Michelle Bergeron On How She Completely Transformed A 22-Foot-Wide Townhouse

Michelle Bergeron

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Purchased by the owner in 2010, the single-family, landmarked home had been in the same family for 60 years and was in a state of horrible disrepair.  Just steps from Fifth Avenue, 22-feet-wide and located on one of the most bucolic blocks in Carnegie Hill; it would take a gut renovation to bring this structure a needed breath of life.

Interior Designer, Michelle Bergeron, along with Hottenroth and Joseph Architects, essentially tore off the entire back of the building and dug below it, leaving the façade to stand guard during the 5 years of renovation.

“I wanted every room to be a jewel box and to be able to stand alone.  Whether it is a hallway, a powder room, or the main dining room, each room feels like a destination as you circulate through the house. Each enfilade opens into something special, by design, it makes one interested in continuing through the space.  As an interior designer, when my work generates that sort of visual interest, I feel like I nailed it,” said Michelle.

The living room, shown here, is a custom mix of old-school Venetian plaster, real powdered pearls, gold dust, and photochromatic pigments, all of which reflect and color the room differently, depending on the time of day. She replaced the back wall with steel casement doors and fixed panels and added a small balcony to bring the outside in, on warm days, and a diffused light effect to the kitchen below.

Every single finish inside is a custom design of Ms. Bergeron’s. The hand-forged bronze elliptical stair railings, hardware on all the doors, the bronze work on the front door, the cerused and ebony chevron floor all speak to her unrelenting quest for the most luxurious details and the importance of handwork in all of her projects.   Her bespoke furniture company paneled the entire entry with faux shagreen and ivory walls, along with a solid cerused oak library, 24 karat gold paneled faux shagreen powder room, and hand water-colored home office.

Creating a zen, serene environment for her clients is a driving factor in her work, so she planted 15-foot-tall bamboo on the lower floor which acts as a privacy screen and a perfect backdrop when the steel casement doors are open. The wall and furniture palettes are neutral to act as a perfect backdrop to the owner’s taste in photorealistic art. The custom sofa was designed by Michelle Bergeron, as was the shagreen screen, shagreen and steel end tables, shagreen and lucite side tables, gold shagreen coffee table, and shagreen bar cabinet. The brass lotus tables and marble table are from Jaipur. The chandelier and sconces are vintage Mazzega, while the lounge chairs are also from Italy.

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