Shamir Shah captures "pristine" and "serene" for a spacious Manhattan residence
Cara Papper -- Interior Design, 3/1/2002 12:00:00 AM
If this New York apartment had a welcome sign, it would say, "Quiet zone ahead." A tranquil backdrop for a retired financier's collection of modern art and furniture, the 4,100-square-foot SoHo loft "feels far from the madding crowd," says architect Shamir Shah, who knows all about buzz and action from his work for hoteliers Ian Schrager and Philip Pilevsky. The loft's meditative mood reaches its apex in the master suite, located in the rear of the loft so as not to obstruct light from two opposing walls of windows.
Shah designed the bed, with linen-velvet upholstered headboard and platform, and the accompanying wall-mounted cerused-oak nightstand to appear to float in space. To one side, a tantalizing open doorway leads to the dressing room, where lights behind green frosted-glass closet doors and above white lacquered cabinetry add to the softness. "You're never looking at a lightbulb," the architect explains.
At 190 square feet, the white Thassos and Calcutta marble bathroom is sumptuous. Shah used reflective surfaces—marble slabs for walls and floor, navy blue glass tile above the tub and sink—to make up for the absence of natural light. Such hotel-quality details as an antifog mirror, showerheads for two, sleek faucets, and a stunning hand-carved Italian marble sink make washing up uplifting.
Kitchens are not typically placid spaces, but this one would calm the nerves of any anxious chef. Shah's cosmetic makeover left the developer's cabinetry and appliances in place. "We got lucky because many of the elements worked with what we were doing," he says. He did, however, replace a mirrored backsplash and the island's stone countertop with white statuary marble. Here, as elsewhere in the apartment, bleached oak floors tinted pale gray have a quiet glow, inspiring visitors to tread lightly.