Inside a Bespoke Residence at One Dalton
August 16, 2022
Luxury and livability cohabitate in an apartment in one of Boston’s most coveted buildings.
Text by Jorge S. Arango Photography by Read McKendree Produced by Karin Lidbeck Brent
When Tiffany LeBlanc met with new clients who had purchased a unit in One Dalton, the sky-high location of Boston’s Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences, she recalls the husband emphasizing that, despite the building’s rarefied pedigree, he didn’t want to live in a museum.
“Everything was supposed to be livable, not so precious that you need to be in a starched shirt to live there,” says LeBlanc.
For the designer, however, livability by no means translated into rough-and-ready grandkid-friendly fabrics and furnishings. Architect Anne Snelling-Lee, who worked with LeBlanc to realize and detail her designs, says, “It’s the most luxurious project I’ve ever worked on. It had so many applied finishes.”
The first task, recalls LeBlanc, was to combine two units, since her clients decided to buy the next-door apartment to gain square footage, adding 1,450 square feet to the initial 2,800. The team, which also included Tony Salem of Sea-Dar Construction, removed the original entry door and created a long hallway, maximizing the apartment’s ample fenestration. Visitors now enter via a rotunda swathed in luminous Venetian plaster.
The living room telegraphs a luxe vibe with a custom-colored steel fireplace surround. Above it are dramatically grained petrified-wood tiles and, around the whole composition, glass walls sandwiching a metallic sheet of laminate that emanates a rosy-gold glow. The aubergine rug, notes LeBlanc, “creates a balance between lights and darks.” This, combined with a velvet chenille sofa and a coffee table of rolled amber glass, imparts a jewel-toned richness to the room. “We were conscious of having something that had soul, not another all-gray apartment,” explains LeBlanc.
The room sets the mood for the rest of the home, which, just like the living room, mixes various types of stone (all from Cumar Couture Stone) and metals with custom millwork. “Color is used sparingly,” says LeBlanc. “It’s more moment driven.”
LeBlanc’s ambitious vision called for many unusual finishes. The kitchen island, for example, comprises slices of stone suspended in resin. So as not to see cooking implements stored inside through the transparent gaps of resin, Snelling-Lee wrapped the entire underside of the island in bronze. One bathroom’s cabinetry called for cerusing the wood with gold powder. Another bath showcases impressive slabs of onyx.
Upper bunks in a bunk room (the homeowners have four grandchildren) were particularly tricky. LeBlanc’s design cantilevered two of the beds from the wall, suspending the opposite ends from holes drilled into the deck above and anchored in epoxy. The system is concealed within metal pipes with hand-finished surfaces.
Even window treatments were a challenge, observes Julie Murphy, principal of Designer Draperies of Boston. “We needed three layers on almost all the windows to limit sun exposure,” she says. These included roller shades, a second shade made of hand-cultivated, hand-stripped, and hand-woven fibers from Indonesia, and, finally, stationary drapery.
That level of detail reaches every nook of the apartment. “You had to pay attention to so many components,” Salem says. “You had to bring care to the way you handled them.” Of his many One Dalton projects, he concludes, “This one tops them all.”