The Long Island Residence is an expansive and lush 24,000 square foot French style abode surrounded by Italian garden with sweeping views of the NYC skyline. When Giusi Mastro, Founder and Owner of ORA Studio NYC met the client, the exterior home design and look were already established by the client, who wanted to emulate a French style mansion that he had in his mind and his heart all his life. With the help of a local Architect, he mapped out the proportion, look and orientation of the house. The client knew that he wanted to have a classic exterior with interiors that reflect a modern and contemporary home and sought an Interior Architect with a likeminded sensibility.
“The client wanted to interact with an Interior Architect with European sensibility, with knowledge of the classical architecture that he reveres and with extensive experience in contemporary design, that he envisioned for the interiors” said Giusi Mastro. “Being Italian and an International Architect and Designer living in New York City, I could identify what the feeling of the residence needed to be and I encouraged the client to adopt a series of pragmatic choices in order to bring to life a home that the family would feel deeply connected to.”
The sense of grandeur is expressed not only by the size of the property, but also by the open interior layout. To begin with, the entire living area, which was demarcated by six slim steel columns, needed to be visualized as a modern/contemporary loft-like environment. Giusi Mastro suggested creating four sections – Dining Area, Salon, Formal Living Area and Media Area - by realizing a core in the open space, characterized by a double height ceiling, and delineated by four columns. First, the columns were changed in size and material to be in scale with the grandeur of the space. Adjacent to that, Giusi Mastro conceived a freestanding monumental marble fireplace, flanked by two columns that were enveloped in octagonal shaped bronze finish. The fireplace constitutes a backdrop for the Formal Living Area, and on the other side, a demarcation of the Media Area.
Each section was treated with a separate coffered ceiling with a similar but slightly different design that included cove lighting. The coffered ceilings, in two different proportions, one above the Dining Area and one above the Living Area, produce a lighting effect illuminating the entire space in a uniformed glow, further intensified by high-tech “Laser Blade” LED fixtures by iGuzzini in the ceiling and in all walkway areas. The backward position of the LED maximizes the visual impact with the perception that no light source is present. These thoughtful details contribute to the “wow” factor of the main floor.
On the main floor, the entry vestibule opens to the salon via a glass door in the beautifully lit foyer. The foyer features walls with the effect of a modern artwork installation due to the light cove design and warm Grassello di Calce sparkling finish. While at first one feels a sense of coziness in the foyer, upon entering the salon, one notices that such transition creates the effect of magnification of the space.
Another jewel of the main floor is the kitchen. The state-of-the art kitchen by Boffi with top-of- the-line appliances is a chef’s dream. It is comprised of two islands, one for prepping and
cooking, and one perfect for entertaining, wine tasting and espressos, a must have for a client who loves gatherings and conviviality.
Giusi Mastro also re-proportioned the majestic staircase going to the second floor. To achieve harmony with the staircase, the entrance facade was also revised. Two double ramp staircases lead to the second-floor landing, a quadrilateral gallery overlooking the salon, with custom designed glass shelving, displaying objets d’art from the client’s collection and making a visual connection between the first and second floors. On the second floor to the right is the master suite, including the master bedroom with a lounge area, his and her master bathrooms and his and her walk-in closets. This area is private and set off from the other rooms on the floor. The left side is instead a guest area, including family room, laundry, kid’s playroom, kid’s bathroom, and guest rooms. Each room, laundry included, has its own personality. The laundry is conceived to be functional and elegant, with tiles, drapery and cabinetry aligning with the level of details of the rest of the home reinforcing the idea of luxury living throughout.
The ground level is a 12,000 square foot amenity level with entertainment facilities, including gym, spa, and kids’ play area. The Italian-style garden features a dreamy pool by Heaven Pool, Paola Lenti outdoor furniture and custom cabana.
The client’s openness to explore the Architectural approach for each area made it possible to drive collaborative decisions on materials and furnishings. Richly detailed materials and high- end Italian furniture unveil how craftsmanship and sophisticated taste are signatures of both Giusi Mastro and the client. Natural lime-based Grassello di Calce stucco is used on the walls of the powder rooms, guest rooms, dining area and main kitchen; Bianco Lasa marble is employed for living room floors, main kitchen floors, her master bathroom walls and floors, and staircase; his Master Bathroom includes Nero Marquina floors, and side wall and Statuario Fantastico for other walls; and the fireplace is made of Serpeggiante Kenya Zebra marble all by Antolini; bronze metal by Extravega is used for the fireplace base and the two octagonal columns next to it; Bianco Dolomiti ceramic tiles by Florim are used for the walls and floors of the guest bathrooms. The selection of Italian luxury and innovative manufacturers include: Boffi for the main kitchen and for the vanity and sink in the master bathrooms and powder rooms; Rubelli for curtains; Extravega for the staircase, dining table and the main glass entry door; iGuzzini for exterior and interior lights; Lualdi for doors; Poliform for the master bed; Molteni for the walk-in closets and free-standing vitrine; Fendi for the main sofa in the living room.
Giusi Mastro illustrated every detail, most of which in scale one to one and conducted a thorough study of the volumes of the interior layout, represented in study renderings that helped the client develop a proper understanding of the volumes, proportions, and the overall Architectural balance of the residence.
What made this project successful was the relationship between the Interior Architect and the client, their deep understanding of each other, the client’s impeccable taste and his willingness to invest valuable time in his dream home. A satisfied client and a truly grand residence, embodying that balance between classical Architecture and contemporary interiors that the client had always desired, was the grand finale to this wonderful production.