John Douglas Eason

Interior Design by John Douglas Eason

Photos by Jody Kivort

John Douglas Eason Channels Glamorous 1930s Hollywood    

For clients who moved back to the city from the country, John Douglas Eason conjured up the glamour of 1930s Hollywood to create elegant and nuanced interiors. Their former home in Connecticut was filled with bold color, but for their new life in a Central Park West apartment, John toned down the color palette and amped up the opulence, layering luxurious custom wall treatments, sparkling and gilded lighting, and lush fabrics with a lavish hand. 

Entering the foyer, you are awash in glowing Tahitian pearl-gray tones, warmed with touches of gilt. Light glints off mirrors, crystals and the high-gloss ceiling. The 1960s French gilded bronze chandelier from Bernd Goeckler is festooned with crystal plumes and a ring of faceted crystals; Eason devised an ingenious way to magnify the sparkle — the fixture is mounted within a circular niche lined in mosaic mirror panels. An elaborate 1940s statement console of iron with scrolls and flourishes of gilt iron is paired with an antique Maison Jansen verre eglomisé-paneled gilt mirror. John commissioned the decorative paint artisans at Christianson Lee Studios to execute his designs for the wall panels and floors. The wall design is a subtle and small in scale, a tone-on-tone gray herringbone over Venetian plaster, and the floors are stenciled with a large-scale pattern of interlocking rings rendered as faux inlaid mahogany and ebony wood. The design continues into an adjacent hallway, where a series of doors repeat the circle motif from the floor. Created in a team effort by John and client, and inspired by the client’s ebony grand piano, they’re a sophisticated design of high gloss black lacquer with gilt detailing around a centered bronze doorknob.  

Above and below: In the living room, your eye is first drawn to the view of Central Park, which surrounds the room through a bank of double-width windows. Next, the forms of the furnishings are noticed, Deco-inspired pieces with streamlined curves and generous proportions. Only then do you perceive the subtle touches, the walls of Venetian plaster enriched with mica flakes to catch and reflect light, the silky sheen of the rug’s pattern, the silk mohair upholstery casting a veil of luminosity throughout. Rare vintage 1948 crystal and bronze sconces by Jules Leleu for Baccarat are set between the windows; their beaded crystal shades radiate sparkles of light. A tabletop Calder stabile adds a burst of primary color. A pair of Christian Liaigre sofas are placed back-to-back, divided by a piano-black console table created by Eason, and they anchor two seating groups in the long room, creating conversation groups for large parties.  

Deeper, richer tones are employed in the dining room, as befits a space dedicated to evening festivities. A large, glittering Maison Baguès chandelier supplemented with rock crystal lamps on the sideboard illuminates the darker palette. The room is enriched with a glazed linen wallcovering and decorative strié paint treatment with mica flakes for the trim. A large painting depicting a reclining Buddha is rendered in gold accented with mother-of-pearl and gemstones, and was chosen by the husband to reflect his interest in meditation.  

The family room is dedicated to memories of times together, the bookcases and shelves lined with photos of family travels. John designed the cabinetry to maximize storage, with sections between the rows of shelves that pull out for added space. A Greek key motif ties the room together, repeating on the chair backs, rug and cushions. 

The color palette extends into the kitchen, where white cabinetry is offset by a glossy black island with marble top. A platinum leaf tile backsplash and custom range hood, designed by John to complement the ceiling fixture, introduce silvery tones into the sweep of black and white. The Greek key motif is carried over into the window shade. An unusually elegant fixture for a kitchen, the rare vintage 1930s Barovier & Toso’s oval plaforniera from Lorin Marsh is suspended over the kitchen island, where guests converge over drinks and hors d'oeuvres. 

left: A jewel box powder room gleams with mother-of-pearl wallcovering from Maya Romanoff, a grand Venetian etched glass mirror from David Duncan and delicate mirror and crystal drop sconces. The sink is original to the apartment, as is the black marble, and were so beautifully in keeping with the design plan they remained in place. John decided on an unusual black lacquered ceiling treatment to set off the crystal light fixture from David Duncan Ltd, and the effect amplifies the brilliance of the sparkle. right: A dressing table fit for a movie star, of eglomisé, mirror and silver leaf, and scalloped mirror trim details. Above, a glittery crystal bead chandelier is augmented by sconces from Carlos de la Puenta flanking the vanity mirror. The vanity chair is a custom piece from Dragonette Limited, finished in silver leaf. 

Above and below: The master bedroom is a celebration of luxury, distilled to its essence. Furniture forms are elegant and sleek in ebony, the bed frame is ebony with ivory accents, and luxe fabrics impart their luminous sheen. An expanse of custom closets and cabinets is rendered in glossy white lacquer accented by silver trim and hardware. The ceiling light is a vintage piece from Bernd Goeckler, with a design of crystal feathers and a band of gem-like cut crystals.  

White shag carpet with silver strands, a glossy pale gray ceiling to bounce light around the room, and hand-painted damask wallpaper — an elegantly feminine foundation for the girl’s bedroom. A delicate chandelier with crystal chains and prisms, with smoked glass bobeche, and a pair of lamps with stacked crystal balls provide additional lighting in an already luminous room. Windows are framed by Swarovski crystal beaded curtains behind shimmery sheer panels. The headboard, window seat cushion and dressing table chair are upholstered in ice blue velvet, and the bed and nightstands are suitably glamorous, with mirrored panels. No girl’s bedroom is complete without romantic touches, and they are here indeed, in the most charming fashion: a window seat for daydreaming and a dressing table with pretty fluted detailing.

A super-cool boy’s bedroom filled with special features to encourage an active imagination and creative play! Sleek stainless steel and glossy white finishes create a masculine, contemporary feel, a boldly geometric patterned carpet animates the space. The rolling door and pull-down shade convert the desk and closet area to a secret “spy room,” and the ladder leads up to a loft for lounging and shenanigans. A remote-controlled Zoom-Room rollaway bed is hidden away in the bottom of the bookcase, and the room is filled with concealed cubbies for stashing “stuff.”