Cover The folding patio doors at the open-plan dining and kitchen area lead to the stylish garden

The work of Ike Kligerman Barkley and interior designer Brad Ford, this New York townhouse blends vintage and modern elements to create a cosy home for a family of six

As far as dream homes go, this stunning Italianate brick townhouse in New York would certainly rank high on any list of covetable abodes. Located in one of Greenwich Village’s tree-lined blocks, the five-storey residence is the home of a couple with four young children. It was unveiled after a two-year renovation spearheaded by architectural firm Ike Kligerman Barkley (IKB) and interior designer Brad Ford for the long-time clients.

“They wanted this home to be artful and sophisticated, with great attention paid to the design details, but they also wanted it to feel approachable and liveable for their young family,” says Ford, of the 7,411sqft space.

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“We agreed that we needed to bring architecture back into the townhouse and wanted those details to feel relevant to the exterior, which has a more traditional facade. It also allowed us to bring some soul back into the home and formulate an interesting narrative that you don’t always get with a more modern and sleek renovation.”

Architect Thomas A. Kligerman agrees. “The exterior of the building is beautifully proportioned, simple yet classical. We took the same approach inside,” he says. “The details and materials are rooted in traditional ideas of proportion and form, but there’s nothing about them that makes you think they are old-fashioned. We have made them a little more elemental and clean.”

The details and materials are rooted in traditional ideas of proportion and form, but there’s nothing about them that makes you think they are old-fashioned. We have made them a little more elemental and clean.
Architect Thomas A. Kligerman

Upon entering the home, a cascading, five-floor custom Lindsey Adelman chandelier draws attention to the building’s soaring ceiling, while herringbone floors in cerused oak offer a warm welcome. Stepping into the grand living room, intricate architectural details such as ornamental plasterwork and a Breccia Capraia marble fireplace invite further inspection.

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“We really wanted to make an architectural statement with the panelling, the hand-plastered ceiling and the marble fireplace mantel—all of those details are new,” says Ford. The aim was to create a home that feels like it had been there for decades, but freshened up for a present-day appeal. “The clients love contemporary design, but we all agreed it would be much more interesting to have classical architecture juxtaposed with modern furnishings,” he adds.

One of the key pieces in the living room is a curved Vladimir Kagan sofa, which softens the aesthetic and adds visual interest. A mix of vintage furnishings and lights further enhances its old-meets-new-world charm.

The kitchen and dining area is another one of the family’s preferred spaces, which they use during the day, instead of only at mealtimes. “They didn’t want a formal dining space, but rather a room they could use throughout the day: to have coffee in the morning, to work from in the afternoon, or retire in for after-dinner drinks,” says Ford.

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This culinary zone is outfitted with top-of-the-line appliances and custom cabinetry to meet the couple’s needs when they whip up their favourite dishes. The dining area also has accordion-style glass doors that can be opened to blur the line between the indoors and outdoors.

In the master bedroom, Ford created a private sanctuary for the couple by incorporating a small seating area with a vintage curved sofa sourced from an antique dealer, paired with a handcrafted bed that sports a minimalist silhouette. “The strict form of the bed could have been too sleek, but the warm tones from the claro walnut finish helped mellow out the overall feeling in the room,” he says.

The designer has a particular soft spot for the master bathroom, which has its own marble fireplace and elegant oak drawers. “They bring a certain level of sophistication to an often-overlooked space, which has made it one of my favorite rooms in the house,” he says. “We wanted it to feel like an actual living space and not just a bathroom.”

The children’s needs were also given special consideration, with careful attention paid to the materials used so the home would be easy to maintain and clean. Ford also incorporated plenty of functional, customised cabinets to ensure all their belongings could be stowed away to minimise clutter.

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The result of two years of hard work is a home that meets the family’s needs, within a space they can enjoy for years to come. “The clients were very pleased in the end and felt we had checked all of their boxes, including a sense of timelessness and edginess while still maintaining a casual and approachable home suitable for their large family,” says the designer.

This story was first published in the June-July 2021 issue of Tatler Homes Singapore, now available on Magzter and newsstands.

  • PhotographyEric Piasecki/OTTO
  • StylingAnita Sarsidi/OTTO