Urbanite: Park Avenue

Park Avenue Winter

Park Avenue Changes With The Seasons

As an interior designer, I love to visit new hotels, lounges and, of course, dine in restaurants that make my jaw drop. The suspense of the unknown design is exhilarating, to say the least. The feel of the tabletops, the colors and schemes are part of the best restaurants this country has to offer.

My new spot is Park Avenue Winter, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It is absolutely beautiful; this restaurant is designed with constant transformation in mind. It changes with the four seasons and everything but their staff and flooring makes a shift: menus, napkins, fabrics, artifacts, transitional lighting fixtures, tables and chairs, matchboxes and business cards all are made over. This ingenious concept never lets customers get bored of repeat visits.

The form is the brainchild of restaurateur Michael Stillman, who joined synergies with the award-winning design firm AvroKO, located in New York City.

Chic and classic elements are omnipresent but the feel of the restaurant is very inviting and warm, with two different dining rooms that are separated by the bar right in front of the door as you walk in.

Park Avenue Spring

The Park Avenue Winter transformation is in high holiday spirit. In late March, the restaurant will close its doors and in 48 hours transform into Park Avenue Spring. Then summer arrives, and another transformation takes place. Before we know it, autumn has stumbled before us and the fall foliage is about to commence.

The transformation itself is fascinating; a unique removal of wall panels for each season is added to the walls to change the interior look. The floor plan is structured to give each season a different angle. This transformation will need furniture to be moved, lighting hung, electricians, wall panels to be put up, and a group of workers to put back the furniture.

Park Avenue Winter has a warm snowy feel which seems to soothe the senses. Beautiful white color schemes that make it feel like a white winter. The only thing that was missing was a white winter wonderland. On one end of the wall there is a section where wine bottles hang freely. Elongated birch branches are built into the hand blown glass chandeliers, and placed in the center sides of the wall sills. The beautiful lacquered molding panels open up the room to give it a spacious feel. Bright track lighting on each side holding blown glass creates a holiday festive look. Coffer ceiling with mismatched plaster rosettes makes the space even brighter. Color schemes are fresh and clean, with a classic look. Tables are covered with a large vinyl snakelike textured table protector. This piece is a bit short in order to give you a sneak preview at the wooden table beneath it. The chairs have adjustable leather backs for the exterior. This design is refreshing, crisp with a classic elegance.

Park Ave Spring comes to life as flowers are in bloom on the window sills, with its reminder of metamorphosis. Brass wall panels frame the room and earth tones are incorporated into this design. Beautiful floral arrangements are displayed in antique pots throughout the room. Track lighting is transformed into purple blown glass that hangs like tassels over the tables. Plaster rosettes are removed, but lighting receptors remain, as the ceiling is barrel-vaulted in a smoked laurel burl wood. The chairs have adjustable backings in green and brass stripped vertical patterns that blend in with the wall panels. Spring feels ephemeral and diaphanous, as if it were lightly inserted into a garden or meadow.

Park Avenue Summer

Park Avenue Summer is bright and airy as uniformity starts to take place, stressing a minimalist approach. Yellow wall panels surround the walls. The light fixtures are geometrically shaped in the same colors as the wall panels. Tables are placed in a row with panels that interlock at each end. Chairs are transitioned into yellow leather backing. Beautiful floral arrangements are added to the center row. Summer has a contemporary feel, bright airy with a sophisticated dining space.

Park Avenue Autumn has a nostalgic feel, the bolder richer colors that remind me of being aboard an old ship. The track lighting holds these huge circular chromatic hanging lamps. The coffer ceiling is transformed with ropes used on ships to steady the bowsprit. The color burgundy also added a major element to the décor. Autumn is strong, lively and bold looking, with a lot of character.

The lighting fixtures were important to the design element in this restaurant. Space planning is also an important element so that the room flows; seating arrangements are intimate yet can grow as needed. Rearranging the furniture alone can create a whole new experience. I have gone into a home and spontaneously rearranged the furniture, instantly giving the owners a new interior.

Park Avenue Autumn

The smaller dining area has a chic flair. Architectural elements blend in with more rustic items, such as rustic cupboards that surround the space. The shelves are filled with bottles of wine, plates and other antiquities that adorn the space. This room has a home country feel, yet an elegant look.

Today people are looking for a place to dine as a one-stop form of nourishment and entertainment. It is extremely important for restaurants to develop a décor that impacts the customers. Park Avenue Winter has a great approach, in the sense that they are constantly changing according to the season. This is a great strategic move for a restaurant in New York City, as changes happen in a blink of an eye.

Text by Vanessa DeLeon
Photography by Michael Weber