October 27, 2017

Dana Taylor's Sophisticated Fifth Avenue Apartment Places Art Front & Center

Art—by marquee names like John Baldessari, Dan Colen, and Tracey Emin—plays a starring role in a Fifth Avenue apartment.

by Arlene Hirst photographer Costas Picadas

AARON YOUNG
In the living room a metallic arm by sculptor Aaron Young is a powerful statement. Over the fireplace, a work by John Baldessari holds pride of place. A mix of vintage furniture and pieces from B&B Italia anchor the elegant room.

HOME WORKS

Dana Taylor is quick to say that she's not a decorator. But her sophisticated work on her family's 4,000-square-foot Fifth Avenue apartment belies the claim. The Bucharest-born Taylor clearly has a designer's eye, a skill she nurtured when she started her own fashion company out of her apartment just two years ago. The firm, Made on Grand, has launched a whole new career and life for the former stay-at-home mom, thanks to the fact that her son and daughter are now teenagers and no longer take so much of her time.

DANA TAYLOR
British artist Russell Young’s silkscreen paintings on linen—life-sized police mug shots of Jim Morrison and Frank Sinatra—watch over family and guests in the dining room when they are gathered around the B&B Italia table. In the corner a flea market armchair provides a counterpoint to the modern room. Ingo Maurer’s Dome light is a dramatic centerpiece.



She reworked the apartment twice. "There's an old look and a new look," she laughs. The second redesign was done to show off the family's extensive collection of modern art. The living room alone boasts a piece by conceptual pioneer John Baldessari over the fireplace and a Dan Colen on the adjacent wall. A sculptured arm, by New York-based artist Aaron Young, bursts from the wall, making its menacing presence clearly felt.

The library is outfitted with Papilio chairs by Naoto Fukasawa.
Right: The library is outfitted with Papilio chairs by Naoto Fukasawa; Left: One wall is completely lined with books. The hand-painted gold-leaf ceiling brings reflected light to the room.



Taylor had no master plan. "I just wanted to make it nice," she says. She had all the floors, with the exception of the entry, stained a rich black. There are no curtains at the windows, just protective solar shades. "I like light,"
she explains.

Taylor relied heavily on furniture from B&B Italia, along with vintage pieces by Milo Baughman, and a claw-foot table—a flea-market-find—in the living room. For carpets, she went to ABC Home.

In a corner of the living room Hollow armchairs by Patricia Urquiola guard an epic-sized portrait by Franco-Chinese artist Yan Pei-Ming. Taylor proudly says they bought the work before the artist became famous. In the entry, Tracey Emin's neon and plexiglass limited-edition work is set between two classic columns that guard the art. A three-dimensional work by Aslan Riley, boxed in plexiglass, is installed on the left wall.
Left: In a corner of the living room Hollow armchairs by Patricia Urquiola guard an epic-sized portrait by Franco-Chinese artist Yan Pei-Ming. Taylor proudly says they bought the work before the artist became famous.Right: In the entry, Tracey Emin’s neon and plexiglass limited-edition work is set between two classic columns that guard the art. A three-dimensional work by Aslan Riley, boxed in plexiglass, is installed on the left wall.

Visitors are greeted in the entry with Tracey Emin's limited-edition neon work on plexiglass With You I Want to Live, which casts a spectral glow over the tiled marble hallway. She worked with Pierre Finkelstein and his Grand Illusion Decorative Painting Company to create an ornate gold ceiling in the otherwise staid library. Finkelstein also painted the walls in one of her children's bedrooms.

Dana Taylor
Left and right: For the powder room, Taylor employed a Midas touch: Both mirrors are framed in gold leaf. Marble counters add yet another luxurious note; The child-sized armchair and ottoman in her daughter’s bedroom were custom made. Pierre Finkelstein hand-painted the striped walls.

It was a huge job for one person to undertake, but she admits that the project kept her busy and totally involved. "I was bored," she says. "I lived there for 12 years with two small children." But, she says, "It doesn't seem like work when you are doing it for yourself."

dan colen
In the first renovation, Taylor had both the headboard and the bedskirt for the master bedroom custom made. She found a collection of prints depicting Roman emperors at the Marché aux Puce in Paris, and installed them over the bed.

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