Gigi Lombrano / Steve Toedebusch
Gigi Lombrano Interiors and Steve Toedebusch Design
If walls could talk, the dining room at #23 Lenox Place no doubt would have plenty to say! One can only imagine the scintillating conversation at the many formal dinners that have been hosted during the past 100 years in this stately room with Italian marble fireplace, beamed ceiling and gracious floor-to-ceiling windows.
But as often happens in an old home, the formal dining room had become quite outdated in recent years, according to designers Gigi Lombrano and Steve Toedebusch, who imagined a very different lifestyle and approach to entertaining, circa 2013. “When we first saw the room, the overall feeling was extremely formal and a bit dowdy and dark,” Lombrano says. “We really wanted this to be a room that would be used frequently, not just for formal dining. We envisioned family meals, as well as easy entertaining and lots of parties.”
With that in mind, job No. 1 was to lighten and brighten the room by removing the old mauve silk wallcovering, formal window treatments, and dark rug and replace them with fresh and informal patterns, colors and textures. In addition to a new light and airy rug underfoot, the designers chose a gold and cream ikat-patterned fabric for the window treatments and a beautiful cream wallcovering reminiscent of grasscloth with just a hint of metallic. A strip of metallic gold paint near the ceiling adds an unexpected note of glamour, while additional sparkle is created by a most-impressive vintage Waterford crystal chandelier (which, like the dining table, is original to the house), and a pair of mirrors in gold-finished faux twig frames on the wall opposite the windows. Other furnishings include stately dining chairs, a pair of button-tufted poofs, fine Herend china and a curated assembly of artwork. The piece de resistance in this collection is Andy Warhol’s Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands which hangs over the fireplace.
“We also opted—at my urging—to use a contemporary buffet,” Toedebusch says. "On my own projects, I frequently tend to mix styles, and Gigi agreed that this approach was perfect for bringing the dining room into the present."
Lombrano says it’s not about being eclectic. “It's about adding layers that play off of each other with respect to shape, movement and elegance, building an environment and telling a story.”
Indeed. If walls could only talk…
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