Vancouver’s “lush” Stanley Park provided the cues for a painterly green and gold mural in this New York apartment, which local studio Stadt Architecture has renovated for a Canadian couple.
Located in the city’s Chelsea neighbourhood, the 550-square-foot (51-square-metre) post-war apartment belongs to clients who spend most of their time in Vancouver. The project is called Chelsea Pied-à-Terre after the French phrase used to describe a small city escape away from the owner’s permanent residence. Pied-à-terre translates as “foot on the ground”.
Stadt Architecture designed the hand-painted mural on the wall behind the bed in response to the client’s brief to “bring some of the lush natural landscape from southwestern Canada to mitigate downtown Manhattan’s concrete landscape”.
Based on the hues in a photograph of a dense wood in Vancouver’s Stanley Park – a large public green space close to the city’s downtown area – it features a green backdrop covered with large trickles of gold-leaf paint.
“We couldn’t literally accommodate a green living wall into the living areas,” said Stadt Architecture in a statement. “However, we reconsidered ‘landscape’ as a custom hand-painted wall covering.”
“By using a photo of Vancouver’s Stanley Park showing a golden sun streaming through a lush evergreen landscape, we developed our wall covering, which is a translation of this image – a gold leafed field that melds into a series of rich, saturated green tones,” the studio continued.
Stadt Architecture extended the gold paint over the ceiling of the bedroom to form a canopy over the bed – an effect that it likens to that provided by a four-poster. The studio cites the Great Bed of Ware by Hans Vredeman de Vries – an ornamental, 16th-century wooden bed that sits in the collection of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum – as a key point of reference.
“Using this example as a precedent, our custom wall covering is analogous to the canopy bed’s use of upholstery and hand carved embellishments, which line the canopy and headboard wall,” the firm said.
“For our design, the gold-leafed ceiling creates a luminous canopy over the bed, while the green field anchors the headboard wall.”
Complementing the earthly tones of the mural are the dark wooden frame of the master bed and golden sconces either side, while the remaining walls are painted white.
The mural also forms the centrepiece of the rest of the apartment. A pair of sliding acid-etched glass doors that front the bedroom are intended to be left open, so that it can be seen from the adjoining living room.
When closed, the translucent glass also allows plenty of light to filter into the room.
Pale oak herringbone flooring runs from the bedroom into the lounge, which features bright white-painted walls. Tones in the large painting are picked out in the furniture, including a dark green sofa, a green-coloured glass table, and a wood and leather chair.
Other details include a yellow cushion that adds a touch of “sunset” and set of six photographs depicting landscapes mounted on the wall behind the sofa.
A circular dining table with two chairs is placed in the corner of the lounge in front of the main entrance.
Facing the front door is the kitchen. The studio reconfigured the space during the renovation of the apartment, to make the most of natural light from the windows in the lounge.
Predominantly white finishes now decorate the kitchen, including the cabinetry, marble countertops and terrazzo flooring. Wooden shelves built into the storage units and the metal taps provide a darker contrast.
A similarly blank palette, including terrazzo flooring, can be found in the en-suite bathroom adjoining the bedroom.
Chelsea is a historic neighbourhood on the West Side of Manhattan, which was grown in popularity and price as a place to live in recent years – partly due to the opening of its elevated High Line Park in 2009.
Other recent apartment renovations in the area include a redesigned loft space for a photographer, an interior reconfigured for an art collector and a dark divided residence that is now a light-filled home.
Established in 2016, Stadt Architecture has previously revamped another New York apartment, to which it added a built-in bed and white cabinetry.
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