House of the Day: A Colorful New York Pied-a-Terre

The Wall Street JournalMay 29, 2013
Price: $2,425,000
Location: Sutton Place, NY

A couple based in Palm Beach, Florida, used bright colors in the interior design of their Manhattan pied-a-terre, including custom-made wallpaper for their entry gallery depicting a tropical scene.

Jeffrey and Katy Amling purchased a two-bedroom apartment on the 12th floor of this co-op building on Sutton Place South in 2006 for $.178 million, according to public records. The building was designed by Rosario Candela in 1927. The Italian-American architect designed a number of apartment buildings with intricate facades across the city during the 1920s.

The lobby of the building features inlaid marble floors. The couple is based in Palm Beach, Fla., and has a three-year-old son. Mr. Amling worked in investment banking for 25 years and is now a financial advisor, and Ms. Amling is a gemologist and formerly worked for Tiffany & Co. The couple owned a smaller apartment in the building prior to purchasing their current one.

To contrast with bad-weather days when New York felt dreary and gray, Ms. Amling decided to decorate the apartment with bold, bright colors. The entrance gallery of the apartment features custom handmade wallpaper commissioned from Fromental, a wallpaper and fabric company in the U.K.

The couple was inspired by wallpaper created by Zubeer & Cie, a French company founded in the 18th century that specializes in panoramic wallpaper. Mr. Amling liked the architectural feaures in their panels while Ms. Amling liked the animals. Fromental custom-made the wallpaper based on the couples individuals tastes at an estimated cost of $50,000, says Ms. Amling. “It turned out so much better than be expected,” says Ms. Amling. “It’s just tropical, it sort of reminds you of Florida,” she says. “You feel like you’ve been taken away to some exotic locale.”

The gallery wallpaper also incorporated other colors used throughout the home, such as the salmon pink shown her in the living room, and shades of green, blue, and tan. “I wanted to walk into a happy, lively space,” says Ms. Amling. “I refer to us as eccentric preppies. We’re pretty traditional,” she says, but “we’re a little wilder with colors than you’d normally expect in a traditional home.”

The couple turned to Florida-based interior designed Patrick Killian for help renovating and outfitting the home. Mr. Killian has worked with the couple on other properties and says the color sused in the apartment are “invigorating.” The use of upholstered furniture creates a sense of Southern hospitality, reflective of Ms. Amling’s roots in Virginia, where she grew up, he says. “There are very few colors she dislikes,” Mr. Killian says of Ms. Amling.

Here, the family room. Before decorating the space, the couple did a gut renovation of the home that took about one year. They installed new wiring, plumbing, windows and air conditioning, put in new appliances and refinished the oak herringbone and parquet floors. They also removed and refinished the original doors and hardware of the apartment. They redid the bathrooms and the kitchen, trying to use elements that were consistent with when the building was built such as a vintage 1920s fireplace mantelpiece purchased from William Jackson, a New York store specializing in antique fireplaces.

Here, the kitchen. The approximately 1,600-square-foot apartment has two bedrooms and two ½ bathrooms. While the couple did not change the footprint of the apartment in the gut renovation, they did enlarge the openings between rooms and converted one full bathroom to a half bathroom off the kitchen to enlarge the space. “That was important, to not be closed off while booking,” Ms. Amling says. The kitchen has a sub-zero Wolf refrigerator that had to be dismantles before being brought up to the apartment.

The walls of both bedrooms in the home have hand painted glazing and the master bedroom, pictured, has views of the East River.
A view of the East River from the master bedroom is shown here. Ms. Amling describes the neighborhood as “quiet and nice,” close to Sutton Place Park and Peter Detmold Park with “a lot of wonderful restaurants,” she says. “It’s a very polite, friendly neighborhood.”
Here, the master bedroom. The couple is selling because “our life has changed since having a three-year-old,” says Ms. Amling, and they are not travelling to New York City often enough to merit having the space. They will continue to maintain a home in Saratoga Springs, New York.

A second bathroom in the unit is pictured. Ms. Amling says she will miss the “brightness of the space.” The home is being sold unfurnished but the couple is open to queries on furnishings currently in the apartment. The property was listed in April with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Lawrence Treglia of CORE Real Estate for slightly under $2.5 million.