when new York designer Juan Montoya
first saw his client's park Avenue pied-à-terre, it wasn't
much to look at. "it had been completely gutted," says
Montoya. "the previous owner had demolished it, and
my client bought it as a shell." But it did have views of
Central park—albeit through tiny windows—and 3,500
square feet to work with. in determining the direction
to take, Montoya—known for his refined interiors and
polished furniture designs—began with his client's
straightforward requests. "He has a large art collection,
which he wanted displayed in a very simple format,"
says the designer, "and he wanted it to be modern, to
reflect the times we live in now."
Montoya started with "the idea of making a very
calm and Zen place," he explains. Collaborating with
project director Carlos Gonzalez, the designer created
a floor plan that unfolds into a succession of spaces
defined by subtle shifts in surface materials. A small
elevator foyer shimmers with a paint treatment by artist
peter tachkov and the ensuing hallway is set off with
the soft grain of anigre. the light wood continues into
the spacious living/dining room, where it frames walls of
parchment hung in a grid, echoing the limestone floors.
"My work is about texture," says the designer. "i love when
people touch walls, touch floors and touch surfaces."
the small windows were stretched into floor-to-ceiling
openings, and a door hidden within the parchment
panels accesses the kitchen.