The latest crop of luxury residential developments is breaking ground in a whole new way: by hiring interior designers and architects better known for their work in hotels, restaurants and product design — along with swanky private homes.
Previously lauded for their smaller-scale commissions, these talents bring a fine eye for architectural and design detail to their first-ever large-scale residential developments. Along the way, they’re imbuing these projects with bespoke features that come from very personal visions.
“Who knows how to better craft homes than interior architects?” says Barbara van Beuren, managing director of Anbau Enterprises, which hired Andrew Sheinman of Pembrooke & Ives for a new Upper East Side development. “They have a deeper understanding of lifestyles and needs, and that translates into
“People want beautiful design rather than a brand name just for the sake of the name,” says Shaun Osher, CEO of CORE, which marketed 141 Fifth Ave., one the city’s first bespoke developments, in 2008. “Something that feels customized to the buyer and feels unique is what they’ll put the value on.”
Citing the high stakes and high costs of today’s market, Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel, sees this new trend driven by economics.
“There’s an extra cost associated with a brand that might not translate into additional returns,” he says. Bringing in “people who have been successful in their own right [versus a ‘starchitect’] but that don’t have the brand recognition [is] a cost-effective alternative.”
On the Upper East Side, developers are placing a value on reinterpreting history, selecting interior designers who can straddle tradition and trends, and respect the neighborhood context.