Certain architectural styles define the essence of New York City, such as Art Deco, Italianate, Post-Modern, Deconstructivism, Beaux-Arts, and Gothic Revival. Our five boroughs: Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island are a melting pot of cultures, and this diversity is reflected in how homes are built, designed, and updated by their owners.
Musician, painter, and contractor Tony Jarvis has typically met his clients during downtown gigs. He painted, for instance, the Great Jones Street loft of Robert Becker, the arts editor at Interview magazine in the ’80s, as well as the apartment of Simon Hammerstein, founder of Lower East Side club the Box (Jarvis played there five nights a week for two years when it first opened). And twice Jarvis has used more than a dozen shades of purple to paint a client’s Central Park South home. Sleep No More producer Arthur Karpati — whose home Jarvis painted with a variety of blues and grays — says he is “especially good at making colors work with each other.” Satu and Celeste Greenberg, the sibling owners of Tuleste Factory, say Jarvis is “our first recommendation when anyone needs interior or exterior painting or finish work. When he did our gallery space, he recommended painting our floors with an outdoor black paint instead of a traditional gallery white, and it transformed our sad, worn hardwood floors entirely.” A fringe benefit, his clients say, is that Jarvis can double as a contractor if you need some custom millwork done, kitchen tiles installed, or a wall taken down. “We recently referred Tony for a project in Tribeca [that entailed] some beautiful wall treatments with textured paint, plus finishing work on closets and installing a fairly complicated Lutron lighting system,” Satu Greenberg says (from $1,500 per room, which includes materials).
Mark Uriu originally trained as a fine artist, and it shows: He specializes in the specific, from faux finishes (trompe l’oeil, faux marble) and gilding to distressed wall finishes. He was also recommended five times over — Spencer Bailey and Andrew Zuckerman, the co-founders of the Slowdown, describe him as “the go-to in certain high-end architect circles,” and architect Stephanie Goto, who has designed spaces for the Calder Foundation and Hauser & Wirth, says, “He is one of these people we never speak about but is integral to our practice.” Writer Zibby Owens told us Uriu painted her childhood bedroom in a light-blue sponge design she was so obsessed with that years later, she hired him to paint her entire Upper East Side apartment. When they got to her kitchen, she handed him and his partner a spatterware place mat as inspiration. “They used a little brush to painstakingly mimic splatter paint,” she says. “My kids and I sat around and watched — it was like watching Jackson Pollock.”
When it comes to applying a fresh coat of paint to your home, historic brownstone homes may have different considerations than a modern apartment or townhouse. More so, brick, vinyl, and siding all react differently to the extremes of New York City weather, meaning you’ll need high-quality exterior paint to withstand whatever Mother Nature throws our way.