Home Tour: Contemporary New York City Apartment
Living Room Sofa
After living through 18 months of contractors, carpenters, and craftsmen, Kevin Sharkey is finally enjoying life in his contemporary New York City apartment.
Paintings in the style of Franz Kline hang over the living room sofa.
Mirrors cover one whole living room wall above and below the sideboard. "Not only do the mirrors reflect the river, "Kevin says, "but they transform the view into art."The balloons are not a permanent fixture. Kevin ordered them for a festive housewarming party.
Kevin, Francesca, Sharkey, and Ghenghis
Kevin sits with Martha Stewart's dogs, Francesca, Sharkey, and Ghenghis Khan on his linen-covered bench, enjoying views of the Hudson River.
Living Room Color Palette
Because the living room is flooded with light, Kevin went with a hushed palette to ensure that the eye is drawn to the view and not distracted by things in the room.
For the dining room, Kevin rehabbed an old oak table with an espresso stain and five coats of oil for a highly polished finish.The set of chandeliers made a long journey from Florida where Kevin had seen them during a trip with Martha.
Dining Room Details
"I've hung these Chinese paper panels in every apartment I've lived in," Kevin says of the framed pieces that appear custom-made for the space above the dining room's floating sideboard. Martha's love of collecting was the inspiration for Kevin to start his own collections of sterling serving pieces and lacquered trays, which are stored in the drop-down console. The lacquerware was purchased on trips to Kyoto, Japan.
Dining Room Mirror
A floor-to-ceiling glass panel in the dining room provides a view onto the terrace, a first-time luxury for Kevin. "It's amazing to be outside and so high off the ground."
A hallway wall pops with Kevin's collection of Josef Albers's Soft Edge-Hard Edge series, above. The prints were a gift from Martha.
"I wanted a shag rug in the library because they are so comfy," Kevin says. The Eero Saarinen Grasshopper chair was purchased at auction. "I love its articulated shape," he says.
The library's glass-top coffee table is ideal "for holding lots of books without weighing down the room."
To find the right wall color, Kevin tested neutrals a few shades lighter and darker than the floor. Heath, a Martha Stewart Living Paint shade (available at Home Depot), won him over. "I love how it shifts from khaki to ivory over the course of a day," he says. For the wall above the sofa, Kevin commissioned a pair of oil paintings, done in the style of Mark Rothko, as an homage to one of his favorite Abstract Expressionists.
"When I put my ties in the drawers, I knew it was real," Kevin says of his closet and dressing area, the last rooms to be finished. Designed by California Closets, the space accommodates every belt, sock, sweater, and suit -- as well as a massive piece of fool's gold on top of the island -- without feeling cramped. It has a well-concealed charging station for his electronics.
The closet's island holds Kevin's vast collection of ties, an obsession since his college days, when he worked in the tie department at Lord & Taylor.
Sunglasses fill other drawers.
The inside of his shoe-closet door serves as the canvas for Kevin's larger-than-life collage of inspiration and ephemera.
Kevin's kitchen cupboards are as orderly (and color coordinated) as his closet. Adjustable shelves are stacked with drabware and white dishes.
In the bathroom, silver trays and apothecary jars corral cotton balls and swabs. "Almost anything looks better on silver," Kevin says.
For towels and robes, Kevin opted for discreet Danish-designed hooks. Their minimalist form makes them "nearly invisible," he says. And their rubber grips prevent even the fluffiest robe from sliding to the floor.
The bedroom's desk, chair, and armoire (not pictured) -- a set Kevin bought years ago but never had space for -- are oak. Because he didn't want the blond pieces to meld with the pale floor, he gave them a ceruse finish, in which the wood is stained black and then rubbed with white wax to highlight the grain for a graphic look that's dark but not too heavy.
Good Luck Charm
A Guan Yin Buddha, just outside the bedroom "sends me off each morning with good luck," Kevin says of the figure, which sometimes doubles as an iPod holder.
A collection of caviar tins gets a second life as storage for desk-drawer staples.
Kevin had the armoire retrofitted as a media center, complete with a television mounted on a swiveling arm, cable and video components, and boxes for DVDs.
"I wanted the bed to look like a bento box," Kevin says. A can't-go-any-lower black-stained bed and marble-topped side tables achieve the effect. An oversize graphic painting (another commission) keeps the furniture grounded in the soaring room.