Daniel Romualdez’s work on Tory Burch’s Manhattan apartment results in a ‘dazzling residence’
Photo spread showing circular foyer of Tory Burch's 9,000-sq ft Manhattan apartment, from “Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People”
“DANIEL’S A MASTER AT taking people’s taste and making it better.”
Daniel is Filipino architect-designer Daniel Romualdez, and the praise comes from Tory Burch, better known as the New York socialite who parlayed her glamorous image into a successful contemporary fashion brand called TRB.
Romualdez’s work on Burch’s 9,000-sq ft Manhattan apartment is in “Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People,” a coffee-table book that collects “36 spectacular houses and gardens—whose owners come from the worlds of fashion, music, art and society,” as the jacket puts it.
The story, bylined by Vogue European editor at large Hamish Bowles, first appeared in a 2004 issue of the magazine.
Among the boldface names whose dwellings are celebrated in the book are Madonna, Oscar de la Renta, Karl Lagerfeld, Julian Schnabel, Donna Karan, Christian Louboutin, Marella Agnelli, Sofia Copolla, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Lacroix, Gianni Versace and Bruce Weber.
Romualdez was Burch’s first choice as decorator for her Manhattan apartment, after the latter had impressed Burch with his work on an oceanfront house in Southampton that Burch’s husband had bought.
The new dwelling provided a design challenge for Romualdez, beginning with its sprawling size--three neighboring suites plus a long corridor in a hotel building. The suites had been merged to accommodate Burch’s large family of three sons and three stepdaughters.
The library in warm orange, with lampshades in mandarin silk. Orange is Burch's favorite color.
Collaborating with Burch, Romualdez thought of a design that “evoked the atmosphere of those graciously proportioned places created by Jazz Age architects such as Rosario Candela.” The results mixed classic and contemporary, stately and bohemian, casual and chic—just as Burch had wanted it.
Use of colors and fixtures
The book’s six-page spread on the apartment highlights Romualdez’s ingenious use of colors and fixtures: moss green velvet for the drawing room, accented by a luxurious silk sofa designed by Romualdez himself that paid homage to fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy; varnished burnt-orange walls and aubergine linen slipcovers for the dining room; warm orange for the library, festooned with lampshades in mandarin silk; bold boudoir red for the bar; and gleaming black and gold for a powder room.
The flair extends to the furniture, which reflected Burch’s knack for mixing “plums... with vintage haute couture finds.” She wanted “to mix it up a bit—to add some David Hicks inspirations and eclectic touches, and above all to make it comfortable.”
Burch's sons Nick (standing) and Henry playing on a luxurious silk sofa, designed by Romualdez himself, that paid homage to fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy
The apartment is by no means a sterile design showroom. Burch’s kids bicycle and skateboard in the long hallway--the old hotel corridor now transformed into an entrance gallery that hosts, among others, a Walton Ford painting. The Givenchy sofa may also be a play area, and the Burch twins’ bedroom, with its Crate and Barrel chairs and black-and-white color scheme, radiates coziness.
“I wanted a real family apartment. I didn’t want any rooms that the children couldn’t go into,” explained Burch.
That aesthetic also extends to TRB, her fashion line, which New York magazine has dubbed the “easy-chic style.” Burch spent many years doing PR for designers such as Loewe, Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang and Narciso Rodriguez before striking on her own. TRB got Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement in 2005, and is now a well-established brand.
“I always get inspired by my client’s personal style,” said Romualdez of Burch’s luxe bohemian tastes. “Try to picture them—in whatever they wear to our meetings, or in the evenings—in the room.”
The verdict on their collaboration? A “dazzling residence,” wrote Vogue.
[Photos: Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People]