This month, interior designer Howard Slatkin, who's made a living off a layered more-is-more approach to florals, chintz, gilding, tassels, and chair skirts, released a monster tome all about a single 6,000-square-foot New York City apartment: his. Frustrated by the penchant of shelter magazines to breeze over the private, and possibly the most interesting, areas of a home—the pantries, the linen closets, the crowded, computer-topped desks—Slatkin opened up every cranny of his pad: the elevator vestibule, the back hall, the laundry area, and, duh, the "flower room" and "candle room." For any other apartment, an editorial dive this deep would be silly. But for an apartment overflowing with ivory objets, curtains made of "17th-century Portuguese polychrome embroidered bedcovers," French Chantilly plates, and—oh my—mahogany doors "embellished with Japanese lacquer panels inset in gild-wood frames, which are bordered with patinated mirrors," 240 pages is really the only way to go. A slew of images from Fifth Avenue Style: A Designer's New York Apartment, plus the obsessive details, are below.
? In the kitchen: tiles on the walls and ceilings, a Dutch brass chandelier, and a large armoire standing in for traditional cabinets.
? In the elevator vestibule: a "Pietro Rotari portrait of a woman beckons the approaching visitor."
? In the master suite, the walls are covered in stencil patterns done up in plaster relief. "Although I almost never have breakfast in bed, it's a lovely fantasy."
? In the library, German Baroque club chairs are slipcovered in linen cut from 18th-century bed sheets. The walls are clad in leather, and the door to the adjoining powder room is "embellished with Japanese lacquer panels inset in gilt-wood frames, which are bordered with patinated mirrors."
? Slatkin's master suite is "the most important room in the apartment," dressed in gray-blue, taupe, and ivory, with a Louis XVI canapé hand-quilted in emerald silk velvet and cellulose lampshades produced in the mid '50s. The throw? "An old sable coat of my mothers."
? "I like to have a wardrobe of slipcovers for the chairs."
? The tables in this part of the dining room are 18th-century Italian. On top: porcelain birds, a French candelabrum, and a gilt-bronze pineapple.
? In the guest suite, the bed is gilt-bronze, with a canopy of Indian printed-voile scarves. "As soon as I came upon a few panels of this 18th-century Chinese wallpaper, I knew I wanted to create a room in which my guests would feel that they were spending the night in a magical garden."
? In the gallery, grisaille wall panels depicting "pagodas, palm trees, pavilions, and waterside processions."
? The screening room's appeal "lets the anti-minimalist in me come to full flower," with antique velvet slipper chairs. He admits he "hardly ever uses the screening room for watching movies."
· Inside a Fifth Avenue Pied-à-terre, an 18th-Century European Palace [T Magazine]
· Buy Fifth Avenue Style [Amazon]