In 1853, when William Snodgrass built his three-and-a-half story Federal brick house on Bleecker Street, he was a carts man, making carriages for the people who lived around the corner on Perry and 11th streets. Today’s owners still cater to their neighbors’ urban needs. But their stock-in-trade tends more toward Lucite and mirrored furniture than high-end buggies. Mark Field and Greg Ventra bought the house two years ago, back when it was painted a stunning (if historically incorrect) apple green. They have since opened a design store and decorating consultancy called Venfield on the ground floor; refurbished the brick exterior, under the watchful eye of a landmarks person who climbed up the scaffolding to inspect the color of the mortar; and restored the entire house to its original architectural charm. But not without a dash of what they call “the bling factor”—as seen in this 400-square-foot bedroom, which recalls the Hollywood of Fred Astaire. “What we have is an original West Village carriage house,” Field says. “We could have done it in toile prints and lots of wainscoting detail, but if you stick to strictly period furnishings, it can be a trap.”
“The visual impact of Billy Baldwin and the retro glamour of Dorothy Draper,” says Field.
The idea for recessing the flat-screen TV came from the screens in the Marc Jacobs store across the street.
An original Italian gilt carved headboard, it was mounted on a velvet-covered platform base.
From the forties, they’ve been been reupholstered in Italian ottoman fabric piped in black. Ventra and Field sell similar settees ($5,800 each) at Venfield. Julianne Moore, Liv Tyler, and other celeb-locals like to peruse the store. One recent customer, Danielle Steel, was partial to a baby-pink fox throw.
The Light Fixture
An 1880 alabaster English piece with nickel-plated bronze.
The Fireplace Mantel
Like every restored ﬁreplace in the house, this was salvaged from a townhouse in Harlem. The owners had a carpenter extend the slightly ﬂuted columns to take advantage of the ceiling height, which was raised from eight feet to twelve. (“We found the additional height when we opened the ceiling to install the sound system,” says Ventra.)
The Mirrored Bureaus
Vintage forties American, with ball feet.
The black-and-white photographs are by Christopher Makos, who had a show in the house over Christmas.
The wall paint is by Ralph Lauren and is called Washboard gray. Throughout the house the color scheme is “black, gray, and white with pops of turquoise,” says Ventra, but the bedroom takes on a slightly more restrained tone—i.e., no turquoise.