An interior design project of a huge duplex space in Manhattan, just footsteps from the Hudson River is stimulating and appealing to any designer. Add to the mix the point that one of the homeowners also holds one of New York’s most prestigious and biggest antique dealerships specializing in Scandinavian furnishings.
This is the private residence of Jill Dienst, owner of Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter who before beginning the dealership worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, antiquaire Didier Aaron, and decorator Jacques Grange antique, and her investor husband Dan, the former CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
There is an almost uncanny sense of emptiness and open space, a very Scandinavian feature indeed. The fundamental living area, for example, has white walls, floor, ceiling and window treatments increased with the sculptural shapes of a white vintage Philip Arctander armchair, a white sofa by Stephen Sills and a free-form Joris Laaman cocktail table. An 18th-century stark Swedish chair secures the space in the corner by the fireplace that seems to be just a room for an open fire.
Some of the rooms appear essentially mechanical and cold, including the kitchen with its large pieces of Carrara marble and Basaltina, the laundry room with its Swedish circa-1750 table as the single hint to domestic chores, or the master bathroom with its 20-foot-long Carrara marble countertop and Pawson-designed soaking tub and fittings.
But the key parts in the whole home are not so much the particular items as they are the composition of the surfaces, the symmetries inside the rooms and the position of the light at various times of the day. There is an overall feeling of calm and tranquility, a mood of the story and Scandinavian useful distinction.