Maximalism and color define a vibrant New York apartment

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Brave New World

Interior Design: Anthony Gianacakos/Anthony George Home

Text: Caren Kurlander

Photography: Marta Xochilt Perez

Designer Anthony Gianacakos was approached to create interiors for the high-rise apartment his long-time client Matt Grossman had recently purchased in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards neighborhood—and was given an intriguing direction. “He didn’t want anything left white,” Gianacakos says. “He wanted to tackle every wall, every ceiling and every surface so that it all had a special touch.” The designer, whose New York firm Anthony George Home is known for working with vibrant hues and dynamic patterns, was up for the challenge. “I’m not afraid of color or making a bold statement,” he says, “and here I was able to do a very refined maximalist space.” A pivotal part of achieving that goal was bringing in San Francisco–based decorative painter Caroline Lizarraga. “Caroline took this project to the next level with her talent and ability,” says Gianacakos, who collaborated with the artist on finishes throughout the space. “We took texture and color and saturation and created a very modern environment.”

“It was a dream for Anthony and I to work together because it was like playing Ping-Pong in color,” says Lizarraga. “And the client had a big role, too. All parties were very open to playing around with different ideas. It was a brilliant match.” The ideas started flowing right away in the entry, where Gianacakos had Lizarraga realize an agate motif inspired by marble walls Grossman had seen in a local restaurant. Her work “brings a hand quality to the space that wallpaper doesn’t,” says the designer, who added artworks by Gerhard Richter and Kota Ezawa from Grossman’s collection. The hand-applied aluminum-leaf ceiling exemplifies that feel, as does an additional wall Lizarraga sheathed in a steel-like finish. Together, the treatments give the dark area some “light and sheen,” she says. 

From the entry, things open up dramatically in the main living space, as floor-to-ceiling windows reveal a scene-stealing view of the Hudson River and southern Manhattan. “You’re basically in the clouds and the sunsets are epic,” says Gianacakos, who let those tones inspire the interior hues of blues, slate grays and bursts of pink and orange. “The palette of the space is really a reflection of the views.” The designer grounded the living area with a shimmery rug by Sacco Carpet and anchored the sitting arrangement with a sofa by Julian Chichester. A sleek low table by Chichester—adorned with a Jeff Koons sculpture and pottery from Gianacakos’ new line, Tiny George—pairs with a custom tufted ottoman in a striking Schumacher textile and twin hot pink Ligne Roset chairs. “The shell of that room is pretty neutral,” says Gianacakos, “so a little color goes a long way.” 

The room’s tones are neutral but luxurious, as Gianacakos wrapped the walls with an Élitis shagreen-style wallcovering, a sophisticated nod to Grossman’s love of nature, and Lizarraga created a lustrous textured look for the ceiling. “We crushed steel and released it into a varnish and washed it onto the ceiling,” says the artist, who extended the treatment into the adjoining kitchen—marked by barstools from Design Within Reach and a Gabriel Scott pendant—and dining area. Gianacakos chose “minimal but beautiful” furnishings for the dining area, including a streamlined table by Ligne Roset and with chairs recovered with a Kvadrat blue fabric that “blends with the water and sky,” he adds.

On the opposite side of the space, Gianacakos removed a wall to create an open flow between the living area and the media room, where he designed a custom multipurpose sectional and covered it with a jewel toned Designtex fabric to complement the blue velvet Élitis wallcovering. Lizarraga brought a whimsical element to the ceiling with a constellation of two whales depicted in a varnish infused with brass powder.

Whales, Grossman’s favorite animal, also make an appearance in an artful bespoke runner Gianacakos designed and had fabricated with Sacco Carpet for a long hallway. The walls and doors of the narrow space feature a deep blue crocodile motif executed by Lizarraga in plaster and inlaid wax. “It’s an old world technique with a new spin on it,” says the classically trained artist. The hallway leads into the primary bedroom, which showcases another of Lizarraga’s show-stopping finishes, for which she painted layers of watercolor over squares of aluminum leaf in an ethereal cloudscape pattern. “We needed an earth tone to make for perfect harmony in the room,” Gianacakos says of the rust-colored velvet that covers the custom platform bed.

Gianacakos designed beds upholstered with tactile fabrics for the two children’s bedrooms and continued the impactful aesthetic there as well. A Cristina Mittermeier photograph hangs against a bright blue wallcovering in one room, and a textural wallcovering by Innovations sets off a botanical-inspired textile from Gianacakos’ own line on twin beds in another. In the bedrooms and throughout the apartment, Gianacakos and Lizarraga saw that Grossman’s wish was granted and no white surfaces remain. “When you walk into the space and see it as a whole,” says Gianacakos, “you’re taken into a whole different world.” Anthony George Home,; Caroline Lizarraga,

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