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How One Luxe NYC Dwelling Shed its Austin Powers Appeal

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Photos by Scott Frances/Architectural Digest

Turns out this month's Architectural Digest is kind of killing it. Not only did it feature both George Clooney and Cindy Crawford's Mexican villas, but also—on the other side of the continent and the flip side of the design coin—designer Alexa Hampton's slick update of a Manhattan apartment in NYC's Pierre Hotel. Being virtually untouched, decor-wise, for half a century meant the apartment, while saved the trials of an unseemly renovation in the '70s, '80s, or '90s, clung to a faded 1960s grandeur that was less Mad Men and more Austin Powers. The aesthetic translated into mirrored bathrooms, cut-design carpeting, and zig-zaggy curtains. "It was very dated, but there was wonderful potential," Hampton told the magazine.

As part of the renovation, Hampton pulled apart the entryway, replacing an inlaid-marble floor with parquet de Versailles wood flooring, and dark wood paneling with "coffee-tone walls" and wainscoting. The living room (above) got lighter (read: less Eloise at the Plaza) window coverings and a pair of 18th-century Chinese screens. The fireplace got a new mantle and the walls some cubist art by Fernand Léger. Those built-in cabinets? Donezo.

In the guest room (below), Hampton scrapped the zigzag in favor of gold curtains and bed linens. She managed to keep some carpet texture though this fancy-pants Beauvais carpeting is just a teensy bit more subtle than the step carpeting once found in the living room.




Photos by Scott Frances/Architectural Digest

· Alexa Hampton renovates a Manhattan Apartment in the Pierre Hotel [Architectural Digest]