A Feminine French-Inspired Home on the Upper West Side
Lindsey and Jeff Boyd turned a charming pre-war apartment in a legendary 19th-century building into a pastel-perfect family home.
Two-and-a-half years ago, when Lindsey Boyd and her husband, Jeff, were expecting their second child and looking for a bigger apartment, the New York City family’s sights were not set on the Upper West Side. But when Jeff and their real estate broker toured a home just two blocks from Riverside Park, Boyd received a call saying "'You have to get here now—it’s just like we’re in Paris.'" Jeff was right. Located in the storied Ansonia building, the now-famous landmark built in 1899, which once housed such American icons as baseball star Babe Ruth and Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman, the structure’s Beaux-Arts-style architecture looks as though it was plucked right out of the 6th arrondissement.
"It was very unique for anything I’ve seen in the City," says Boyd, who fell in love with the apartment at first sight, "but it had that French charm." It's a fitting observation from the mother of two, who’s former job with Chanel as a manager of ready-to-wear in the U.S. required bimonthly trips to Paris. "I found myself drawn to French style, from clothing to home interiors," says Boyd. Her Francophile fixation, coupled with her already traditional aesthetic (she grew up in an 18th-century home in the Hudson River Valley) made the apartment an easy sell.
The 1,900-square-foot apartment features rich, pre-war architectural details, including Juliet balconies, original crown molding, and pocket-sized transom windows. The most unique of them all is the circular living room, nestled in one of the building's rounded-corner towers. Throughout the apartment, white walls stretch across the three-bedroom, two-bathroom unit to "emphasize the natural light and openness of our home," says Boyd, whose neutral palette allowed the space's built-in charm to take center stage.
But where Boyd played it safe with wall color, she makes up for it in bold, whimsical textiles. In fact, she takes her fabrics so seriously that most all the furniture, drapery, and pillows are custom-made by the seasoned upholsterers at Tiger Lily's. "They have every pattern, every fabric; I'm like a kid in the candy shop," recalls Boyd of the Greenwich, Connecticut, outpost. In the living room, Brunschwig & Fils's Les Touches green-and-white cheetah-like fabric covers an everyday armchair, a marking Boyd predicts she’ll never tire of. Nearby, the dining chairs are swathed in Cole & Son’s Hummingbirds, originally a wallpaper design that is now available in a textile. And in daughter Chloe’s bedroom, a rainbow-colored butterfly motif by Lulu DK for Schumacher wraps around the twin bed’s carved headboard.
Boyd's penchant for fabrics is a natural one. After graduating from Cornell with a degree in apparel and textile management, Boyd worked in product development at Brooks Brothers before her tenure at Chanel. After years of focusing on the making and selling end of high-end clothing, Boyd shifted her focus to the manner in which we care for textiles. In 2004, Boyd started The Laundress with fellow fashionista Gwen Whiting to create a line of specialty detergents and fabric-care products that are designed to preserve and clean clothing without weekly trips to the dry cleaners. Available online and in department stores and boutiques around the world, The Laundress will also be sold in the brand's first brick and mortar shop in New York City this November. Naturally, we inquired about the store's new interiors."Bright, white, and fresh," she promises us, just like the airy environment she's created at home for her family.