Paris Meets New York in this Sophisticated Renovation
New York City, NY
Putting Luxury in its Best Light
Built in 1925 as the city’s most elegant apartment hotel, The Ritz Tower on Park Avenue is now one of Manhattan’s most sought-after addresses. On the 19th floor of this luxury building, a 2500 sf apartment presented an incredible opportunity – a blank canvas with a 270-degree view of Manhattan, and copious natural light from its wraparound terrace.
The homeowner saw the potential and called upon interior designer Heather Maloney of Definition Design and lighting designer Aditi Govil of Cooley Monato to make the space a primary home that pairs the finest modern amenities with traditional French design details. To bring their vision to life, the design team chose Lutron to provide elegant control of indoor and outdoor light.
“We wanted to address several things—providing flexibility in the lighting controls and systems as well as light control of the immense amount of natural sunlight that the apartment gets.”
Delivering Classic Style with Smart Home Capabilities
A conversation with the homeowner revealed her desire for a space reminiscent of a classic Parisian apartment with a modern update. To bring that dream to life, interior designer Heather Maloney began with a color palette centered around a timeless shade of gray favored by Coco Chanel. The soft color allowed Maloney to mix and match metal finishes throughout the space. Part of the modern vision included the need to integrate superior smart home technology with sleek interfaces to complement the overall aesthetic, such as custom shades to manage and balance the space’s expansive natural light. Finally, Maloney and Govil both knew they needed to work creatively within the building’s historic designation status to achieve their design goals.
The fact that this desirable Park Avenue apartment had gone virtually untouched for nearly two decades was a double-edged sword. The space was ripe for a complete creative re-imagining but at the same time, the HVAC, lighting controls, and A/V controls all needed to be modernized. The wraparound terrace was a lovely amenity, but like many historic buildings, the façade fell under the purview of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, so any exterior changes would need to adhere to strict guidelines.
Design on the interior also required creative solutions. Cooley Monato conducted careful in-house studies to ensure that the light sources within the coves were not visible and glare from reflective ceiling finishes was minimized. While most homeowners are looking for generous amounts of natural light, the apartment had the opposite problem—such abundant light that it called for a concerted effort to protect the finishes and furnishings from UV damage. Like many historic structures, any new ceiling lighting fixtures required shallow housings to avoid conflicts with the existing beams. Finally, the team needed to be able to harmonize the indoor light and the excessive daylight using simple, intuitive controls that enhance the living experience.
Directing Daylight, Creating Comfort
The abundance of natural light meant choosing the right shades was of utmost importance for this project. The chosen solution needed to blend seamlessly with the rest of the decor while protecting it from damaging UV rays. With their simple, smart controls and customizable aesthetic choices, Lutron shades fulfilled every need—and then some.
The selected fabric, SheerLite 5% in Pearl, serves two purposes: seamlessly blending with the elegant interior palette as well as providing exceptional UV ray blockage. With automatic adjustments throughout the day and integration with other light sources, Lutron shades ensure that every room is comfortable at any time of day by eliminating glare on tv or computer screens, protecting privacy from nearby buildings, and helping regulate the home’s temperature.
Intricate Details Enhanced Through Lighting Design
For Govil, the material selections set the stage for lighting color temperature decisions. “When we design, we design with the intent for the lighting source itself to disappear and blend within the architecture to create layers of light and visual comfort,” she explains. Within the Lutron HomeWorks system, the designers set the primary color temperature at 2700K so a warm white light was always present, while preset dimming scenes could change the mood as desired. Integrators Orpheous and Dishmonster collaborated to enable effortless control of lights and shades, supporting luxurious living both day and night. Satin nickel Palladiom keypads offer seamless wall control of lighting and Lutron shades—creating a minimalist look that blends perfectly with the classic interior.
Additional interior details curated by Maloney include a custom herringbone floor with brass inlay at the border, custom millwork throughout, new ceiling coves with architectural LED lighting, and all new decorative lighting—complete with custom-made brass sconces on the terrace designed to match those at the building’s Park Avenue entrance.
While there is a diverse selection of lighting sources, they are all easily managed through an elegant, single point of control: the Lutron HomeWorks system. Satin nickel Lutron Palladiom keypads on the walls offer a sleek way to adjust both light fixtures and window shades for an always-perfect atmosphere, while the intuitive, integrated Lutron app allows the homeowner to set schedules and scenes from anywhere.
When designing spaces with a lot of daylight, we try to maximize flexibility for the owner in terms of lighting controls by recommending as many zones as possible. We went with the HomeWorks system as that is the most flexible system that Lutron recommends for private residences, and we’ve had positive experience with it on past projects”
Aditi Govil Lighting Designer, Cooley Monato
An Elegant Home on the Hudson
The final result is the perfect modern interpretation of classic French design — sophisticated, well-appointed, and serene. The addition of a curated collection of artwork was a bonus that allowed the homeowner to express a personal touch while still keeping with the overall story of the home. With renovations complete, the only thing that needs changing is the mood of each luxurious space whenever the owner wishes — by simply adjusting the lighting and shades with the Lutron HomeWorks system.
Are you a designer looking to level-up lighting and shades on a luxury project? Our dedicated team of A&D consultants and custom integrators are here to help. Start exploring our endless palette of fabrics, finishes, and luxury residential solutions at luxury.lutron.com