Catch Up Friday: A Decorator Throw Down

Several weeks ago Your Mama regaled the children—or punished the wee lambs, depending on your point of view—with photographs and floor plans of a octagonal triplex penthouse atop the City Spire building in Midtown Manhattan. The uncommonly configured penthouse, according to property records, is owned by real estate developer Steven A. Klar who hoisted it on the open market in late July (2012) with a splish-splashy $100,000,000 price tag guaranteed to generate a mountain of international publicity.

The original online listing for the approximately 8,000 square foot aerie proudly proclaimed the opulent—but, in our mind, ludicrously mundane—interiors had been worked over by internationally renown, Chilean-born interior decorator-designer Juan Pablo Molyneux. Well, dontcha know children, Mister Molyneux was not pleased with that rather grandiose assertion.


After receiving a number of not-particularly-positive phone calls "'from all over the world,'" the designer-decorator jumped on his princess phone and called The Old Grey Lady herself—that would be The New York Times—to clarify matters and express a sharp dismay about the existing day-core. He is not, he would like the world to know, responsible for the installation and execution of the finishes and furnishings. He went on to hiss, "'I never thought that this horror would be published and then everybody would blame me for having done it.'"

Oh dear.

Mister Sklar conceded to The New York Times that Mister Molyneux did only design the original plans for the penthouse 18 years ago and that he opted to execute the designs himself without additional assistance or guidance from Mister Molyneux. Mister Sklar showed The New York Times Mister Molyneux's original plans and pointed out that he "hewed almost religiously to the decorator’s plans, down to the style of curtains, use of marble and columns — even, in one case, the exact placement of a painting in his office."

Cat fight! 

As of today, online marketing materials still state the six bedroom and nine bathroom, multi-terraced penthouse was, "Designed by the renowned Juan Pablo Molyneux, a member of Architectural Digest's AD100." More photos and floor plans here.

Mister Molyneux's own, elaborately-done Manhattan townhouse also happens to be available on the open market with a protuberant $48,000,000 asking price and the few listing photographs included with online listings show a more nuanced, richly-textured, and typically Molyneux-ian sort of day-core. 

listing photos: Stribling