Celebrity Homes: Laura Santos’s Contemporary Manhattan Townhouse

Interior designer Laura Santos, worked with 1100 Architect to create her family’s Manhattan townhouse.

Interior designer Laura Santos

Eager to make the home a bold reflection of her burgeoning design practice, Santos chose a mix of furnishings and architectural components defined by sculptural profiles and luxurious materials. Her vision reveals itself immediately in the intimate vestibule, where Gio Ponti–style wing chairs mingle with an Hervé Van der Straeten mirror and honed-granite floors complement walnut paneling. This entry shares the ground level with the main kitchen and an adjoining sitting area, the latter accented by a wall of quartzite tile.

Interior designer Laura Santos

In the double-height living room, a curvaceousVladimir Kagan sofa is arranged with a vintage cocktail table from Galerie Van den Akker, a 1940s French floor lamp, and a Dune bench upholstered in Mongolian lamb; the diptych is by Mark Francis, the curtains are of a Kravet linen, and the walls are painted in a Benjamin Moore white. 


A travertine-clad fireplace punctuates the far end of the living room; the carpet is by Luke Irwin.


The adjoining library’s chaise longues are covered in a Designers Guild fabric, the vintage FontanaArte light fixture is from Bernd Goeckler Antiques, and the rug is by BDDW.


A sitting area’s custom-made sectional is upholstered in an Osborne & Little fabric and dressed withAnkasa pillows; the artwork is by Florian Maier-Aichen, the television is by Samsung, and the carpet is by Mansour Modern.
The glamour factor only increases on the second story, which contains the formal dining room, a satellite kitchen and bar, a media room, a library, and the double-height living room. Anchoring that voluminous space is an open fireplace crowned by a monumental travertine chimney breast, its scale downplayed by its minimalist silhouette. Here, as throughout the home, Santos skillfully deployed fabrics to soften the architecture’s rigid geometries. Diaphanous linen curtains dress the nearly 21-foot-tall windows.


De Gournay wallpaper sheathes the dining room, where Hervé Van der Straeten light fixtures from Ralph Pucci International hang above a BDDW table and a suite of Paul Frankl chairs.


In the main kitchen, a Serge Mouille ceiling lamp fromGuéridon is mounted above a BDDW dining table and midcentury Italian chairs from Galerie Van den Akker; the vintage counter stools are clad in an Edelmanleather, and the double oven is by Gaggenau.


The pool table in the top-floor lounge is by Blatt Billiards, and the cement floor tiles are by Exquisite Surfaces.


Santos designed the media room’s club chairs (upholstered in a Kravet ikat) and sectional, all made by Dune; the chandelier is vintage, and the curtains are of a Clarence House fabric.


 A landing is furnished with a FontanaArte chandelier from Bernd Goeckler Antiques, an Hervé Van der Straeten table from Ralph Pucci International, and artworks by Anish Kapoor (left) and Wade Guyton.


 Ash paneling warms the master suite, which features a custom-made bed upholstered in a Clarence House velvet; the painting is by Dana Schutz, the pedestal table is by Blackman Cruz, and the rug is by Fort Street Studio.


A de Gournay wall covering enlivens Santos’s dressing area; the carpet is by Fort Street Studio.


In the couple’s bath, a Marc Newson–designed chair by Cappellini sits beside a Boffi tub; the curtains are of a Kravet linen, and the rug is from Woven Accents.


A guest suite.
The children’s bedrooms and shared play area are animated by color and pattern—from a graphic Union Jack carpet in the son’s space to a sprightly floral wall covering in the daughter’s. By contrast, the couple’s own quarters feature a neutral palette that is carefully calculated for serenity. The commodious master bath in particular nurtures repose with its monolithic Corian tub and pale limestone paneling. That spirit of rest and relaxation continues on the top floor, an adult playground of sorts equipped with a modernist billiard table and full bar.


A floor-to-ceiling map lends a global touch to the son’s bedroom.


The daughter’s bedroom is pretty in pink.


In the playroom, the children’s chairs are by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen, the sofa is by Ligne Roset, the teak cabinetry is by Poliform, and the curtains and pillows are made of a Clarence House fabric.
Still, the home’s greatest surprise is its basement, which boasts an indoor swimming pool, a fully outfitted exercise room, and a hammamlike steam room lavishly cloaked in book-matched marble. Despite being underground, these sybaritic spaces are flooded with daytime sun thanks to a series of skylights and a windowed expanse that frames the alfresco stairwell leading to the garden.


The basement’s indoor pool is clad in quartzite slabs from Stone Source.


Book-matched marble lines the steam room, which is crowned by a circular skylight that echoes the custom-made floor mosaic by Sicis.
More pleasures await outdoors, where landscape designer Miranda Brooks created an unexpectedly romantic English-style oasis. With rough-hewn fieldstone pavers and a wisteria-covered pergola, the garden far outshines the mingy terraces that pass for Arcadian delights in this space-starved metropolis. “I tried to keep the plantings as wild and loose as possible so that you’re drawn into this idyllic world rather than being distracted by the surrounding buildings,” Brooks explains.


Landscape designer Miranda Brooks conceived the garden.
 Nikolas Koenig


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