January 03,2023

Before and After: Bedrooms

by David Stewart


Mark Ferguson and the architectural team at Ferguson & Shamamian partnered with designer Sandra Nunnerley to restore a family’s Manhattan residence to its 1930s glory. Above: The architects restored a previously blocked window in the master bedroom. (February 2009)


H. Craig Lewis and Dianne Semingson bought a 1910 Colonial Revival house adjacent to the historic grounds of Andalusia, 20 minutes from downtown Philadelphia. Above: Scott describes the master bedroom as “the most traditional room in the house.” A 1920s vase and works of art by Dean Dass, Richard Berger and Jacqueline Jacovini adorn the mantel. (February 2009)


For Penny Drue Baird , the challenge was to create a chic, comfortable house while working within the existing footprint of a Mediterranean-style Palm Beach residence. Above: Limestone-clad walls and a matching faux finish on the ceiling “gave charm to the flat master bedroom,” notes Baird. (February 2008)


On New York’s Upper West Side, architects Jane Siris and Peter Coombs combined two penthouse apartments into a single residence. Above: “There were three very tall slit windows,” Siris says of the master bedroom, which overlooks the Hudson River, “so we made one big window.” (February 2009)


Pierre Yovanovitch reimagined his Paris apartment—in shambles the first time he saw it—reconfiguring rooms and unifying the interior elements. Above: He carved the master bedroom and bath out of the old kitchen and dining room. “The extensive use of palisander helps with a warm atmosphere,” says Yovanovitch. A pair of 19th-century stools flank the door to the bath. (February 2008)


Designer Juan Montoya renovated a four-bedroom, pre-war Park Avenue apartment. Above: In the master bedroom, the bed was reoriented, window treatments were extended from wall to wall, and ceiling soffits create drapery pockets and space for recessed lighting. (February 2006)


Interior designer Charles Allem gutted a young family’s Manhattan penthouse, converting it into a glamorous space that celebrates Art Déco style. Above: Allem used rich fabrics and Art Déco-style furnishings to transform the master bedroom into a warm, sophisticated space. Above the bed—which he designed with a gold-leafed headboard and a frame of silk velvet, from Larsen—hangs Picasso’s Les Jeux et la Lecture , 1953. (February 2008)


Designer Penny Drue Baird remade Michael and Michelle Friezo’s Bucks County, Pennsylvania, retreat, embellishing its characterless interior with elegant touches. Above: To create definition, Baird nested a smaller headboard, from Julia Gray, inside a larger, freestanding one. Rough-hewn oak beams underscore the country feel. Two 1880s French painted screens hang between the windows. (February 2007)


“It didn’t have to be Tudor Tudor,” says designer Douglas Marsceill, who renovated the 1935 Los Angeles home of composer Burt Bacharach and his wife, Jane. Above: “The master bedroom was so big it was impersonal,” says Marscceill. “The flat ceiling was like a blank canvas.” After raising and vaulting the ceiling, Marsceill put up natural beams “to give character.” (February 2000)


“Our brief was to combine two 1920s stucco houses and make them one,” architect Shirley Chang says of the residence she designed with her partner, B. Christopher Bene, in Shanghai. Above: Chang opened up the ceiling in the master bedroom to create a double-height space. “I thought of it in a rather austere manner: simple furniture and a balcony—there was no need for embellishment,” she says. A Mission-style chair and ottoman are at left. (February 2007)


“It had too many competing architectural styles,” Elissa Cullman of Cullman & Kravis says of the Manhattan apartment she redid with architect John B. Murray. Above: “The master bedroom’s cabinetry and wall details were replaced by a simple hand-drawn cornice,” says Murray. Charles X table, left, gilt vase lamp bases and brackets from Florian Papp. (February 2000)


Designer James D. Petersen renovated a New England Colonial in southern Vermont to form “a unified whole.” Above: Petersen transformed a row of unusually shaped bedrooms in the 1928 block into the master suite. A circa 1760 New England highboy and a George III side chair are among the antiques in the master bedroom. (February 2001)


Designers Michael Rosenberg and Leonard Kowalski redefined the division between the private quarters and the public spaces of an art-filled Park Avenue apartment. “Light and space were our guiding principles,” says Rosenberg. Above: “A serene and well-lighted master bedroom was what our client requested. We streamlined the room by removing built-in cabinetry and reconfiguring closets,” says Rosenberg. (February 2001)


“We wanted to open up the rooms and orient them more toward the ocean,” Mimi London says of a Maui apartment she and her partner, Mark Boone , reworked. “The place was seventies in style.” They collaborated with architectural designer Ken Ronchetti. Above: “The master bedroom was bland and lacked warmth,” says London. “We decided to close off some of the side windows and enlarge the ones that looked out to the ocean.” “The room now glows.” An Indonesian shrine panel hangs over a circa 1900 Japanese chest. (February 2001)

  • David Stewart
  • January 03,2023

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