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A Classic Uptown Apartment With a Feminine Twist

With the help of designers Filipe Pereira and Austyn Zung, Jennifer Bandier's Upper East Side Apartment becomes a stylish refuge.

To create an edgy yet comofrtable vibe in the living room, Austyn Zung covered the sofas in a crushed velvet. "It&squot;s best crushed because it looks old and worn, like it&squot;s been with you for a long time," says Zung. 
To create an edgy yet comofrtable vibe in the living room, Austyn Zung covered the sofas in a crushed velvet. "It's best crushed because it looks old and worn, like it's been with you for a long time," says Zung. 
Photography by Patrick Cline. Original text by Shawn Gauthier.
Homeowner Jennifer Bandier relaxes in her Upper East Side apartment. 
Homeowner Jennifer Bandier relaxes in her Upper East Side apartment. 

Some people's childhood memories are filled with bike rides and summers spent chasing the neighborhood ice cream truck, but Jennifer Bandier's are filled with rock concerts. The daughter of music powerhouse Martin Bandier, chairman and CEO of Sony, she had front row seats to performances by legends such as Aerosmith and Bruce Springsteen from the time she was seven years old. "I'll admit it," she says. "I had a very cool childhood."

Clockwise from top left: candy is an essential in Bandier's home; the juxtaposition of the leopard area rug makes an unexpected statement in the entry; photographs of Gia Carangi by Stan Malinowski and John Stember hang on the wall between the master bedroom and bathroom; an antique chandiler originally belonging to Bandier's mother, Denice LeFrak Calicchio, hangs in the living room. 
Clockwise from top left: candy is an essential in Bandier's home; the juxtaposition of the leopard area rug makes an unexpected statement in the entry; photographs of Gia Carangi by Stan Malinowski and John Stember hang on the wall between the master bedroom and bathroom; an antique chandiler originally belonging to Bandier's mother, Denice LeFrak Calicchio, hangs in the living room. 
A Classic Uptown Apartment With a Feminine Twist
"A bedroom should be all about comfort, sexiness, and glamour," says Zung. The designer commissioned a custom-made headboard and side tables for the room. 
"A bedroom should be all about comfort, sexiness, and glamour," says Zung. The designer commissioned a custom-made headboard and side tables for the room. 

Bandier learned the music business from her father, but her appreciation for design is from her mother's side of the family. Bandier's grandfather, Sam LeFrak, was a legendary real estate developer in New York, and a passion for interiors and architecture runs in the family. "My grandparents and mother have an incredible sense of design," says Bandier. "So when my husband and I found this apartment, I knew it had to reflect the same great style."

Zung emphasized the prewar detailing on the closets by accenting it with contrasting paint colors. Fifi, Bandier's miniature pinscher, stands guard. 
Zung emphasized the prewar detailing on the closets by accenting it with contrasting paint colors. Fifi, Bandier's miniature pinscher, stands guard. 
Pereira and Zung replaced the original hardware with glass doorknobs. "They&squot;re very feminine, graphic, and light," says Zung. "They were perfect for Jennifer."
Pereira and Zung replaced the original hardware with glass doorknobs. "They're very feminine, graphic, and light," says Zung. "They were perfect for Jennifer."

Filipe and Austyn's Ideas for Creating a Sophisticated Space

       

  • Context and Bones

    Assess the context and bones of the existing architecture and draw from those. Keep the decor as true as possible to these elements. 

  • Timelessness

    Create environments that are not of the moment but that age with time. These spaces can't be categorized by a certain style; they're always apt to change. 

  • Eclectic

    Mix everything: color, fabrics, textures, art, etc. Cohesiveness should exist between the objects, but there are no set rules

  • Comfort

    Every space should be livable, warm, comfortable, and not too perfect.

  • Collections

    They become three-dimensional photo albums that tell the story of the person who occupies the space. 

In the spare bedroom, carefully chosen details—such as the patterned wallpaper and the Greek key valance—distracts from the space's modest proportions. George Hurrell's framed photographs of Rita Hayworth and Veronica Lake are centered between Bergdorf Goodman jars that orinigally belonged to Bandier's grandparents. 
In the spare bedroom, carefully chosen details—such as the patterned wallpaper and the Greek key valance—distracts from the space's modest proportions. George Hurrell's framed photographs of Rita Hayworth and Veronica Lake are centered between Bergdorf Goodman jars that orinigally belonged to Bandier's grandparents. 

The apartment, a classic prewar located on Manhattan's Upper East Side, now looks like a colorful Parisian retreat, but it didn't start out that way. Though it boasted high ceilings, the apartment possessed certain features, such as short doorframes, that spoiled its gracious proportions. So Bandier hired Filipe Pereira and Austyn Zung of Pereira Associates to open the space architecturally and help create the look she'd envisioned. "I wanted it to feel Kelly Wearstlerish," she says, "but I'm also very sentimental, so I wanted to incorporate several pieces that have been in the family for years."

Clockwise from top left: Zung camoflauged the TV within a grouping of art by choosing frames of the same width and black lacquer finish as the television; in the guest room, visitors receive a colorful "thanks" with playful pieces from the Guggenheim Museum; the leopard ottoman was designed by Pereira and Zung and made by a local upholsterer; according to Zung, deep colors work best in smaller spaces. "It creates a very cozy, masculine feel," she says.
Clockwise from top left: Zung camoflauged the TV within a grouping of art by choosing frames of the same width and black lacquer finish as the television; in the guest room, visitors receive a colorful "thanks" with playful pieces from the Guggenheim Museum; the leopard ottoman was designed by Pereira and Zung and made by a local upholsterer; according to Zung, deep colors work best in smaller spaces. "It creates a very cozy, masculine feel," she says.
Filipe and Austyn's Recommendations for Creating Custom Furniture

       

  • Proportion

    Be sure the proportion is on target when you design your own furniture. We often find that hastily designed custom furniture is slightly off and needs to be adjusted.

  • Details

    If you're refurbishing existing pieces, work with antique furniture instead of new. Antiques have finer details and are much better made. 

  • Sizing

    Be sure you've accurately measured the space where the furniture will be placed. If your measurements are off, the comfort of the room will be off. 

Bandier&squot;s china collection orginially belonged to author Anne Rice. "Truthfully, I didn&squot;t really need another set of dishes," Bandier says. "Until I saw these." 
Bandier's china collection orginially belonged to author Anne Rice. "Truthfully, I didn't really need another set of dishes," Bandier says. "Until I saw these." 
"You would think children live in this house!" says Bandier of her enedless candy assortments. "I can&squot;t help it. Nothing makes me happier than candy."
"You would think children live in this house!" says Bandier of her enedless candy assortments. "I can't help it. Nothing makes me happier than candy."

According to Bandier, her designers achieved "perfection." The space is equal parts modern and vintage, with family heirlooms that contribute a sense of history. Accessorized with pieces from her family's art and photography collections, the apartment now feels "classic, with a hunt of bohemia." "When I saw the finished product for the first time, I burst into tears of joy," Bandier says. "Now I wake up every day and feel lucky this is my home."

Zung balanced the square dining area with a custom-made circular table. The yellow light fixture serves as a focal point. The back wall features prints by Jeff Gibson, an Australian artist who creates new words and then defines them. 
Zung balanced the square dining area with a custom-made circular table. The yellow light fixture serves as a focal point. The back wall features prints by Jeff Gibson, an Australian artist who creates new words and then defines them. 
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