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By Jessie Sardina | Photo: Eric Hausman | October 29, 2015
Treasured antiques can be like fine wine—and get better with time—if you pair them with the right modern complements, as Lewis Giannoulias Interiors did for this pied-à-terre in the city.
For anyone who has amassed a collection of family heirlooms, the challenge is familiar: How do you showcase the treasured antiques without compromising contemporary style and comfort?
It was this exact question that guided interior designers Melissa Lewis and Cari Giannoulias of Lewis Giannoulias Interiors throughout their renovation of this Gold Coast pied-à-terre. “The guiding inspiration for the space was the owners’ love of both old and new,” says Lewis of the 1,800-square-foot condo owned by a couple with a family legacy in winemaking. “This is a contemporary family born from Old World traditions, and this apartment is the exact translation of this.”
The fusion began in the foyer, where the homeowners envisioned a dramatic look. They got it thanks to lacquered walls in a subdued gray hue and a wire-brushed herringbone floor that add interest to the space and serve as a sleek canvas for their existing art and antiques. “All along we thought we couldn’t part with the marble foyer floor but Cari promised the wood floor we liked throughout, in a more intricate design in the entry, would give us the look we wanted and she was right!” says the homeowner.
To maximize square footage and add character with custom millwork, the team enlisted Windsor Builders. One of the biggest challenges was the living room, where a set of French doors on the main wall leading to the guest bedroom interrupted the flow of the room and made arranging furniture difficult. After removing the doors and closing the opening, the team was able to add the main wall back into the living room to create two distinct spaces. Lewis and Giannoulias custom-designed a modern media stand and console table in faux shagreen and reupholstered the homeowners’ sofas and chairs in cozy neutral fabrics by Fabricut and Donghia. Evocative of the family’s wine connection, a custom abstract art piece created by the LG team anchors the main wall, while modern accessories and pillows using Romo and Robert Allen fabrics add warmth.
In the dining room, the family’s vintage Baker table was paired with a set of antique Italian chairs, circa 1940, the team found in London. “[The chairs and the table] matched so perfectly,” says Giannoulias. “It felt as if they came together as a set, but the updated upholstery gave the chairs a fresh look.” To balance the antiques, the team added a gentleman’s bar from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams below one of the family’s vintage art deco prints, as well as a crystal Visual Comfort chandelier for a touch of modern glam.
Because their clients love to cook, the kitchen was important. The LG team updated it with modern appliances—a stainless steel farmhouse sink from Lavello, a Grohe faucet, Bosch dishwasher and Thermador range—and brightened the space with custom white high-gloss lacquer cabinets. The center island was finished with a gunmetal countertop by Cambria, and a trio of white Euro-style stools from DWR complete the bright, modern space that flows effortlessly with the condo’s old-meets-new aesthetic. “It isn’t a large space but they laid it out in the best possible way so that it is user-friendly with enough work space and seating,” says the homeowner.
The pied-à-terre’s master suite received a similar overhaul. Lewis and Giannoulias outfitted the bedroom with custom-designed millwork and covered the walls with a textural wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries in the unifying metallic taupe tone that appears throughout the condo. The team complemented the homeowners’ antique Baker canopy bed and chest with custom contemporary touches. Flanking the bed is a handsome pair of custom floor-to-ceiling cabinets and an antique map of Italy—a nod to the family’s roots. “It is a tailored look, which makes it appealing to my husband but there are touches of elegance which satisfy my sense of style,” says the homeowner.
In the spacious master bath, the team replaced the built-in tub and surround with an elegant freestanding bath by Glassworks and created a luxurious spa shower with the gained space. More Old World touches—an Oscar Isberian runner and Italian Murano glass sconces, circa 1950—add sophistication and elegance to the space.
While working on the condo, the LG team affectionately dubbed the project “The Gold Coast Charmer,” and it’s easy to see why. The thoughtful mix of modern wares and antique treasures yields a comfortable yet stately space that’s, well, charming to say the least. As Giannoulias puts it, “It embodies every aspect of livable luxury we adhere to in our designs.”