An elegant haven overlooking Central Park
1.6 million New Yorkers call Manhattan home, spilling out onto its grid of streets and playing their part in creating the rhythmic chaos that is synonymous with one of the world’s most famous neighbourhoods. Amid the chaos, however, is the extraordinary expanse of green that is, of course, Central Park. And it is here that we find harmony and Salvatori style, in a gorgeous apartment that serves as a refuge from the exhilarating, but sometimes taxing, pace of the city that surrounds it.
From Time Square with its wonderfully garish neon lights to the imposing splendour of Grand Central Station, from the iconic closely-packed jumble of skyscrapers to the Rockefeller Centre, every corner of Manhattan holds something magical, thrilling or surprising. To walk its streets can generate the same breathless excitement and giddiness that you experience when stepping off a roller coaster and there is no better place to centre yourself and calm down after the heady ride than Central Park. It’s almost as though it understands just how tiring the city can be, and is always there, always ready to provide a moment of peace and escape.
This, then, is the setting for the Salvatori apartment, itself a refuge, but on a smaller, more intimate scale. Stepping through the door, you simply leave the stresses of the world outside behind you and give yourself up to the harmony and restorative qualities that natural stone instinctively seems to transmit.
Sunlight streams in through the vast windows that look out on to the city’s green lung, filling the apartment with a sense of lightness and bringing the delicate tones of the Crema d’Orcia floors and walls alive. The staggered pattern of the Stone Parquet flooring softens the limestone’s austerity, creating the effect of a beautifully warm, pale wood that seems to enter into a natural dialogue with the nearby park in a continuous interchange of light, colour and emotions.
Central Park has been a favourite gathering place for over 150 years for New Yorkers and visitors alike. If you manage to get there early morning, there is no better moment to fully appreciate its beauty with just the company of a handful of other keen joggers or walkers. Then, invigorated by your exercise, it’s a stroll back to the apartment where a revitalising hot shower awaits in your bathroom, surrounded by the soft, fluid curves of pieces from the Balnea collection.
It’s then time for a well-deserved cup of coffee in the relaxed, welcoming environs of the light-filled living room, where our Raw texture on the wall and modular drawer facings adds depth and understated elegance. This is a moment in which to savour the peace and overwhelming sense of lightness, and let your gaze linger on the Proiezioni and ‘Love me, Love me not’ coffee tables, appreciating how each demonstrates in their own inimitable way how the artful combination of deceptively simple design and gorgeous marble can create objects of extraordinary beauty.
Scattered throughout the apartment are delightfully original touches such as the striking Intarsi pieces of wall art that creates bold games of symmetry using basic geometric shapes in an eye-catching contrast between dark Pietra d’Avola limestone and white Carrara marble. A Urano lamp and a selection of Omaggio a Morandi sculpture-like bottles add a palpable sense of timelessness and harmony.
Breakfast over, it’s time to venture outside and enjoy the genteel atmosphere of the streets of Upper East Side, before heading south to Midtown to take in the current exhibition at MoMA and then, maybe a quick bite with friends in the Madison Square Park area. All this, and it’s only lunchtime. The days are packed in the Big Apple, which is why having a sanctuary to return to is so important. A comfortable, safe space where time stands still and you have time to dedicate to yourself, perhaps with a relaxing soak in the cocooning curves of your Balnea bathtub, a book or glass of wine sitting on the delicate, elegant top of the Lissoni-designed Dritto side table, tapered to a near-wafer-thin thickness that creates a sense of lightness that is rarely associated with natural stone.
The final touch in this bathroom with its almost therapeutic powers comes in the form of tapware and hooks from the Fontane Bianche collection, functional, discreet pieces that play a small but vital part in creating an environment of understated luxury where you feel cherished and restored.