Tour a Bold Yet Restrained Greenwich Village Duplex

Through a combination of perseverance and serendipity, David Foxley and his husband have created a very special home for their growing family: a converted duplex in Greenwich Village, New York, that looks and feels more like a house than like an apartment. There was a time when the mere idea of living in this particular address seemed like just wishful thinking. “We always had our eye on this building,” says Foxley, a contributing writer at AD. “We walked by it often, and when something opened up here in 2012, we bought it—but we also knew we wanted to start a family someday and would need a bigger space.”

Six years later, as the couple were thinking more earnestly about their plans to become parents, the apartment right above theirs went on the market. The idea of staying in their favorite building in Manhattan was hugely appealing, even if it meant embarking on a complex renovation project—one that required permits from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. They hired Daniel Frisch Architecture to oversee the work of combining both units—a pair of two-bedrooms—and then called AD PRO Directory interior designer Asia Baker to help them reimagine the space. Baker had decorated the couple’s weekend home in Roxbury, Connecticut, and was aware of their sensibilities, including the fact that Foxley has a rather spare and serene style while his husband loves prints and colors.

“They have slightly different opinions but work really well together,” she says, to which Foxley replies, tongue in cheek: “Asia is an expert mediator.” Both individuals agreed that this would be their home “for the long haul” and therefore a sense of timelessness was in order. They also agreed on complementing the building’s exterior, which was built in a neo-Georgian style. Therefore, the designer added interior elements like coffered ceilings, wainscoting, and brass railings on the staircase that was built to connect the lower and upper level.

As for the decor, Baker succeeded in merging her clients’ somewhat disparate aesthetics, seen in the balance between restraint and boldness throughout the home. The living room, for example, has white walls hung with a carefully edited collection of paintings and a leather-and-wood Frits Henningsen sofa paired with an ottoman upholstered in a jewel-hued fabric. There is, however, a notable exception to the equilibrium between softness and strength in the dining room. Here, the designer threw restraint to the wind, covering walls, doors, and ceilings in a deep red Benjamin Moore paint appropriately named Caliente. A crystal pendant with gilt details, dark rosewood furniture, and various wall mirrors complete the room’s dramatic look. Notably, it was Foxley, and not his color-loving husband, who first came up with the idea to use red. “I grew up with a red dining room,” he explains. “It creates this really warm, elegant space.”

Another corner of the home where color holds sway is the study, with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves painted a glossy forest green. This upbeat room is now being turned into a nursery for the couple’s newborn daughter, Louisa, the new little sister to their two-year-old son, George. “We both love being in the city and raising our family here,” Foxley says. “Living in this very special place, this quintessential New York building, is a dream.”

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