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Jewel Box on Park

When clients asked for a touch of glamour, Safavieh designer Luis E. Ramirez fashioned the perfect pied-à-terre, gleaming but unfussy.

“Darling, I love you, but give me Park Avenue,” sang Eva Gabor in the theme to Green Acres. Victoria Spagnola could relate, and fortunately for the sake of domestic tranquility, so could her husband Fred. Emptynesters who live a stone’s throw from the water and the golf club on Staten Island, they both hankered for some Manhattan sheen in their weekly routine.

Homeowner Victoria Spagnola emerges from the kitchen of her pied-à-terre, wearing a skyline dress that echoes the view from the windows.

So they bought what they considered the perfectly sited pied-à-terre, a corner unit in a postwar building at 37th and Park. Fred could walk to work, a few blocks up Park Avenue and through Grand Central Terminal, to the MetLife Building, on days when he stayed over in the city. Victoria would find it easy to attend classes and meetings of organizations to which she belongs. And the couple could entertain friends with ease.

Even natural objects—a rock specimen lamp, a gilded tree trunk end table—whisper of glamour in this Park Avenue apartment. Reflective surfaces are everywhere: nailhead trim on the sofa, metallic fabric on pillows, acrylic trays and smoked mirror panels on the coffee table. All that shimmer is anchored by a quiet, neutral color scheme, which contributes to the soft aura of sophistication.

They found their interior designer by chance. Strolling past Safavieh’s Broadway store, they admired the window displays. So they walked through the door, and there was Luis E. Ramirez. “We hit it off right away,” says Victoria. “He’s got great taste, a great personality, and he’s very easy to work with.”

The dining room was created by removing the inner wall of a second bedroom, which helped open the layout for entertaining. An upholstered banquette and acrylic chairs invite guests to linger. The wall is adorned with a metallic feather sculpture.

The decorator’s brief was simple: “I asked for a look that was citified and chic,” Victoria explains. “Although our main home is only 14 miles away, it’s a bit like living at the beach. So in Manhattan, I wanted the opposite.”

Designer Luis E. Ramirez gave the bedroom the feel of a boudoir from 1930s Hollywood.

Ramirez could relate to “the opposite.” Having grown up on a farm in northern California, he’s now an advocate of full-on New York glamour. “This is a neighborhood of distinguished architecture,” notes Ramirez. “The Union League Club is directly across the street, and within a block are the Morgan Library and the Polish embassy. In starting with a blank box of an apartment, my goal was to maximize ambient light and multiply the window views with mirrors.”

He complimented the mirrors with mirror-like surfaces and burnished metals. The end result is a bright, clean-lined home that glistens day and night, just as his client wanted.

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