2021 Master Design Awards: Residential Interior More Than $100,000

by Kyle Clapham

Deep River Partners

Milwaukee, Wis. | deep-river.com

Designers: Natalie Erickson, ASID, and Nicholas Blavat, AIA, NCARB
Location: Milwaukee, Wis. | Square footage: 2,369 | Project cost: $650,000

Photos: Ryan Hainey Photography

This riverfront condominium renovation began with the homeowners’ request to feel they were arriving at a high-end hotel. The solution ultimately balanced the urban setting with the desired modern industrial theme. For an improved entry experience, the company widened the foyer by relocating a closet. Adding a wall and cased opening separated the family room hallway as well.

A floating ceiling panel with textured wallpaper lowers the tall ceiling, and an illuminated wood accent wall makes a visual impact to create an intimate space to greet guests. The design delivers with a palette of black, white and rift-cut oak, with metal and concrete industrial accents. A gas fireplace and floating hearth with an art niche and lit shelves help balance the new family room.

Range: Sub-Zero/Wolf
Range hood: Zephyr
Refrigerator/freezer: Sub-Zero/Wolf
Wine refrigerator: Sub-Zero/Wolf
Dishwasher: Cove
Microwave drawer: Sub-Zero/Wolf
Undercounter beverage: Sub-Zero/Wolf
Washer: Electrolux
Dryer: Electrolux
Towel rings: Kallista
Toilet paper dispensers: Kallista
Shower shelves: Kohler
Decorative mirror: Renwil
Medicine cabinet: Profile
Cabinet hardware: Emtek
Countertops: Vicostone; Neolith; Wilsonart
Metal trim: Schluter
Plumbing fixtures: Kallista; Waterstone
Sinks: Kohler; Crosswater
Toilets: TOTO
Tile: Daltile; Ariostea
Edge trim: Schluter
Dropped ceiling: Arte
Accent wall: Schumacher

Rusk Renovations, Inc.

New York, N.Y. | ruskinc.com

Designer: David Scott | Location: New York, N.Y. | Square footage: NA | Project cost: $300,000+

Photos: Rusk Renovations, Inc.

Two busy professionals had raised their children in a large house in the suburbs of New York City. Now was their time to live a different life, and that life was on the glittering Upper East Side of Manhattan. The apartment was on the 60th floor of a recent “statement” tower. While the kitchen and some of the bathrooms were acceptable, the apartment needed to be made something special: a reward for a life well-lived.

The views from the windows are dazzling, even more so at night; but to reach these heights cost-effectively, developers must build a series of identical apartments as they go up through the building. The challenge for the designer and his empty-nester clients was to create an apartment that was as exciting to look at inside as it was to look out onto the city.

Further complicating this issue was the entrance. Elevator cores are at the center of the building, far from the windows and grand rooms they faced. The challenge was to create an experience on opening the front door that would set the stage for the wonders to come.

Inspired by the 18th century French decorator, Jean-Baptiste Glomy, who revived the art of eglomise, David Scott created brilliant gold eglomise panels against a dramatic dark espresso ceiling combined with brass inlay in the beautiful veined marble floor. The designer went on to provide a series of two broad thresholds, creating an enfilade of spaces with the glowing living room as the destination.

Functionally, the apartment had too many bedrooms for a home for a couple and occasional visits by their grown children. While the original apartment had five bedrooms and six full bathrooms plus a powder room, a bedroom and two bathrooms were turned into two large walk-in closets to create a much grander master suite.

The large formal dining room was turned into an intimate library. The dining area was moved into the enormous loft-like living room along with a piano, giving three functions to a large space.

Rusk Renovations, Inc.

New York, N.Y. | ruskinc.com

Location: New York, N.Y. | Square footage: NA | Project cost: $300,000+

Photos: Rusk Renovations, Inc.

An active, sophisticated couple had bought a full floor of a new residential tower in New York to accommodate their robust lives. The apartment would have two large bathrooms in the master suite, two dressing rooms to accommodate frequent travel, a place to work out, a shared office, two entertaining areas— one open kitchen with a dining space and a refrigerated wine room for an extensive wine collection, and an entertaining space with a bar— and finally, a cozy space for morning coffee.

The space was made up of two separate apartments that they wanted to bring together to make the lower Manhattan view even more breathtaking. Simply, this was to be a grand Manhattan apartment.

Tall buildings require hearty infrastructure; enough elevators to provide private access to the two sides of the building without residents having to wait forever; service elevators to allow the residents and their apartments to be renovated and maintained; structural supports for the tall, thin building; and plumbing, electrical and air-conditioning systems that would travel up through the building for the 100+ apartments.

This infrastructure interrupted the flow of the apartment, blocking the east to west and north to south views the client sought. In addition, the building had an external glass curtain wall with large round structural columns within the space. Without being addressed, these columns appeared massive and unwelcome.

The solution to the columns was to bring in a team of artisans to apply a decorative finish to the concrete—giving their “raw” texture a variegated and polished makeover. For the rest of the overbearing infrastructure, it was minimized and manipulated.

The main elevators were framed by back-painted glass using the traditional French Verre églomisé technique. The curving, shapeshifting ceiling draws the eye through the spaces while building pipes are offset and hidden in a spectacular custom-made bronze column with concealed access doors.

The wallpaper was hand-tinted on site when the sheen was too high; the imperfect perimeter radiator grilles, a feature of the original construction, were meticulously remade with each seam at the precise center of each window mullion; and the massive column took two months of the slow application of powders on site until the final applications were applied by a team from France.

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