If you haven’t heard about what promises to be downtown’s most desirable residential address, you can read all about the plans for The Paramount and its founder, Tony Giarratana here. While we are always excited to see what the visionary has planned next, in this case we have a pretty good idea of exactly what to expect based on the incredible living space that serves as a second home to Giarratana and his wife at the top of the 505.
Their penthouse unit is not only a dramatic urban retreat for the couple, but also serves as a model for units in The Paramount. Creating this spectacular residence was a labor of love not only for the couple, but for the interior designer leading the charge, Frank Ponterio. Hailing from Chicago, the multi-talented Ponterio is opening a satellite office in Nashville in just a few weeks, where his services will be available to savvy, stylish homeowners and buyers throughout the city and beyond. He’s not only been creating ideal environments for clients since 1994, but his designs have won multiple awards as well as extensive features in publications like Architectural Digest, House Beautiful and Elle Décor, among others. His approach and talent are evident on so many projects in his portfolio, and that certainly includes this castle in the sky on Church Street.
In talking with Ponterio about the concept, it’s evident that he’s passionate about top-tier design in general, but also very focused on serving individual clients. In this case, the goal was to curate an environment that reflected the style of its owners by bridging their desire for a slick, urban feel that was also populated by things that they love. He explains that the concept wasn’t just to create a modern living space and ideal model, but one that felt like “their” place, referring to the owners.
At first, you might not pick up on all of the specific details incorporated into the design as the sweeping city views from all sides are jaw-dropping, but upon further inspection, specific elements make what could be just a vast, cold space feel intimate in ways you wouldn’t expect from such an expansive layout. “At the beginning, the space was completely raw,” he tells us. The major impact of the volume of open space and how to create intimate spaces throughout was achieved by using an approach based on scale. This applied to every element, from light fixtures to furnishings.” He also had the challenge of ensuring that the home was perfectly suited for entertaining large groups on a regular basis. He achieved this by working with local craftsmen and suppliers to carefully plan for both form and function.
These are things Ponterio knows quite a bit about, as he’s also been heavily involved on collaborating with multiple well-known furniture and interior element brands such as Arteriors to create inventive collections favored by other designers and interiors enthusiasts. There’s no doubt that his talents will be welcomed by Nashvillians as he opens his local offices in June. We can’t wait to see what he does next.
Design Details We Love
In the foyer, he softened the area by bringing smaller feel to the entryway by covering the walls with a warm fabric, which also helps in buffering any noise that might be in the outside hallway. It’s instantly soothing and welcoming. Similar approaches were taken in the home office space where leather wrapping on the desk and dark colors contrast what is otherwise a very light toned home.
For maximum comfort and pampering, the floors are heated, and the cube-design shower is outfitted with a spa-quality steam shower along with a sunken tub. The guest powder room by contrast is full of personality, bringing instant joy to visitors.
The vast island that serves as a kitchen workspace also doubles as a place to have an impressive buffet set up for parties. It also includes a galley sink that allows two people to work at the same time as well as extra counter space (lip) for when chefs are brought in for meal preparation. Sleek, modern appliances were carefully placed at the end, also for easy access for those working behind the island during events. Another impressive feature is the built-in bar cabinet at the end of the island, a genius use of what could be wasted space.
While it’s easy to see how the space is the ultimate model home when it comes to interiors, Ponterio also made sure that it felt personal to the owners. Beautiful family photos of sailing and horseback excursions set on aluminum pepper the walls and items such as a 200-year old farm table perfectly reflect the warmth of the owners.
We also love the multiple seating areas and flush built-ins for media, books, and collectibles. Ponterio managed to bring a truly ‘private’ feel to spaces in a vast, soaring room by creating little conversation areas throughout with scaled furnishings rather than a big, central space with huge pieces. Comfortable, upholstered chairs in a corner overlooking the river view are in fact, the owner’s favorite little retreat on the main floor.
The use of glass on the staircase defines that what is above is a private space (it leads to the bedrooms and office) without cutting it off from the main living area, adding to the open, welcoming feel.