It seems fitting and, perhaps weirdly coincidental, that today, five years since I last went to New York and on the first full day of BlogTourNYC, that I have found this house to show you. For this is my dream house. This is where I stayed when I was last in New York and now it’s on the market so I can show it to you.
Called the House of Memories, it belongs to Laurie Mallet, who bought it in 1983 for $430,000 (according to the public records). Mallet, the founder of Williwear, has rented the house out for the last ten years, which is how my friends came to be living in it during a four year stint in Manhattan and how I came to be staying in it for five days.
Ms Mallet knew members of SITE (Sculpture in the Environment), a collective of artists and architects, and she asked them to help oversee the renovation of the home. Alison Sky, an artist, helped create ‘motifs coming out of the wall, which were a sort of story about myself,’ says Ms. Mallet. Look closely and see how the fireplace seems to loom out from the wall.
Upstairs, the bookshelves were half-filled with sculptures of books, which, when I stayed, sat next to real books, turning the whole wall into a work of art. But it was the entrance hall, which I really loved.
The table can be used as a real hall table and the white cavalier’s coat shared a hook with children’s duffle coats and hats. Here’s a close up of the boots in the corner.
“I started to think of walls as fluid as opposed to solid,” Ms. Sky said. “What if you had memories from the past floating out from the walls? By doing that you create the impression of a world beyond the walls.”
But it wasn’t just the sculptures that I loved in this house. It was the whiteness of the decor. This was where I decided that my own house would be full of white painted floorboards and white walls. That the light would be encourage to flood in from all directions.
This is the full view of the sitting room with the empty door frame acting as a dividing line. It felt like a very Alice in Wonderland house to me.
The other idea that I took from this house was the walk-through closet. There are no pictures sadly, but in my bedroom we built a false wall and filled the back of it with hanging space and shelves, which was something that had been done in the basement of this house so that there were two bedrooms with a small bathroom between them and a corridor of hanging space that linked the rooms and ran behind the bathroom, if that makes any sense.
So there you go. The story of my house and the story of The House of Memories. It’s on the market for $6,498,000 and, even more excitingly there’s an open house on Sunday 24 March at 4.30 to 6pm. So if you happen to find yourself in town that day …
For the full details on 49 Barrow Street and the open day CLICK HERE
To see the rest of my house MY HOUSE