At 62 West 12th Street stands a red-brick, rather modest looking townhouse. It’s neither spectacularly tall, nor is it spectacularly wide — five stories and 20 feet, for anyone concerned with exacts.
It is however, owned by Robert Duffy, the co-founder and longtime president of Marc Jacobs, meaning it’s almost certain to be, well… spectacular.
The townhouse, built in 1901, is on the market for $17 million. Update: The house is now asking $15 million.
Walk in and you’re immediately greeted with a glossy lilac lobby. Ahead is a dark, narrow staircase – a deceptive reflection of the rest of the light-filled home if ever there was one – and a door with a small, framed Picasso hung on it. Behind the door – and the Picasso – is a tucked-away elevator.
On the right is the formal parlor, where the lacquered walls continue — this time in a shade of light blue. The space is large and bright, with a huge rug that fills the room, hiding the wooden floors. Above, a delicate crystal chandelier hangs from the ceiling.
The furniture is mismatched but works together none the less – he didn’t preside over one of the world’s biggest fashion houses for nothing. And an impressive selection of art lines the walls, each piece in a golden frame more lavish than the last, lit gallery-style. A hidden door, perfectly camouflaged into the interior wall is only noticeable thanks to its minuscule latch, opens to reveal storage and a bathroom.
Slide apart the ceiling-high, pocket-doors and you’ll reveal the balcony dining room, which overlooks the home’s informal living area. Both spaces are framed by an impressive 18-foot-high wall of windows, which revels a charming garden, complete with swing-set.
Down in the living room is an elaborately carved-wood-and-marble fireplace. It looks as if it could be original, but, in fact, during renovations Duffy replaced the previous owners’ modern fireplace with one more fitting of the house’s history. This theme continues throughout the home. Duffy’s renovations, explain Douglas Elliman broker Frank Arends, who shares the listing with Daniela Zakarya, brought the home into a condition closer to what the original would have been, but with a modern spin.
Arends – who sold Duffy the townhouse in 2012 – went on to explain that Duffy’s eye for design and detail, “preserves and enhances the original character of the house.”
Past the living room is the kitchen space, which is homey and functional. The only staging the brokers did was in this room, where they took down a slew of Duffy’s daughter’s artwork from around the booth.
Head up to the third floor and you’ll find what’s dubbed “the master floor.” It holds the master bedroom and bathroom along with a dressing room, terrace, guest bedroom and bath. The master bedroom is decked out in dark wooden panelling, and the walls are lined with floor-to-ceiling bookcases full of art, fashion and design titles.
Up on the highest floor are two more bedrooms, one of which is Duffy’s daughter’s room. The small room next to it, which would have been turned into a closet by any other New Yorker, holds a huge doll’s house. The floor’s other bedroom is shared by the nanny and Duffy’s new baby.
“I love this house like no other I have lived in.” Duffy told LLNYC in an email. “When I moved in it was just me, my daughter, and our dog. Since then I have added a new husband, a baby boy and two big dogs. My daughter and I felt it was time to find a bigger house.”