Vintage Muse

Aug 07, 2017

This Manhattan apartment underwent a complete renovation, led by the Washington DC-based design firm Solis Betancourt & Sherrill. The goal of designers Paul Sherrill and Jose Solis Betancourt was to create a colourful pied-a-terre that could showcase the client’s collection of Latin American art. It was important to create interiors that reflected the client’s elegant lifestyle, but that could also serve as a comfortable place where the client can spend time with her grandchildren. 


This is the fourth residence Solis Betancourt & Sherrill has designed for the client. The pre-war apartment had great bones but needed a dramatic update. A native of Puerto Rico, the client is accustomed to the bright hues of the Caribbean and wanted to incorporate that vibrancy in her new apartment. The dining room painting by Puerto Rican artist Rafael Ferrer was important to the family, so the designers used its bright colours as inspiration for the home.


For the entry, the designers painted the walls an intense blue then covered them with a gilded wall covering by Weitzner with a textural net-like pattern that permitted the colour of the walls to show through. The two entry hall paintings are by Puerto Rican artist Olga Albizu. The living room melds vibrant colours and contemporary art while maintaining the elegance of a traditional salon. Above the fireplace is a sculptural canvas from the 1970’s by Cuban-born artist Zilia Sanchez and over the sofa is a circular work by Linling Lu. 3

The ottoman coffee table is by Edward Ferrell in a Lee Jofa Fabric with a Scalamandre trim. The sofa is designed by Solis Betancourt & Sherrill and the fabric is by Gretchen Bellinger. The wallcovering is by Weitzner. Wood armchairs are by Minton Spidell with a Cowtan & Tout fabric. Striped chair upholstery is by Osborne & Little. Stools under console tables are by Edward Ferrell with Christopher Hyland fabric and Scalamandre trim.    5

Brilliant de Gournay silk damask covers the dining room walls. Contrasting silk draperies (by Kravet with Lee Jofa trim) continue the vibrant colour scheme, while sheers provide privacy. Four club chairs (on casters for easy manoeuvring) are by Nancy Corzine with Scalamandre fabric and trim. The chairs surround a minimal 'ghost' table that brings a modern element to the room.4

For the master bedroom, the designers created panelling to conceal storage. The room has a serene palette accented with blues and greens. Drapery fabric is by Kravet, swag fabric is by Cowtan & Tout and trims by Scalamandre. Sheer fabric is by Bergamo. Headboard and chair fabric are by Zimmer + Rohde. Draped table fabric is JAB Anstoetz. In the guest room, a folding screen articulated with pewter nail heads unifies the headboards of the two beds and creates a luxurious perimeter to the room. This dado is crowned by two paintings by Puerto Rican artist Wilfredo Chiesa. Embroidered silk pillows give a feminine touch to this tailored and monochromatic envelope. Area rug is by Stark, Wallcovering is by Romo and the draperies are by Kravet, Floral pillows are Cowtan & Tout with bolsters in Holly Hunt fabric, Headboard fabric by Brunschwig and Fils, Bedspread fabric is by Glant with tape trim by Houlès and tassel by Old World Weavers.


About Solis Betancourt & Sherrill

Over its twenty-seven years in business, Solis Betancourt & Sherrill has gained international recognition as one of the leading American design firms. The firm's monograph "Essential Elegance" was published in 2010 by Monacelli Press. Jose Solis Betancourt has had a lifelong interest in art and architecture. Growing up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, he dedicated his spare time to drawing and painting, developing skills that would serve him well as an architecture student at Cornell University. He gained further design experience at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and at the Saladino Group, Inc. He established his own firm in 1990. Paul Morgan Sherrill, a native of North Carolina, was greatly influenced by his grandparents who were painters and weavers. These influences led him to study art and design throughout his youth. He graduated with Honors from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Human and Environmental Sciences and a degree in Art. Paul joined Solis Betancourt & Sherrill in 1992.


Photo Credits: Jackson Hill


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