I’ve been told fancy gemstone painted walls are making a comeback. In 1987 I bought a NYC co-op apartment in an Art Deco landmark building. The building is off Gramercy Park and was used as a backdrop in the Miami Vice television series (now I’m really dating myself!).
Anyway, the living room is pictured here. There is a catty-cornered fireplace that is not in view and I haven’t been able to locate my photo album. But check out the malachite stone green faux painted walls (and beams!) in a high gloss lacquer finish. Even the heater cover was faux painted so that it would disappear into the wall.The chair rail molding and ceiling were painted chalk matte white.
The Art Nouveau rug is a vintage mint condition Chinese Nichols brand rug that I still own (it’s for sale if you like it contact me). The sofa–silk brocade and stuffed with down–was bought at auction along with the rug from the original 1920’s owners. The embroidered pillows were from my many trips to Hong Kong, the botanical prints from a shop in Paris, the large gilt framed piece is a Balinese wax resist calendar purchased in Bali. The coffee table is a pre-war Japanese balsa wood table (it’s very lightweight) with a rice lacquer finish in red. Rice lacquer lets mother-of-pearl layers under the lacquer sparkle through to the top. It’s very unique and I haven’t found any like it since although friends in Japan say they’ve seen them in black lacquer. The arm chair was by Ralph Lauren and I basically bought it to try to match the scale and curves of the antique couch. The blinds are custom cherry wood with burgundy grosgrain tape and the burgundy chest to the left is a Balinese altar cabinet from ABC Carpet.
When I listed the property for sale in 1992, the realtors convinced me that the walls needed to be painted beige. I reluctantly allowed that to happen and eventually the apartment sold.