The team at Ronen Lev, a New York City-based architecture and interiors firm, are known for their nothing less, nothing more approach. Founded by designer and interior architect, Jessica Wilpon Kamel, in 2016, projects are approached with impressive attention to detail. For their latest, Jessica and her business partner, Christina Akiskalou, revived an 1836 Greek Revival townhome in Manhattan’s West Village, completed in December 2020.
The homeowners, a family with three young children, were drawn to the West Village for its bohemian sensibility, plenty of shopping, cafes and picturesque tree-filled streets. They found a Greek Revival townhouse and were immediately charmed by its location, ornate detailing and traditional period style. And while there was promise, the “foundation was ruined and the brick walls were falling apart. It ended up being this very ambitious historical reconstruction led by Elizabeth Roberts Architects,” Jessica says. Over the course of 180 years, it had also been divided into apartments.
The goal was to create a home that was warm, inviting and unfussy. “They wanted to update it with a modern, airy aesthetic so it could feel contemporary but still relate to the actual architecture of the house,” Jessica says. It was also a project that was all about delicately blending two styles as the husband had an affinity for Mid-Century furniture while the wife preferred traditional pieces, colour and texture.
“We landed on a transitional look with new British designers and a blend of vintage and new pieces passed down from generations,” Jessica says. The home, which now has five bedrooms and five bathrooms, is multi-level and includes a garden level, parlour floor with the kitchen, dining room and living room, plus a library and master suite above, and lastly the children’s rooms on the fourth floor.
In the modernised kitchen, the Lacanche range, a vibrant royal blue, set the tone for the soothing palette. Marble countertops and brass fixtures complemented the now open-concept layout, while blue-and-white ceramics from Mud Australia add an intentional pop of colour.
In the family room, which has direct access to the garden, Elizabeth Roberts built custom millwork to hide any clutter and maintain a clean aesthetic. The sectional is custom and the rug is from Armadillo and Co., creating a soft and warm feel with Scandinavian elements.
An intentional sophistication is apparent in each area of the home. From the intricate powder bathroom to the office, generous living room and family room, and even on the fourth floor in the children’s rooms. For their little girl’s room, the blue-green comes to play again through the teal headboard, which happens to be the daughter’s favourite colour, the fun rainbow bedding, handmade teal teepee and Sandberg wallpaper; a textiles brand based in Sweden. “I had chosen three different wallpapers, all with bold colour and florals and let her pick,”Jessica says.
This nearly two-hundred-year-old home is now transformed into a place the homeowners and their children can enjoy for many years to come.