House of the Day: A Home, and a Hobby, in Chelsea

The Wall Street JournalJanuary 22, 2013
The owners of this five-bedroom townhouse spent over 20 years creating their own pocket of suburban living in Chelsea, making a hobby of tackling design, renovation and decor projects in the home. -- Jackie Bischof

John and Penny Marzulli purchased this single-family townhouse on West 19th Street in Chelsea for $837,000 in 1989, according to public records. The couple met when they both worked at international law firm Shearman & Sterling, where Mr. Marzulli still works as an attorney. The facade of the townhouse, pictured, was cleaned and renovated in 2007.

After graduating from New York University School of Law, Mr. Marzulli purchased a different brownstone on 19th Street with two classmates in 1981. Noticing property values were rising, the Marzullis decided to purchase this townhouse on the same block. 'My sense was that the area was on an upward trajectory,' Mr. Marzulli says. The great room is pictured and features one of the home's five wood-burning fireplaces, relined by the couple.

The parlor-floor library provided a place for Mr. Marzulli to work after coming home from the office. 'I've always loved having that space,' he says. Listing broker Vickey Barron of Core describes the room as having 'worldly charm.'

During the initial renovation the couple removed flooring from the parlor floor to create a double ceiling height foyer, which allowed more light into the home.

Here, the master bedroom on the third floor. 'Growing up outside the city, light was exceptionally important to me,' says Ms. Marzulli. The couple considered restoring an original stoop to the brownstone but decided against it, concerned that it would cut off light to parts of the home.

The garden is pictured. The townhouse was listed in mid-December with Vickey Barron and Ryan Fitzpatrick of Core for $7.25 million.