Loft: The Sequel pix
After Julianne Moore moved on, Dufner Heighes restyled a New York apartment for an aspiring actor's family
Craig Kellogg -- Interior Design, 1/1/2005 12:00:00 AM
In the living room of a New York loft by Dufner Heighes, a Vladimir Kagan sofa covered in faux suede faces a custom marble-topped table, a George Nakashima side table in black walnut, Milo Baughman leather-covered benches, and mohair-upholstered armchairs.
A David Weeks chandelier hangs in the afrormosia-veneered dining area.
The woven-cane doors of a wall-mounted custom credenza conceal electronics.
Afrormosia-veneered cabinetry meets English slate counters in the kitchen.
A photograph by Yannick Demmerle hangs beyond John Wigmore's rice-paper light box in the entry hall.
The dressing room's seating area mixes a leather-upholstered Lambda ottoman and Lotus armless chairs in bronze, both by Spencer Fung, a modular Chinese desk, and a leather-trimmed sofa, which sits beneath a photograph by Bill Jacobson.
The dressing room's shoe cabinet supports an Isamu Noguchi lantern.
Dufner Heighes installed fluorescents along the top of the master bathroom's marble panels.
A linen shag rug covers the floor of the master suite.
A birch desk, a reissued Dahlia chair by Edward J. Wormley, and a Christophe Delcourt side table outfit the guest bedroom.
The boys' room retains a wallpaper map installed by the loft's former owners, Julianne Moore and Bart Freundlich.
Acrylics on paper by Agnes Barleyline the office's built-in desk of afrormosia.
Two years ago, Julianne Moore and her husband, Bart Freundlich, packed up the Vladimir Kagan sectional, crated the large-format landscape photograph by Thomas Struth, and moved out of their sprawling loft in New York's meatpacking district. The 3,800-square-foot three-bedroom that Moore and her brood left behind was a paragon of white-walled, dark-floored perfection, with a glinting commercial kitchen. But the new owners—the husband a graduate student at the Actors Studio, the wife taking care of their two sons—found the look a bit cold.
"They agreed to everything we proposed," says Dufner Heighes principal Gregory Dufner, whose firm had already completed a pair of comprehensive renovations for members of the new clients' family. Out went the ebonized-maple flooring, replaced by end-grain Douglas fir blocks of the type found in old-fashioned factories. The prewar building's existing industrial elements—such as the common-brick walls, battered wooden columns, and sprinkler pipes—remain exposed. "We left everything that was loft-y," explains principal Daniel Heighes Wismer.
A princely bedroom for the two boys is dominated by one of a few carefully preserved mementos from the Moore era: a floor-to-ceiling wallpaper world map behind the twin beds. Existing cabinets under the windows retain their white lacquer, though Dufner Heighes replaced the wooden tops with a slab of Calacatta marble, which also serves as a windowsill. Complementing that mid-century detail, Vilhelm Wohlert's milky-white pendant globe hangs above Eero Saarinen's Tulip table—used for homework.
Virtually everything is new in the public areas, starting with the square rice-paper light box mounted in the entry hall. To the left, ' a 75-foot-long vista unfolds past the guest room's door, through the open-plan office, and beyond. In the kitchen, cabinets that had partially blocked the view were removed and given to the building super. ("Kickback," as the designers put it, for his cooperation during months of construction.) Moore's gleaming stainless-steel refrigerator is now surrounded by cabinetry veneered in quartersawn afrormosia, a teaklike sapwood. The same veneer, flat-cut to enhance the figure of the grain, wraps around a corner to become dining-area paneling, the backdrop for a bespoke six-arm chandelier by David Weeks, a circular table of black walnut, and squared-off chairs in white oak.
Next comes the living room, which—as Dufner notes—is a "strange trapezoid shape." The designers tamed that awkward geometry by accentuating the room's focal point, a fireplace: They tiled it with white glazed-brick veneer.
Comfortable furniture gathers on a large circular rug of silver-green wool and silk. In the center sits a marble-topped cocktail table, also round. The curves are echoed by a different Kagan sofa—this one crescent-shape rather than boxy—as well as by the concave seats of two small Milo Baughman benches re-covered in lilac leather. "The boys ride them like horses," Dufner says. Between a pair of upholstered armchairs, a monumental subwoofer is concealed under a side table; the rest of the entertainment system is housed behind the woven-cane doors of a credenza mounted on the wall.
From the living room, a staircase leads to the master suite in the skylit penthouse, added at the time of the building's conversion several years ago and completely reconfigured in the Dufner Heighes renovation. Now, the stair terminates in the middle of a large open dressing room, with a treadmill and cabinetry on ' one side and a sitting area on the other. A pocket door conceals the master bedroom and bathroom.
A linen shag rug covers the majority of the bedroom floor. "It probably needs a little more raking," Wismer jokes, standing on it in stocking feet. Over the dresser, a round mirror's water-gilded frame shines in a silvery gold alloy. "We collaborate with the premier gilder in the city," Dufner says. The mirror reflects a new north-facing window, which frames the moderne roofline of the Port Authority Commerce Building. For the ultimate New York luxury, look out that same window from the vantage point of the bed: All you see is sky.