Could there be a more life-changing move than one from a stately home on London’s leafy Hampstead Heath to a condo on New
York’s Upper West Side? That little jolt of corporate reality is exactly what
Lynn Eichenberger faced a few years ago when her banker husband, Stephen, was
transferred back to the United States after 10 happy, child-rearing years in
England. London had become home for Lynn. So the mission for architect James
Wagman and interior designer Celerie Kemble was as much psychological as
physical—they needed to transform an architecturally ordinary duplex on the
21st floor of a Depression-era tower into a place with the kind of Old World
character and grace their homesick client had grown accustomed to.
In the large living room, Wagman raised the room height to a majestic 13 feet by removing a 1960s dropped ceiling. Kemble
promptly covered the expanse of walls in an ethereal pale aqua silk. “I think
silk creates an emotional response,” she says.
“The walls are more of a fog than a dead end; they’re more mood than flat
The living room is divided into two
well-appointed seating areas—one for more formal affairs with two sofas
separated by a delicate glass coffee table, plus two French-style bergères
upholstered in sage green. The opposite end of the room accommodates comfy club
chairs that swivel to face a television hidden behind a sliding panel in a
built-in bookshelf. A bold-textured rug unifies the room while also quietly
stealing the scene.
“The pile and pattern of this rug remind me of
the maze at Hampton Court Palace,” says Lynn happily. “But my husband teases
Celerie that next time we visit London we’ll have to find an antique Oriental
rug for the living room. Her eyes get very wide, and she says, ‘NO!’ ”
At every opportunity, Kemble and Wagman chose beautifully crafted traditional design, then punched it
up with joyful hits of the unexpected. Take the dining room’s striking green
walls. “We definitely had some back-and-forth about that color,” laughs Kemble,
“James and Lynn weren’t high on painting the whole room—moldings included—in
the same dark color. It sounded crazy to them.” Wagman admits, “We did fight
Celerie tooth and nail over that dining room lacquer. In retrospect it was
foolish, because now it’s the nicest room in the house.”
The breakfast nook’s vintage Murano glass chandelier inspired the room’s blue-and-white palette. A custom
curved bench covered in a Clarence House toile is Lynn’s favorite spot for
A sleeper sofa from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams turns the wood-paneled library into a makeshift guest room
when needed. The area rug from Merida lightens the space.
The master bedroom is a soft buttery yellow cocoon of silk upholstered walls—a treatment Lynn really wanted. “I think it’s a
very comfortable kind of thing in a bedroom,” she says, “like something you’d
see in a great hotel.”
An Art Deco-style archway references the building’s pre-war architecture and adds charm to the space.
Draperies, headboard, and bed skirt are fashioned from a striped fabric from Pierre
The raspberry and kelly-green bedroom is set aside for visits from Lynn’s two grown daughters. “I’m from Palm
Beach, so pink and green come easily to me,” Kemble notes, “and this palette
makes the girls’ room fun and fresh and different from the rest of the house.” Bookshelf interiors are painted green, a touch Kemble says brings order to the colorful chaos of books.