Among the many spaces open to the public as part of Open House New York weekend was a Manhattan home that evokes a very different timeand design sensibility. Thirty-one years ago, Johan and Dia Scholvinck found themselves living in Tribeca and have, ever since, been remaking their home into a largely Art Deco tribute piece.
It features a nearly 17-foot-tall first floor, which holds the living room, dining room, kitchen, just one of the home's skylights, and the powder room (which is actually a full bathroom, not a half). The second floor, which overlooks the first floor and has a fittingly patterned railing, has two bedrooms. The master bedroom has a double sink and a toilet and the second bedroom has a single sink and toilet, but the two share a connecting shower. The master bedroom also has a spiral staircase leading to the penthouse suite they completed about two years ago. The main home is about 2,000 square feet with 800 feet of penthouse and some terrace space.
In 1979, Johan, a Dutchman, was working in New York while Dia, a French national who grew up in what was then Southern Rhodesia, a British colony in Africa, was working for the United Nations in Geneva. She was in New York to work on the General Assembly and a mutual friend introduced them. The rest, as they say, is history.
Right now, their son and his family are living up in the penthouse (which is actually modern in design, not Art Deco). However, they hope to reclaim the space in the not-too-distant future and rent out the Art Deco residence. So, keep an eye on the real estate listings: you could live there one day.
—Evan Bindelglass is a local freelance journalist, photographer, cinephile, and foodie. You can e-mail him, follow him on Twitter @evabin, or check out his personal blog.
· All Open House New York coverage [Curbed]