An Upper West Side Story

by Natasha Wolff | May 6, 2024 3:11 pm

Maggie Burns of Maggie Richmond Design[1] has known the owner of this classic six in a 1920s co-op on Central Park West since they were 3 years old. “I don’t usually get the privilege to work with clients that I know on a personal level, so I was a bit apprehensive before diving into the project,” says Burns. “What if our styles didn’t mesh well together or she wasn’t happy with my designs or services? As we started working together, my apprehension quickly fell to the wayside as it became clear we had a great working relationship and this was going to be a very special project. We shared the same overall vision for the space and she was incredibly trusting and willing to take risks.” Those risks paid off for the client, her husband and their young son. The couple both grew up on the Upper West Side within blocks of the building, and after living in Chelsea for a few years, they knew they wanted to move back to the neighborhood to start their family.

With stunning views of the Museum of Natural History and Central Park from every major room, the designer didn’t need to do much structural work. She renovated bathrooms and the kitchen and added new millwork, a hidden built-in bar and a few other design elements throughout. “Even though we were doing quite a substantial renovation, it was important to keep some of the original design elements of the apartment,” says Burns. “Wherever we were forced to remove existing design elements like moldings or wall paneling, our contractor partners at Cooper Development did an amazing job of replicating and restoring to keep the character of the space.” New custom millwork is a feature of almost every room of the home, adding interest and dimension to each space. In the kitchen, Burns added a skirted base for the brass bistro shelving (which hides the family cat’s litter box!) done in a fabric by Ottoline. The white-and-gray cabinets with brass hardware pair well with gray herringbone floors, and the space is flooded with natural light. The dining nook boasts an upholstered banquette—the client wanted somewhere casual where the family could congregate to start and end their days—as well as brutalist oak dining chairs sourced from 1stDibs and a large framed menu from their wedding. Burns has designed a home that’s warm, comfortable and elegant, but also liveable and not too precious for a young family to settle into for years to come.

  1. Maggie Richmond Design:

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