Derek Blasberg’s Uptown Pad
When I read in the new issue of Architectural Digest that Derek Blasberg moved to the Upper East Side, I was curious if he lived close to me. I’ve never seen him in the neighborhood but he travels so extensively that it wasn’t that surprising. A quick search not only revealed that he does live close, but I also found the before photos of his new apartment and the floorplan. There is nothing I love more than a good before and after since you know how much work a designer and/or architect had on their hands. A floorplan also helps put each room into a larger context.
Derek mentions in the article that the apartment had languished on the market for years. It doesn’t look that terrible but there were no photos of any of the bathrooms or the kitchen in the real estate listing so I have a hunch those might be the reason. The old fashioned staff rooms would also have to be converted to usable spaces. The description is below:
“This grand pre-war Classic eight into seven room apartment has a traditional layout that provides for gracious entertaining and comfortable living. The large entrance foyer opens onto a palatial sunken living room with a soaring over fourteen foot ceiling, a wood burning fireplace and stunning full wall of original casement windows that allow for wonderful light and charming views of the quiet street lined by some of the neighborhoods most elegant homes. Wonderful layout for an art collector!”
“One of the three bedrooms has been converted to create an enormous master bedroom suite with bathroom, two oversized walk-in closets and a spacious dressing room. The second oversized bedroom features an ensuite bath. Off the gallery is a large formal dining room perfect for entertaining in grand style. A long butlers pantry with washer/dryer leads to a large kitchen which could be made into a spectacular eat-in-kitchen as there are two adjacent staff rooms and a bath available to convert and create your dream space. Herringbone floors, beamed ceilings, and moldings complete this magnificent home in one of the most elegant and sought-after buildings on the Upper East Side.”
What’s funny is that Derek worked for legendary art dealer Larry Gagosian for years so the description that it had a “wonderful layout for an art collector” feels like it was meant for him. He and his boyfriend Nick Brown turned to architectural designers Yaiza Armbruster and Marina Dayton and decorator Virginia Tupker to spice up the place. I appreciate that the place doesn’t stay too far away from the traditional but it definitely looks younger and fresher.
The before photo of the living room isn’t that bad but it’s pretty dated. Although, there is some weird stuff going on around the windows. I’m also not a fan of fireplaces that don’t have mantles. It’s a very big missed opportunity to display accessories, not to mention Christmas stockings.
In the after living room photo above, a custom velvet sofa curves toward two Olivier Mourgue chairs in the sunken living room. On the Willy Rizzo cocktail table is a model of Blasberg’s dachshund by Miuccia Prada. Artwork on the left wall is by Francesco Vezzoli and a Dan Colen is on the right wall.
Derek and his dog sit on the new stair to the sunken living room. “When I walked in I immediately had a good feeling: I had fantasized about a sunken living room ever since I saw Bette Davis’s apartment in All About Eve.”
You can see from the before photo that they changed the stairs and stair rail to look more modern.
Two Richard Prince Instagram prints of Derek’s friends hang in the dining room. A painting by Nate Lowman hangs on the left wall and on right wall is a work by John Currin.
The before photo of the dining room is very traditional but it looks like the just painted it white and decorated. A little white paint goes a long way.
I love the retro yet modern feel of the newly renovated kitchen. They did take room from one of the staff rooms to create the banquette. I’m also really loving green lately and these chevron tiles by Ann Sacks on the kitchen floor. Picasso ceramic plates hang on the walls as does a work by Andy Warhol. Pierre Jeanneret chairs are upholstered in jade leather and lettuceware by Dodie Thayer for Tory Burch rounds out the decor.
The “Gossip Room” or little den looks like it was carved out of the other staff room and might have been inspired by Lee Radziwill’s old room by Renzo Mongiardino. The fabric is Kintamani Geometric in Lapis from Ralph Lauren Home.
“A lipstick mirror by Seletti Wears Toiletpaper is the star of the powder room.” The chevron wallpaper is from Ralph Lauren Home.
The pretty in pink guest bedroom features a silkscreen of Dolly Parton by Andy Warhol and a custom headboard by Virginia Tupker in a Claremont linen. A Marc Newson rattan chair sits in the corner on a rug by Ralph Lauren Home.
Derek’s guest bedroom is so much chicer than the pull out couch bed, built-ins, and tile floor in the before photo.
I love the Kelly Wearstler for Ann Sacks tile in the guest bathroom with sink fittings by Waterworks. The drawing is by Aurel Schmidt.
The master bedroom looks like it’s going to become as iconic as the canopy clad bedrooms of Veere Greneey and Hubert de Givenchy. A custom-colored tattersall by Ralph Lauren Home covers the master bedroom walls, bed canopy, and headboard.
The before photo of the bedroom shows that it’s a good size room.
Another view of the master bedroom which features a Fernand Léger painting above the bed.
The master bedroom closet features the same Ralph Lauren Home fabric as the bedroom.
The office was created out of a closet and Derek calls it his “cloffice”. The walls and built-ins are painted in Cook’s Blue from Farrow & Ball which is the same color as the master bedroom closet. Since it backs up to the closet, I’m wondering if they are connected. This is also an example of how an antique desk can look like a little sculpture in a more contemporary space.
In the article Derek says, “My request for a secret passage behind a mirror in the foyer to my desk required some clever engineering, and I love that it turned out resembling a glamorous submarine hatch.” In the floorplan below, it looks like it was created by combining the closet and walk in closet across from the guest bedroom.
All in all, the new apartment looks like a great place to relax in between Derek’s fashion week travels. And if I do see him in the neighborhood, I hope he doesn’t think I was stalking him.