THE COLORFUL DOWNTOWN NYC HOME OF TILTON FENWICK'S SUYSEL DEPEDRO CUNNINGHAM

by Marisa Marcantonio


Infusing bright color and a traditional modern style into their work, design duo Tilton Fenwick, made up of Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel dePedro Cunningham,  has made a name for themselves as bold colorists.  Selected to participate for the first time in the 2015 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse, admirers of their work will have to wait to see their color confidence in action this May. They come from a traditional, classic design background and punch up interiors with unique artwork, fun prints and no-holds-barred palettes. The Flatiron apartment of Suysel dePedro Cunningham, the dark haired half of the design team, and her family, is alive with ebullient prints and patterns that incorporate classical design elements with a playful sensibility.  With a dose of urban chic and polish, the apartment's gracious flow provides an ideal spot for a young family. Ahead, a look at the sophisticated urban aerie designed by this duo, a place where Cunningham and her family escape hectic city life. 

Photos courtesy of Tilton Fenwick

Photos courtesy of Tilton Fenwick

Many designers begin a room scheme with the rug as the foundation of the room. When putting her living room together, Cunningham says,  "I fell in love with this rug from FJ Kashanian and purchased it within seconds. I didn't have swatches of the other fabrics in the room with me when I made the impulsive buy but somehow Anne and I knew it would be perfect!" Sometimes the ultimate find is irresistible--  "We would NEVER do that with a client job!" A cream colored faux ivory coffee table designed by her mentor interior designer Markham Roberts anchors the space with a solid element. One of my favorite prints, a muted fan shaped pattern called Caleb from Carleton V covers classic custom Bridgewater Chairs designed by Tilton Fenwick made by Luther Quintana Upholstery.  Along a wall of windows sits a covetable 1970's Columbian tesselated horn chair acquired on 1st Dibs and a pair of Christopher Spitzmiller Lamps.

Another view of the sun-filled living room where both bold and toned down colors lead the eye around the open rooms. The Full Scroll Arm Signature Sofa,  a faithful George Smith standby has been recovered creatively in two textiles for added zing. A pair of mismatched side tables brings material variety. 

Arranging accessories can be fun or daunting, but getting it right is  a delicate balance. Their coffee table has just enough usable space vs artfully arranged pretty things. 

A pair of killer vintage brass lamps sit upon a curvy custom faux tortoise console the duo designed. A Bunny Williams Home Rex Mirror with gothic tracery adds a bit of muted metallic.

The library is done in a pale blue and lichen green palette with solid painted walls and loads of built-in bookcases in Farrow and Ball's Blue Gray 91 and Card Room Green 7. The vivid, watery ikat patterned Estrella rug they designed for Studio Four NYC. Illuminating the space, they used a Choros Chandelier with clean lines designed by their friend and upstairs neighbor, Barry Goralnick, available through Circa Lighting. A happy piece of artwork is the focal point of the bookcase wall, and Cunningham gave it a special spot, revealing,  "The framed elephant was a gift from my mentor Markham Roberts and I was thrilled when it worked so well with the colors of the room." Mixed upholstery slipper chairs made by Quintana are done in Peter Fasano's Darta and backed in their Duralee print, Buhrmaster. 

I have thrown away so many old magazines, due to lack of space. It seems the Cunningham's can amass a few more issues before reaching maximum capacity. Plus, the National Geographic's look so great with their bright yellow spines. The skull was picked up on vacation in Mexico.

Long live faux painting! This custom end table in a large faux tortoise pattern is to die for. Beside it, a cozy Avery Boardman sofa in a muted paisley print.

It has been proven time and time again, these designers know how to set a welcoming bar. Lots of trays, including this amazing faux malachite one from Home Goods, are good for grouping things and keeping everything organized and neat. A Jules Cozine abstract painting hangs above the bar area providing a flurry of color.

In the master bedroom, Cunningham used the green and blue colorway of the coordinating Duralee prints they designed to create a cozy enclave, upholstering the walls and using printed bed hangings.  Leontine Linens with a colorful undulating border dress the bed. I happen to have a similar spring green version from Matouk called Mirasol and love it. 

Incorporating coordinating color prints of varying scale and size on the upholstered headboard and bed hangings maintains the flow. The patterns aren't overwhelmingly busy, which is why they suit a bedroom setting. It's the details that make everything work, down to the custom Duralee printed lampshade on a hand-glazed Spitzmiller Garniture Lamp in their bestselling color, Prussian Blue.