fabric-and-resin material from Knoll Textiles,
cover half of the shelving, hiding books, dinnerware, even the heating and cooling systems.
“The panels allow you to have a balance of display space and easily accessible storage,” says
Together, Johnson and Colby took a studied
approach to the redesign. “A good part of the
process was that I didn’t have to do everything
at once,” says Colby. For example, the striking
combination of the work of two Italian designers
— the lightweight Supperleggera dining chairs
by Gio Ponti and an Athos table by Paolo Piva
— were purchased four years apart. “The chairs
were one of the first things we bought,” says
Johnson. “Then,” says Colby, “I bought a table
just to have a table until we could find just the
The condo’s unique layout — a long hallway with living space on each end — drove some
of the design choices. “I decided to treat the hallway as a gallery,” says Colby. Center stage is a
mosaic fountain she purchased in Morocco. It
sits in an alcove painted in Benjamin Moore’s
Tangerine Dream and Citron — colors Colby
says are tame by Moroccan standards. Directly
across from the private elevator entrance, the
fountain installation solved a problem that had
vexed Colby’s hospitable side. “It took awhile
as a hostess to get used to greeting people at an
elevator,” she says. “I really wanted to create an
entry that was distinct and inviting.”
At one end of the hallway is the living room;
Colby’s office is at the other. The floor, a mottled
gray-and-white marble trimmed in black, was elegant but cold. To soften the look, weaver Claudia
Mills crafted a 50-foot runner from leather strips
in a subtle geometric pattern.
Upstairs, the previous owner had turned the
hall space outside the master suite into an office.
Says Colby, “I didn’t want to have to walk through
a work space to get to my bedroom,” which she
envisioned as a dreamy oasis. So, with architect
Ed Forte’s help, she devised a wall of rectangular niches of different sizes, each internally lit,
where she could display more of her collection.
A custom bench from Florida-based furniture
designer Christine Desiree offers a new place for
Colby to sit, this time to ponder the clarity, resilience, and joy embodied by her new home.
a paolo piva table is matched with Gio Ponti’s
Supperleggera chairs in a striking dining
ensemble. The art on the wall is an electronic
textile piece by Margaret Orth. The niches were
fitted with shelves to hold Colby’s ceramic and
glass pieces. Next to the open shelves are the
sliding Imago doors, which hide storage closets.