PATTY XENOS HAS TRANSFORMED THIS 4,800 SQ. FT. DOWNTOWN PENTHOUSE INTO A FUNCTIONAL WORK OF ART. THIS IS THE ULTIMATE IN FORM AND UTILITY, BY DESIGN.
There were two plans for this property; one fit to the desires of the clients, and the other, an exercise in imagined living––a design that responded to the way the people actually go about their lives. The latter is what drives much of Patty Xenos’ process. “I asked them to forget what they had in mind, and instead questioned how they lived, what made them happy, where they wished to enjoy their morning coffee, or scotch at the end of the day.” Hint: consider the four cream Eames chairs backlit by an awesome wall of windows and a reflective marble-walled fireplace.
Approaching a raw space of this size—the penthouse is new, and the homeowners are the first to occupy it—requires planning beyond surface design. Knowing how family and friends coexist in the space was crucial in determining the layout: “The essence of good design is having everything there when you need it, without being aware that it’s there.” What is visible, however, is a philosophy. A neutral space allowed for the homeowners to introduce substantial works of art that often shaped the design of a room. “When we showed them what the space could do, the homeowners became very involved. They bought art that spoke to them, that inspired them, not just pieces to fill a space.”
When it came to colour, the clients were fearless, and their “show me” attitude allowed Xenos to introduce shades and textures that complemented her fascination with light play. The crushed velvet, custom-made, hotel lobby-sized sofa changes shade constantly, from emerald to electric to seafoam green. The dining room fixture––a suspended Ingo Maurer, and work of art in its own right––creates sun where there is none.
This penthouse represents a new chapter in the homeowners’ lives: all was left behind in their former home, and this was a clean slate where freedom to respect an individual way of life reigned supreme.
A page may have been turned, but the pace has remained constant. Two magnificent ‘his and hers’ offices were a true labour of love, created to fit two distinct personalities and work styles. Hers is a tribute to oldworld Chanel. Outfitted in padded walls, Bolero jacket-style chairs, black lacquer and gold leaf, it has a boutique feel. His is a former wine cellar, transformed to address the needs of monsieur’s business; the previous purpose added storage value to the dining space, which lies behind the wall. Doors were moved to limit exposure to the rest of the house, while a glass clearstory window runs the length of the dropped cabinetry, flooding the office with afternoon sun.
Every detail––showcased or not–– was meticulously planned in this stunning space. As for what’s next, Xenos says, “In all my career, this is the most fun time.” She enjoys working with more informed and evolved clients who appreciate the value of design and “recognize how furniture and art can enhance your life.” And yes, the homeowner does enjoy his scotch in that Eames chair by the fire. Xenos calls it the “sweet spot.” And we say “Cheers!” to that.