A Hint of Versailles on Central Park South_04
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Interior Design Tips

A Hint of Versailles on Central Park South interior designer by Michael S. Smith

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An elegant full-floor apartment that is one of just 12 residences above the Ritz-Carlton at 50 Central Park South — and the only one with parquet de Versailles floors made with hand-hammered German silver over wood — is poised to enter the market for $50 million.
The monthly carrying costs for the 4,536-square-foot condominium on the 33rd floor (No. 33) are $13,032.51. This figure, of course, does not include the hotel’s maid and room service, but those amenities and others are available 24 hours a day, and residents have full access to the spa and fitness center.
The residences — which include a duplex on the 30th and 31st floors that the casino magnate Steve Wynn spent $70 million on almost three years ago — also have their own attended entrance lobby just west of the main hotel entrance off Avenue of the Americas.

The two-bedroom three-and-a-half-bath space has 10-foot ceilings and exposures on all four sides, but its most riveting feature may be the 92-foot expanse of windows facing Central Park, which unfurls like a magic carpet below.

The owners, Howard Marks, who co-founded Oaktree Capital Management in 1995, and his wife, Nancy, were intrigued by those views, and by the possibilities inherent in having two very separate bedroom wings. When they bought the apartment for $18.875 million in 2007, it was basically an empty box, and they commissioned their go-to interior designer, Michael S. Smith, to transform it.

Mr. Smith, whose résumé includes the redecoration of the Oval Office for President Barack Obama and designing the family’s private quarters at the White House, was quoted in Architectural Digest as saying that in his work at the Ritz-Carlton for the Marks family, he opted for a neo-Classical theme and referred to the condo as “Versailles in the Sky.”

Mr. Smith collaborated with the architect Oscar Shamamian, who came up with the pattern for the striking floors of German silver that dominate the foyer, hallways, living room and dining areas. A private elevator vestibule opens to the foyer; to the south, a hallway leads past a sitting room and office to a private guest suite with a dressing area, an elegant Asher marble bath and three exposures offering park views.

The living room has a decorative antique marble fireplace and views both south (facing the city) and north (toward Central Park). On the west side of the living room, facing the park, is a formal dining room with 18th-century-style boiserie by the French specialists Féau & Cie. An adjacent breakfast room is nestled in the northwest corner of the apartment, and the Bulthaup kitchen has white lacquer cabinets, sandstone floors and Miele appliances.

On the other side of the living room, 18th-century Chinese lacquer doors open onto the paneled library, which has tobacco leather floors and more park views. Beyond the library, in the northeast corner of the apartment, is the master bedroom suite, with a library, dressing area and dual bathrooms. The more masculine bath is clad in green marble, with a shagreen vanity; the other has Davlin gold-tile walls that echo the gold-leaf-and-inlaid-mother-of pearl motif on the closet walls.

This was the sixth home Mr. Smith has designed for the owners, and they have a similarly longstanding relationship with Roberta Golubock of Sotheby’s International Realty. Ms. Golubock has assisted the couple on residential real estate acquisitions for more than 15 years, including this home and its successor, a 30-room co-op at 740 Park Avenue, for which they paid the seller, Courtney Sale Ross, $52.5 million — setting a record three years ago. As with their residence at the Ritz-Carlton, an extensive renovation of their new home was deemed necessary before it was ready for occupancy; Mr. and Ms. Marks have not yet moved in. When they do make the switch to their spacious Park Avenue co-op, it’s possible they may miss the panoramic park views, privacy and top-shelf hotel services above the Ritz-Carlton. As Ms. Golubock said, “The privacy and exclusivity afforded an owner at 50 C.P.S. is akin to that of a fine Fifth Avenue co-operative.”

A Hint of Versailles on Central Park South_01

A two-bedroom condominium on the 33rd floor of the Ritz Carlton Hotel is poised to enter the market at $50 million.

A Hint of Versailles on Central Park South_02Designed by Michael Smith, the living room has 10-foot ceilings and floors of hand-hammered German silver over wood.

A Hint of Versailles on Central Park South_03The apartment has sweeping park views; in total, there are about 92 linear feet of park frontage.

A Hint of Versailles on Central Park South_04The dining room faces north toward the park; the intricate 18th-century-style boiserie are by the French specialists, Feau & Cie.

A Hint of Versailles on Central Park South_11The Bulthaup kitchen, adjacent to the corner breakfast nook, has a western exposure and sandstone floors.

A Hint of Versailles on Central Park South_05The breakfast area has panoramic views to the north and west.

A Hint of Versailles on Central Park South_06The jewel-toned library is a stark departure from the creamy palette of the apartment. An homage to Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment, it has 18th-century Chinese lacquer panels on the walls and doors.

A Hint of Versailles on Central Park South_07The serene master suite at the eastern end of the residence has north and east exposures.

A Hint of Versailles on Central Park South_08Custom gold Davlin tile by Ann Sacks lines the tub in the south-facing bath, one of two in the master suite.

A Hint of Versailles on Central Park South_09The other master bath is clad in green marble with a matching vanity. There are partial park and Fifth Avenue views.

A Hint of Versailles on Central Park South_10The guest suite is in a separate southwestern wing; it has three exposures, a sitting room, and a lavish marble bath with park views.

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