Interior designer Gregory Rockwell crafts a colorful New York City apartment
by Hannah Martin /
April 14, 2021
“The walls aren’t striped, they’re actually hand-applied fluted Venetian plaster,” says Rockwell, who teamed up with Kamp Studios on this statement for the entryway, which he decorated with a 1960s Italian aluminum mirror from John Salibello and a 1940s Swedish chest of drawers from England, topped with a ceramic work by Cody Hoyt from Patrick Parrish.
“This [home] is about you and your friends. What’s the first thing you do? You hang up their coat and you offer them a cocktail,” says Rockwell, who turned a closet in the foyer into a bar lined in Pierre Frey wallpaper and outfitted with a wine fridge, cocktail shakers, and Christofle glassware. “That’s New York City—a martini when you walk in the door in this fab, glossy foyer where everything is like jewelry.”
“The apartment is not that big, but I wanted the mantel to be kind of ridiculous—to really play with scale and proportion,” Rockwell explains. “And what’s more ridiculous than a bronze mantel?” The plaster masters at Kamp Studios hand-applied liquid bronze (almost like plaster) to an MDF frame, creating what you see here, which will patina over time. “To me, this mantel is a showstopper.” Above it are Lindsey Adelman sconces, 1780s candlesticks from Dienst & Dotter, vases by Danny Bowen, a ziggurat sculpture by Elliott Levine, and a mirror by Stephen Antonson. The andirons are from Wyeth.
“We started with the furniture plan and then filled in the puzzle pieces,” Rockwell says of the uplifting living room, which features a painting by Derek Fordjour, sconces by Roll & Hill, a 1950s table lamp from Wyeth, and a 1977 Karl Springer cocktail table from Lance Thompson. The plaid Roman shades are made from Holland & Sherry’s Baudelaire, and the sofa, ottomans, and armchair are all custom made by Rockwell’s studio. The vintage Oushak rug is from Doris Leslie Blau.
“I think one of our major wins in this project was the kitchen,” says Rockwell, who transformed a no-frills, gray-walled galley kitchen with more plasterwork by Kamp Studios (this time a raw finish on the ceilings, which he built in to create a coffer) and Moroccan mosaic-tile floors. “It took forever,” he says of the handmade tiles. “We actually installed the whole kitchen before the floor arrived.” He installed a Sub-Zero fridge and Wolf range (“all the things they’re used to in their grand kitchen in East Hampton, just on a smaller scale”) and lined the counter with funky ceramics by Ettore Sottsass for Bitossi.
“The dining room didn’t have a lot of natural light—it’s kind of a gray box. So we said, let’s do neon,” Rockwell explains of the space, where a walnut dining table by Stillmade from Fair Design and an Apparatus chandelier are surrounded by 1950s Italian chairs from Bourgeois Boheme covered in said neon upholstery from Dedar. The artwork by Justine Hill pulls it all together.
In the bedroom, Rockwell pulled the wall color (Whitestone by Benjamin Moore) from a photograph by Justine Kurland, which he hung above a custom bed flanked with sconces from The Future Perfect and 1930s nightstands from Lawton Mull Art. The Matouk bedding is accented with a pillow from John Derian.
“We work with a fabulous mother-daughter duo called Shades From The Midnight Sun,” Rockwell explains. “They make these amazing, delicate lampshades, lanterns, whatever you can dream up at their home in Bronxville.” Rockwell collaborated with them to add a pop of crimson to an otherwise monochromatic bedroom. Sections of the light were hand-embroidered in India, and Hodde designed a tassel that was produced in Paris by Prelle. “Everything has that detail,” says Rockwell.
In the bathroom, the hardware, fixtures, and lighting are all by Waterworks, the medicine cabinet is by RH, and the walls are painted Simply White by Benjamin Moore.