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This Soft New York City Duplex is Adorned with Top Tier Art

This cosy New York City apartment combines a minimalist colour palette with museum-worthy art

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By Yashna Balwanth | January 11, 2024 | Interiors

Art curator Barbara Cartategul created an exceptional collection of contemporary pieces that adorn every room of this New York City duplex, bringing balance and beauty to the space.

Creating the perfect balance between art and design does not come easy. There is a certain consideration to every element, from function to design, that adds to the cohesiveness of this harmonious home space.

The 555 square-metre New York City duplex is home to a young, sophisticated family of four who collect art of museum-quality by established and emerging artists alike. The collection was curated by Barbara Cartategui, while the interior was designed by Interior Architects Workshop/ APD. Working together, it allowed both to create a warm yet glamorous home that is both refined and family-friendly.

The entrance of the home features a dramatic curved staircase leading to the 79th floor. Photography by Read Mckendree.

When Barbara was approached as curator, she had to play advisor. My role was to art advise the homeowners, create and curate a cohesive and balanced art collection, while continuously educating them on a wide variety of different artists and mediums. I worked on carefully finding each artwork, presenting diverse options, and taking the clients to art fairs, galleries and artist studios to see diverse options.

“During the process, I also presented art market analysis and reports to guide the collectors about the pricing and investment of each piece,” says Cartategui.

The Wooden walk-in closet 15 illuminated with warm ambient lighting. Photography by Read Mckendree.

While Barbara took care of the artistic aspect, Workshop/APD focused on the interiors, incorporating in soft curves and luxurious plaster finishes. The home was kept minimal but with warmer tones and beautifully textured layers accompanied by a range of dramatic tone-on-tone decor.

"The art selection helps you ISOLATE yourself from the real world and transports you to a MEDITATIVE state of mind’’

This monochromatic palette worked well with the artworks chosen, says Barbara, I really enjoy working on collections that are a "blank canvas", both architecturally and design-wise. This gives me a chance to collaborate with the interior designers and create a very special synergy between every element. In this home, the entire art collection is extremely well-balanced and dialogues with its surroundings. The art is completely integrated with the space and environment, and that is something very challenging to achieve?

the artwork ‘Symphonia’ by Eduardo Perez Cabrero sits above the kitchen seating area, the kids bedroom primarily focuses on blue shades to create a calmer environment. Photography by Read Mckendree.

Other challenges Barbara faced included finding and exploring potential artworks that would have enough strength to stand up against the interior design whilst remaining minimal, subtle and broadly cohesive to the overall theme of the space. It was all about the atmosphere of the home. I believe art is energy and we feed off the energy that surrounds us, says Barbara. I wanted to create a sacred space filled with beauty and harmony. The art selection helps you isolate yourself from the real world and transports you to a meditative state or mind. It gives you inner peace.

the hallway reflects natural curves alongside structured doorways and teature artworks by Alberto Gil Casedas (white pieces to the right) and, at the end of the hallway Georg Baselitz, ‘Ohne Titel’. Photography by Read Mckendree.

With this in mind, Barbara says, I kept thinking how this family would interact daily with the art and how important it was to find unique pieces that could be enjoyable at all times and over many years. We were very lucky to work with and commission pieces by emerging artists such as Alberto Gil Casedas, Sergio Gomez and Manolo Ballesteros. It is very special to be able to bring in these site-specific artworks because it becomes more personal to know that these artists made exclusive works thinking about the space. for example, Gomez is a Spanish artist who came to New York to finalise the installation of his work in the space, which included painting directly on the wall of the family media room - the final product is amazing.'

The office is adorned with a forest green shade. Photography by Read Mckendree.

This is a project quite close to Barbara's heart, since, not only is it an incredible collection of art, but it also serves as her first time being able to work with someone she considered a friend. Filled with passion and adoration, while this collection seems complete, Barbara says she and the homeowners continuously explore the art market hunting for additional artworks that would add more value and character to their already beautiful home.