elana nathan: a bright and colorful manhattan oasis
With its cache of modern treasures and traditional furnishings, Elana Nathan’s tranquil Manhattan town house is a refuge from her life in the fast lane.
Published Jun 12, 2015 4:00 PM
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“My intention was to make our home cheerful and urbane.”—Elana Nathan
In her professional life, Elana Nathan—co-owner and CEO of exclusive fashion line Peter Som—is accustomed to overscheduled days of conference calls and strategy meetings. So when it came time to decorate her town house in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, she sought to create a centering oasis. “Although I thrive on the thrumming pace of New York City,” she says, “it was really important that my home be a tonic to that tempo.”
Pippa in natural pearwood and cowhide hermes.com
(in mirror’s reflection) by Wayne Gonzales, paulacoopergallery.com
The home’s decor is centered on the couple’s extraordinary art collection. “I think my husband has learned not to fight my urge to collect,” says Nathan. “At first he just lived with it for my sake, but now he’s actually starting to enjoy it.”
Or and Bleue by Yves Klein, artwareeditions.com
Having previously resided in high-rises in Hong Kong and lower Manhattan, Nathan craved a private (aka doorman-free) lifestyle for her family. So she was thrilled to find a house on a quiet street to share with her husband, Lloyd, and their two sons, Euan and Pierce. “I really liked that I’d never lived in this part of town before,” she says. “The Highline had just opened when we moved in, and being in such close proximity is amazing. It’s a fresh start for all of us.”
ARTWORK (above mantel) by Richard Serra, artnet.com
Black Knight base, hudsonfurnitureinc.com
A piece by Nathan’s stepfather-in-law, renowned artist Patrick Caulfield, hangs above the dining room’s bar.
(above sideboard) by Patrick Caulfield, waddingtoncustot.com
ebonized cherry in large calvinklein.com
Stockholm in beige ikea.com
After tearing down a couple of walls and adding a few coats of paint, the town house was soon family-ready. Elements of its original architectural details, such as exposed brick walls, towering ceilings, and gracious stairways, are now complemented by modern furnishings and artworks. “I felt it was important that the home retain an understated character,” says Nathan. “I think that’s what makes it so eclectic and balanced.”
The master bedroom is flooded with natural light.
Charles by Antonio Citterio, bebitalia.com
“Paris” by Nan Goldin, artnet.com
Designing a space is necessarily a growth process, and Nathan has been pleased to witness the home’s constant evolution. When she first moved in, her inclination was to make the decor as cozy as possible, but today she finds herself editing out everything that’s not absolutely essential. “Fundamentally, I’m a perfectionist about my environment,” she says. “But when you’re living with two young boys in an old house that’s a work in progress, you just have to let go. It’s not easy, but I’m learning.”
“We love reading with our children,” says Nathan, “so there are always piles of books around.”
Carolina in simply white potterybarnkids.com
Child Chaise by Keith Haring artwareeditions.com
Moroccan leather in sky blue bazaarmorocco.com
six-case LEGO workstation and storage unit by IRIS, amazon.com
(above mantel) by Alexander Calder, artnet.com
The boys chart their father’s work travels on this wall-size map.
Fouta yarn-dyed stripe by Serena & Lily
for kids designersguild.com
Avalon in wool and cashmere hermes.com
Pierce’s bedroom reflects his passions for drawing and music.
(similar to shown) baby grand in red by Schoenhut Piano Company fao.com
(above mantel) “Forms in Space” by Roy Lichtenstein, poparteditions.com
(far left) by Alexander Calder, artnet.com