Kelly Behun’s Living Gallery Welcomes an Audience for Good Vibrations
The New York–based interior designer gives visitors a shoppable online experience at Robert A.M. Stern's 1228 Madison Avenue.
At 1228 Madison Avenue, a facade steeped in classical tradition envelopes more than 10 private full-floor homes and one duplex penthouse. Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the boutique-scale residence cements itself as an architectural gem on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and serves as a backdrop to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. It’s also the new home for interior designer Kelly Behun’s Living Gallery.
The full-floor, four-bedroom residence is Behun’s second iteration of her Living Gallery concept and features an amalgamation of artwork and furnishings consummated with a few of her own DIY embellishments. “It’s always a great surprise when you walk into a space and immediately get a sense of the person who lives there from those unexpected touches,” says Behun.
Visitors are invited through a greige, shot-sawn limestone and weathered brick entryway into a foyer saturated with warm tones, oversized shapes, and soft geometric patterns. This material fusion allows for physical and visual pause—a moment of respite and shift in scale from urban to human.
Resolve is found in Behun’s unique interior designs. An enfilade of cascading pastels, classical space-making, and rooms trimmed with eclectic decor speaks of a space apt for meaningful living. “From the chevron wood floors and creamy marbles to the burnished nickel hardware we designed with P.E. Guerin, the residence exudes an inviting vibe immediately that carries through each room,” she continues.
The range of custom, collectible, and off-the-shelf furnishings are sourced from designers including Wendell Castle, DLV Designs, and Casey McCafferty, and from manufacturers such as Herman Miller and Gucci Décor. There are also ceramic accents by John Born of Humble Matter, Paul S. Briggs, and Sunshine Thacker, and selections from the galleries of Dobrinka Salzman and Kristina Riska from Hostler Burrows.
In partnership with Mellyn, Dvorkin & Monrow Art Consultants (MDM), Behun also curated a range of work from blue-chip to emerging artists that engage the interiors. “The large Dashiell Manley triptych that anchors the Great Room, in particular, is mesmerizing in its gestures, movements, and color palette,” says Behun. Works from Ricci Albenda, Ellsworth Kelly, Ken Price, Anish Kapoor, Mary Obering, and Rob Wynne also grace the walls.
Inquiries for art and quick access to furnishings, many of which are sold exclusively through the designer’s website, are made possible with a robust e-commerce interface teasing at the artists, creatives, and designers that inspired Behun. “By sharing these resources, and providing a direct link to them to start your own conversation, you begin to see the relationship between the layers and how they work together to create an aesthetic whole,” she says. The Living Gallery offers an experience that allows customers to connect with the spirit of the building.
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