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
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.
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.
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,"
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.
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.
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."
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