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Interior of the Month // Bunny Mellon’s Beautiful New York Town House

I’ve decided to upgrade the Room of the Month post to Interior of the Month – partly because it’s so hard to just pick one room from a lovely house, and partly because no room really sits on its own in the world. The story of a house is told in how each of its spaces interact with one another and the landscape by which it is surrounded, so it just seems to make more sense to feature a whole interior, rather than just a snippet. And anyway, this means more delicious images to devour – so how could I resist?!

125 E 70th Street : The Mellon House

In 1965, Bunny and Paul Mellon built and decorated this incredible slice of French paradise designed by architect H. Page Cross in the heart of New York. The pair had a formidable sense of style and grace, owning several stunning estates, all of whom continue to exude the most enviable sense of warm and comfortable sophistication. The interiors of their Manhattan townhouse are the result of serious collaboration between several heavy weight designers, including [but not limited to] Paul Leonard, William Strom, John Fowler, Bruce Budd, and Bunny herself. The house is not only architecturally wonderful, but full of the character that years of collected art and furniture bring to a space. It really is a sight to be seen, and when I stumbled across the house via Architectural Digest and Sotherby’s real estate (up for sale for the at once ludicrous and yet absolutely deserved and dignified $43M) I fell into the world of late 20C New York interior design, and to be honest I would rather never retreat… Ahh, if only!

The lower floors of the house face onto a picturesque, north facing courtyard and the gardens which frame the street entry to the south. The upper plan, however, is L shaped, allowing for almost all of the rooms to benefit from calming views onto the generous southeast-facing courtyard garden. The living rooms on this level line themselves up alongside this courtyard in a plan reminiscent of classical French architecture, and provide for a lovely procession through space, all the time bordered by the garden, the sky, and light. What is so wonderful about the house is the great sense of personality given to each room, each with their own rich colour palette and interior scheme which sit comfortably within the French inspired character of the whole.

All images from Southerby’s International Realty

The Street Entry

floor pans

The lower level plans showing street entry and the large northern garden and pool



The house’s French exterior and the north-facing courtyard



The French Provincial kitchen and breakfast room



The library



The library



The upper level plans showing the southeast facing courtyard and the linear living room arrangement



The southeast-facing courtyard sits on top of the lower levels of the house and is enveloped by the L shaped plan of the upper levels



The upper level living rooms align themselves along the edge of the courtyard, bathing each of them in dappled sunshine.



The Gallery



The Dining Room



The Dining Room



The Drawing Room



The Drawing Room



The Master Bedroom



The Guest Room


About the Author:

Our principle designer Poppy is a Masters of Architecture graduate from the University of Newcastle, Australia. She graduated in 2013 with First Class Honours, received the Dean's Medal and was awarded the Australian Institute of Architects NSW Chapter Masters of Architecture Graduate of the Year prize. In 2010, Poppy received the Eric Parker Travelling Scholarship encouraging the research and drawing of architecture.

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