Founder of the New York cooking school Haven’s Kitchen and mother to five children, Alison Cayne could be described as an ultimate working mom. After deciding to move closer to her downtown school, she purchased this West Village townhouse that has five stories, with original turn-of-the-century details, and a garden.
In the living area, a pair of gold-mustard velvet George Smith sofas and a chandelier found at Clignancourt flea market in Paris.
An Ellsworth Kelly drawing of black leaves hangs next to the window.
A friend found the glass nesting tables in Paris.
In the dining room, a black line drawing by Alberto Giacometti and a large white Robert Ryman piece.
For dinner parties, Alison simply brings out “a vat of ice” at the bar and lets her guests make their own cocktails.
In the kitchen, a black Lacanche stove and Sub-zero glass door refrigerator.
“My impression of the kitchen was always the hearth, the happy place, the yummy smells, where friends and family gather.”
Frequent dinner parties and five children, plates are “always breaking, chipping, peeling. But that’s what makes it fun.”
Cayne prefers her office to be, like the rest of her home, a light and airy space that is clutter-free.
A pair of mod slipper chairs and a Moroccan rug give softness to the light-filled office, and Chuck Close portrait of Jasper Johns, right.
Layers of luxurious textures and black walls, Alison sought to only please herself with the decor, “I’d been married since I was 22. I’d liked making joint decisions in the past, but the idea of completely choosing everything and not running it by anyone felt like a treat. I realized I could paint my bedroom black if I wanted to!”
“This house is sleepover central, everyone’s running around. But when my door is closed, everyone’s clear that it’s my time.”
Photographs of friends and a three-dimensional artwork by her daughter sit on the vanity.
Clayne chose the freestanding claw-foot tub because “it felt romantic.”
One of my favorite elements is white tile, black grout and brass fixtures.