Natural stone transforms a New York City living space
New York-based architect Charles Rabinovitch of Charles Rabinovitch Architects recently completed a renovation of a townhouse on the Eastside of Manhattan. An extensive selection of natural stone was incorporated into the design to make the home luxurious, while also meeting the practical demands of the household. In particular, the kitchen and master bath are a stunning display of varying marble types.
“This was a landmark townhouse building,” explained Rabinovitch. “The entire interior was basically gutted out and rebuilt from scratch. We only kept the front and part of the rear facade.”
The architect went on to say the interior was completely restructured – including the addition of some extensions in the back and adjusting all of the floor heights. “We relocated actual floor levels,” he said. “The main idea was that the entry ground-level floor became the main kitchen and eating/family space.”
A central point of the interior design is the spacious kitchen, with glass doors allowing the room to extend out to the outdoor rear garden. Large-format marble pavers create a seamless transition from the front entry through the hallway and into the kitchen. The darker tones of the 2- x 3-foot floor tiles, which were custom fabricated, contrast nicely with the White Calacatta Gold countertops.
“The kitchen was intended to be clean and traditional, but light and minimal,” said Rabinovitch. “We were looking for a strong contrast to the White Calacatta Gold marble countertops and came across this material from Stone Source. They call it ‘Gaudi.’ In this case, it was offered in a textured leather finish and has a slight gloss to it. It has a more substantial feeling.”
Being the homeowners are an older couple, slip resistance was a particular concern for them – especially in the spaces with wet areas, such as the kitchen and bathrooms. Rabinovitch explained the Gaudi marble was carried onto the first two stair risers of the hallway staircase and then the steps transition to carpet. “We selected a carpet color to work with the coloring of the stone,” he said.
Contributing to the overall effect of the kitchen design is a stone mosaic backsplash. “It pulls together a lot of the neutral and light colors,” explained the architect, adding the sink is a custom farmhouse style, also made from the same White Calacatta Gold marble.
Upstairs, the master bath spans the width of the townhouse. “It runs across the full street front,” said Rabinovitch. “The radiant-heated floor is a custom-made mosaic pattern that we designed as sunburst pattern. There is also a custom-fabricated floating structure. Everything is literally centered in the room.”
According to the architect, the mosaic floor consists of a blue/green blend and it gets lighter and lighter as it branches out until it turns to White Thassos marble only. The same material is also featured on the built-in vanity top and backsplash of the floating sinks.
Moreover, the walls in the tub and shower areas are also White Thassos marble in a 12- x 24-inch format. “We used a White Thassos liner as a vertical element to create a three-dimensional pattern on the wall,” he said.
For the guest bath on the upper floor, Sahara marble with a leather textured finish from Paris Ceramics was chosen for the floor, vanity top and tub. “We used it because the client was attracted to the color,” said Rabinovitch.
The architect went on to explain the right wall of the guest bath is made of frosted glass, as the other side is an atrium which was created to bring light into the house. “It can be dark [in the home] so we carved out an atrium with a sky light,” he said. “It was a way to get natural day light into this room. Etched glass wall panels were used to add privacy. The stone selected ties to the idea of looking for something very bright and fresh looking.”
Private Townhouse Residence
New York, NY
Architects: Charles Rabinovitch Architects, Riverdale, NY