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Old World Apartment on the Upper East Side

by habituallychic

03 . 18 . 20

My Instagram friend Remy Renzullo is definitely an old soul with a fun personality. Anyone who hasn’t met him might think he was a middle aged decorator instead of twenty-something interior designer. I think that’s what makes him so special. He’s extremely knowledgeable about historic design and antiques but doesn’t take it all so seriously. His apartment is featured in the April issue of Architectural Digest and you’ll be able to marvel at his elegant abode. He told me today that it was a labor of love and it shows.

To read the entire story and find credits, click here. I’ve mixed photos from Derry Moore with some of Remy’s Instagram photos.

A detail shot of the great room with a 17th-century Carl Borromäus Andreas Ruthart painting displayed above the sofa clad in Bennison fabric, and Burmese lamps with pleated shades sit atop Victorian side tables.

“As a decorator I’m always trying to track down the perfect pieces, and no place is that more evident than in my own apartment – years of buying and selling to arrive here. The sofa came to me after sitting in my mom’s study for years – I’ve had it in almost every apartment I’ve lived in. Above it, the late 17th century painting of Orpheus by Ruthart came from Rome by way of @colnaghi1760. The carpet is a late 19th century Oushak – nearly a twin of one at Clandeboye, a favorite Anglo-Irish house of mine. And the roundels above the door are by Alonso Berruguete, from the late 15th century, a very generous loan from @tomassobrothers, I took this photo right after hanging them. For the wall color, I asked @jonathankutzin, the brilliant painter I work with, to match the color of a Hamilton engraving.”

A circa 1630 portrait of Infanta Maria of Austria presides over an antique bench. “For a young person with a budget, there’s more value to collecting Old Masters than contemporary or modern right now.” 

For my fireplace, I asked my decorative painter to make it look like a set of 18th century Delft tiles I found that were in imitation of tortoise – trompe l’oeil of trompe l’oeil. My mom had the small child’s chair made for me by @johnrosselli when I was a baby, and the hornet’s nest came from my childhood home in Connecticut.

In this 2018 Instagram photo from Remy’s account, you can see how the room evolved with the addition of the large painting above the sofa. “This place conveys a real sense of my style,” he says. “I don’t believe any room is ever done. You live with it, see what works, and make changes accordingly.” 

I found this Instagram post on Remy’s account and you can see how much he’s influenced by the past but always make it his own.

Original stained-glass windows serve as a backdrop to an 18th-century Spanish farm table and 19th century American chairs.

Remy is always posting his beautiful tables settings on Instgram.

When I was at the Nantucket Antiques Show last August, Remy messaged asking which vendor was showing the china I had posted because he collected it and you can see the pretty plates here.

Another beautiful table photo that looks like it could have been taken in Europe. “I’ll have 30 for dinner, 40 for drinks.”

An antique quilt that once belonged to Lauren Bacall hangs above Renzullo’s antique English bed and the Tiffany lamp is from his mother’s collection. “It’s about making a space feel livable,” remarks Renzullo, who credits his aesthetic to his New England roots. “I grew up in this Anglo-American-y, threadbarish but still beautiful environment. I don’t like anything that looks studied.” His mother, a onetime decorator, remains a source of inspiration, though it’s hard to miss the John Fowler notes. “We’re all Anglophiles in my family. The English do unfussy better than anybody.”