, but we demo'd a dividing wall and added large sliding doors to open up the space for family living.
Photo: Gieves Anderson.
Above: The dining/ family / kitchen area. Previously, the kitchen was closed off and the dining room was strictly formal, but we demo’d a dividing wall and added large sliding doors to open up the space for family living.
Photo: Gieves Anderson.

Well, here at last.

Many of you will know this particular client personally (let’s just say it’s close to home). And if any of you know my artist-turned-finance-guy husband, you know him to be opinionated in matters of art and design. As a practical matter, this was a real team effort… (go team).

We added a powder room to the floor plan, designing a custom lacquered vanity with backlighting and floral Phillip Jeffries wallpaper. The mirror is vintage.
Photo: Gieves Anderson.
Above: We added a powder room to the floor plan, designing a custom lacquered vanity with backlighting and floral Phillip Jeffries wallpaper. The mirror is vintage.
Photo: Gieves Anderson.

For all who have embarked on a gut renovation of a co-op in New York City, we might share a knowing wink. This apartment had not been renovated in perhaps 50 years, and the inevitable twists and turns of city renovation in an old building were ripe for the taking.

The living room features vintage lacquered side tables, custom sofas designed by BMD, and art by Gunnar Theel. New art acquisitions throughout the home were curated by Cynthia Byrnes.
Lacquered ceiling plates cover the original exposed beams and hide LED lighting.
Photo: Gieves Anderson.
Above: The living room features vintage lacquered side tables, custom sofas designed by BMD, and art by Gunnar Theel. New art acquisitions throughout the home were curated by Cynthia Byrnes.
Lacquered ceiling plates cover the original exposed beams and hide LED lighting.
Photo: Gieves Anderson.
The gallery entrance features art by Claudia Mengel and Ashley Andrews.
Photos: Gieves Anderson
Above: The gallery entrance features art by Claudia Mengel and Ashley Andrews.
Photos: Gieves Anderson

While this is obviously my business, I was not immune to the mental drama of designing one’s own home. (Should we all be so fortunate… I do not mean to sound out of touch.) However, whatever the scale, making decisions when it is your own home is the same for everyone, designer or not. Decisions can feel like roadblocks.

The kitchen was completely reworked. A new, expanded layout gave way to a new peninsula, custom cabinetry, marble floors, and custom designed stainless steel hood. Photo: Gieves Anderson
Above: The kitchen was completely reworked. A new, expanded layout gave way to a new peninsula, custom cabinetry, marble floors, and custom designed stainless steel hood.
Photo: Gieves Anderson

Needless to say, we made it to the finish line.

A few pieces of advice before embarking on a big project.

1) “Future Proofing” is a losing game. (Easy there, New Yorkers – for the control freaks among us, just try your best). There are always going to be trade offs in functionality of NOW vs LATER. Yet try as we might, we do not know what the future holds. If COVID taught us anything, perhaps it is that.

Another view of the dining room, which is open to the kitchen and the main entrance gallery.
Photo: Gieves Anderson
Above: Another view of the dining room, which is open to the kitchen and the main entrance gallery.
Photo: Gieves Anderson

2) There are no right answers, and few wrong decisions (only bad execution!). There are so many possibilities and creative ways to approach design. If you take this to heart, then making decisions can become easier.

Shout out to my husband (though he probably will not read this): the buffets in our dining room boast Rodman Moorhead IV originals hung above them, as seen here.
Above: Shout out to my husband (though he probably will not read this): the buffets in our dining room boast Rodman Moorhead IV originals hung above them, as seen here.
Brooke Moorhead Design Bedroom

3) Opinionated or not, there is often more than one constituent in a project. Even I, as a designer, had to make design compromises, and often those compromises made the project better. The more organic the process, the more unique the result.

Brooke Moorhead Design Bathroom
Brooke Moorhead Design Dressing Room
The Primary Bedroom and complementing rooms. Perhaps my personal favorite, my closet, with custom heights for different shoe styles. This room became my office during lockdown. Again, how would we have futured proofed my closet to be ready to become a personal solitary confinement space? Art above the side table in the bedroom is by Jill Moser. Photos by Gieves Anderson.
Above: The Primary Bedroom and complementing rooms. Perhaps my personal favorite, my closet, with custom heights for different shoe styles. This room became my office during lockdown. Again, how would we have futured proofed my closet to be ready to become a personal solitary confinement space? Art above the side table in the bedroom is by Jill Moser. Photos by Gieves Anderson.

4) You’ve heard me say this before: design first, build second. What a nightmare if you are changing big things on the jobsite! What a headache if you have to pay for change orders that could have been avoided by planning. Obviously, things come up, but to the extent that you can avoid them… WAIT before you pick up a hammer.

Above: one of our boys' rooms. Photo: Gieves Anderson.
Above: one of our boys’ rooms. Photo: Gieves Anderson.

We enlisted Alastair Standing of Standing Architecture as architect, and we brought on Eamonn Deane of Garadice for our contractor.

And in case you missed it last time, we had a project published in a coffee table book, Architecture and Design Review, published by TeNeues. If you’d like one please let me know or you may purchase it here.

TeNeues-book-cover-Architecture-and-Design-Review
Teneues-book-spread-Architecture-and-Design-Review

That’s a wrap. Until next time.
In good design,
Brooke

Brooke Photo by Classic Kids.

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