New York Rococo
ON ROCKAWAY BEACH, A CREATIVE COUPLE HAVE INVENTED AN APARTMENT INSPIRED BY THE TASTE OF MARIE ANTOINETTE, UPDATED FOR CONTEMPORARY GLAMOUR.
One summer day in 2008 architect Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz and his husband, artist and lighting designer Steven Wine, traveled from their apartment in Manhattan to spend the weekend in the Rockaways. The couple fell in love with the Rockaways, just one hour by subway from Manhattan, an affordable alternative to the Hamptons. In 2010 they found and purchased a 95 square meter two-bedroom apartment overlooking Rockaway Beach, with the Atlantic Ocean beyond. In justtwo months they transformed the interior, deciding to indulge in color, because their Manhattan duplex is all white. Noriega-Ortiz: «The concept of this project was clear from the outset. It was designed with relaxation and entertaining in mind». They chose Marie Antoinette as their ideal muse. «If Marie Antoinette had a small apartment in Queens, New York, this is what we think she would’ve had. This is our present-day idea of the Petite Trianon in Versailles, a ‘small’ place to get away from formality but with the elegance of a large palace». The rooms feature a variety of furniture styles and collection of taxidermy birds, a passion of Benjamin’s. «My husband collects Vallauris pottery», Noriega-Ortiz adds. «We have indulged our common interests give our home a personal touch». Green-blue Venetian Plaster studded with Swarovski crystals gives the living room brilliance similar to the play of shimmering sunlight on the ocean. The wall-to-wall vinyl carpet is beach-friendly, a seamless material that helps to unify the space and makes it feel larger. Mixing antique and vintage furniture with contemporary pieces, they have created a very personal seaside retreat infused with glamor and humor.