For a creative couple, this gorgeous Upper East Side apartment was a true meeting of minds
The first project that architect Carlos Garciavelez and interior designer David Lawrence collaborated on was the renovation of a friend’s apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. âThere was some hesitation because we’re also a couple,â Lawrence says, but it soon became clear that the sum of their talents was greater than what they could achieve separately. âCarlos is a creative by training and I am an editor. Carlos has 20,000 ideas, and I’m like, âSlow down! In other words, they are perfect creative foils.
The partners, who together run the design studio Carlos david, agree that the epitome of their synergy and new calling card is the redesigned Upper West Side apartment they share.
The result is a long-term incubator of ideas that reflect their interdisciplinary backgrounds, as well as a home for their collection of mid-century French, American and Italian design, vintage fashion and eclectic artwork from friends and colleagues whose careers have progressed. with theirs. (Lolo the Lhasa Apso is the third resident.)
About five years ago, Lawrence and Garciavelez fell in love with the classic pre-war apartment, one block from Central Park. He seduced them with the original details, from the high ceilings and herringbone parquet floors to the plaster walls, the grooved moldings and the north, east and west exposure. They completed a ‘modified’ gut renovation and beautification about two years ago and had just started demolishing the master bathroom when the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to stop construction.
After the break, they took over the project, using the fear and inertia they experienced during the pandemic as inspiration to âmake our world perfect,â Lawrence says. Work has started in the living room, a space that receives ample daylight through a bay window; less about decoration than conservation, it now features treasured works of art and furniture that they have acquired over the years.
There are two vintage black leather Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chairs, gifts from Garciavelez’s father when Garciavelez graduated from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. They also had a vintage Edward Wormley sofa on a plinth covered in woven linen. It sits under a monumental photograph of an abandoned Modernist building in Argentina taken by Garciavelez on a scholarship in South America.
After working as an architect in his native Mexico and New York, Garciavelez left the practice for stints in fashion, eventually creating his own brand of men’s clothing. He returned to architecture but did not give up on fashion. Drawing on his intimate knowledge of the talent hidden in New York’s Garment District, he and Lawrence develop a line of custom upholstery and fabrics. The designers’ TV room, for example, is a blush and gold cocoon wrapped in a silk taffeta and gold leaf wallcovering that Garciavelez modeled after Roberto Burle Marx’s iconic tiles for his studio in Rio. from Janeiro.
Likewise, the designers created an immersive dining nook in the kitchen by covering a wall and a bespoke bench seat with the same Thevenon canvas, depicting macaws in the middle of a tangled jungle. Stepping into their lovely charcoal-hued bedroom is like stepping into a well-tailored suit, with its pinstripe cashmere and Ralph Lauren Home wool adorning the walls.
Elsewhere, antique reupholstered pieces continue to blend with bold pattern or unexpected details to create understated transitions, like the marble-lined door frame that separates the apartment entrance from the living room.
âThere is a lot of consensus that has happened here that has helped us respect each other,â Garciavelez said. âYou choose your fights. The result is even richer than you might think.
This story originally appeared in the Winter 2022 issue of ELLE DECOR. SUBSCRIBE
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