Blog by Beebe Cline

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Comfort and Elegance in Manhattan

The owners of this chic 1900s Manhattan townhouse wanted a comfortable home for raising their three boys — and also a gracious setting for entertaining. The answer: three floors for three general functions, where formal dinner parties could comfortably co-exist with easy, kid-friendly living. By incorporating a master suite floor, a mixed-use parlor floor and a floor for kids' rooms, designer Jarlath Mellett gave the family everything they wanted. It's "elegant and chic," Mellet says, "but relaxed."
A glass wall on the entire back side lends to the abundance of natural light. "We wanted the outside to come in and expand the townhouse," says Mellet.

The parlor den is the main space where the family gathers together. The setup is chic and minimal, and Mellett was careful to use fabrics that are durable and easy to clean.

Rug: Ogee silk and wool area rug
Sofa: Custom design, upholstered in fabric from Lee Jofa
Club chairs: Custom design, upholstered in Holly Hunt fabric
Tripod lamp: BDDW
Lounge chair and ottoman: Knoll
Coffee table: Custom lucite design by Jarlath Mellett
Side table: Fritz Henningsen side table from Foley & Cox
by Jarlath Mellett  
The parlor's two living areas, formal dining room, and bar area are perfect for large dinners and holiday parties. From this vantage point, you can see the more formal living room in the foreground, the den in back, and the dining room in the middle.

"We created zones that are so comfortable that the family will just naturally want to stay there," he says. "We don't want them to feel like they're necessarily a kids area. In fact, the adults love to be in the kids' areas too!"

Sofa fabric: Old World Weavers
Chrome chair: Milo Baughman
by Jarlath Mellett
It's clear the parlor dining room was made for large, formal dinner parties. The dramatic and modern crystal chandelier immediately draws the eye, and the custom 12 foot dining table can easily seat 10 people. Mellett decided not to use a rug here, letting the tone of the walnut floors warm up the boldly designed room.

Dining chairs: Metropolis Modern
High back armchairs: Gustavo Oliveri
Chandelier: Custom from Chameleon
Dining table: Custom
Lucite Console: Custom by Jarlath Mellett
by Jarlath Mellett
This vignette greets visitors at the parlor's entry.

Console: French Parchment hallway console by 20th Century Interiors
Round mirrors: Metropolis Modern, Linda Horn, Room & Board, and Chiasso
by Jarlath Mellett  
The more formal parlor living room — on the same floor as the den — is Mellett's favorite room in the house. "I loved playing with a narrow and interesting space," he says. "We managed to create different seating areas and open the space up in a way that is both functional and elegant."

Rug: Ogee
Wing back chairs: Custom in Libra Leather
Floor Lamp: Dragonette Diego Floor Lamp
by Jarlath Mellett
Mellett designed a custom 16-foot angled sofa specifically for this space. Upholstered in a soft, mossy green, it warms up the room and offsets the purple and gold accents.

Side table: Holly Hunt Chloe Drink Table
Floor lamp: vintage Tommi Parzinger
by Jarlath Mellett
Next to the kitchen, Mellett set up a casual family area with access to the exterior. Browns and grays were accented with purples and greens, all in tones that play off of the beautiful limestone floors.

Rug: Nettle and wool area rug from Ogee
Sofa: Splayed leg custom sofa by Jarlath Mellett
Coffee table: Antique
Chair: Knoll
Side tables: vintage Nakashima nesting tables
Captain's Mirror: BDDW
Lamp: Nessen Swing Arm Lamp from Assemblage
by Jarlath Mellett  
The master suite was designed as a getaway for the busy parents. "We wanted to create an urban spa on the master floor," says Mellett. "A place where the parents can retreat to." Upholstered walls and textiles in a range of textures all combine in a soothing and neutral space.

Upholstered wall: Custom by Jarlath Mellett, with Holly Hunt fabric
Pendant lights: Custom
Carpet: Aronsons
Bed: Holly Hunt leather upholstered bed
by Jarlath Mellett
A modern built-in fireplace and two plush armchairs create a casual sitting area at the foot of the bed.

Rich walnut paneling lines one wall of the master bedroom. Mellett was careful to balance materials and colors to enhance the natural light pouring through the home's many windows.

Shelving: Custom
Rug: Ogee silk shag rug
Slipper Chairs: upholstered in Bergamo fabric
by Jarlath Mellett
Mellett had the master bathroom walls and floors lined in a smooth white marble and designed its modern and stylish custom vanity set.
by Jarlath Mellett
"For the kids, we wanted something playful for each of their personalities," says Mellett. He spoke to each of the clients' children and asked them what they loved. This child loves water, so Mellett used whales and fishes on the custom wallpaper.

Bed: Custom bed with trundle from Casa Kids
Denim Bean Bag: Blob
Custom Wall Decals: printed by Duggal
by Jarlath Mellett
Mellett used snake, bird, and plant decals to create a desert-themed wall in this child's room. "We really considered the fact that they'll grow up fast," says Mellett. "The wallpapers are fascinating to them now, but as they grow older they'll become more like art. We used all sorts of different patterns to make the design timeless."