When I began working in North Shore Towers many years ago, it was for clients who were renting. Since 1985, having gone co-op, the 1844 units have been a safe haven for seniors and others who have sold their homes and opted for an existence where every amenity is literally within walking distance. Many choose The Towers because of its proximity to Manhattan’s delights, others for its safety, (fire proof compartmentalization) security (full time guards, security patrols, concierge, doormen, etc) and self-generating power plant (no blackouts). Still others chose it as a great place to live if you own a second home in another climate or just enjoy traveling.
My clients moved to the The Towers several years ago and, interestingly, found me in Florida when I was working in their condo complex designing a second residence for a Long Island client. That successful renovating and decorating project led to my work for them here, and later, for the owner’s sister who had decided to move to The Towers, as well. As a designer, it’s not easy to work at The Towers because of the security and time restrictions, but thanks to Mike Marcos of Marcos Construction and his fantastic team of contractors who made my job so much easier, both were able to undergo the major renovations needed with a minimum of inconvenience.
The view from the 29th floor of one of these projects is amazing, with the natural light and spectacular view providing a wonderful backdrop for a clean-lined eclectic mix of old and new furnishings. Soft colors and comfortable seating permeate the space with “pops” of color in area rugs and art. Built-ins in the living room and library provide needed storage and a hologram fireplace exudes visual warmth no matter what the season.
While The Towers offer country club living including an 18 hole golf course, tennis courts, five indoor and outdoor pools, health club and gym, indoor shopping concourse with a movie theatre, restaurant and 22 retail stores, its apartments lack sizeable kitchens and bathrooms. Enter our design team and Marcos’ “band of merry men” (and they really are smiling, competent and unfazed) to improve the space functionally and visually. Not an easy task when taking down walls and cutting into ceilings become necessary and both are cement. Redoing floors is often a challenge, as well. Sometimes the choice is to rip up the old parquet, as in the larger apartment and install new wood flooring. Other times the choice is to repair, replace and re-stain if the floor is salvageable, as in the smaller one.
Both kitchens were both visible to the rest of the apartment and needed to provide for laundry area as well as adequate storage and counter space while looking attractive and inviting. Note that both light and dark wood cabinets can work well in “galley” kitchens especially with eye catching backsplashes. In the smaller apartment, art adds an interesting dimension to the kitchen as well as the rest of the space which houses an amazing collection of this world traveler’s own exceptional photography.
Both homes have special pieces amassed over the years but the spaces have been pared down and furnishings have been simplified and decluttered. All new furniture and built-ins were designed for today with a timeless look to last for all the tomorrows to come.
Here’s what the clients said:
We bought our place because of the beautiful views and our main focus was not to obstruct it with draperies. We tinted the windows to protect the furnishings from the sun and just hung solar shades. We love the furniture, rugs and the lovely wall unit with a fireplace Natalie designed for our living room. She was great in letting us use some of our older pieces and had them refinished. They came out beautiful. Her staff was excellent in following up on all of our orders. Natalie really achieved our goal of designing an apartment with a clean contemporary look, yet warm and comfortable.
It was difficult at times to see the whole "gestalt" but in the end I was very pleased with the overall look of my apartment. Natalie successfully integrated my photography and her cabinetry work was wonderful.