What Is That in the Bedroom?

New York Observer, January 14, 2015

An all-black bathroom on West 23rd Street was designed to facilitate romantic assignations, but will buyers swoon?

When it comes to value-adding renovations, spa bathrooms, Viking stoves, brass fixtures and soundproofing come to mind. But a stainless steel, comic-book-style slide that spans three floors?

While a new bathroom can add 10 percent to a home’s sale price, it’s probably best if it’s not top-to-bottom black. Walk into Cindy Gallop’s 3,750-square-foot loft at 213 West 23rd Street-converted from what was once the YMCA’s men’s locker room – and you might think you’ve walked into a trendy bar somewhere in Shanghai, which is exactly what Ms. Gallop was going for.

The walls and ceilings are painted in glossy noir with the floors covered in lush black carpeting. Different textures of black, including gravel, were also incorporated throughout.

There are black mosaic tiles, black pebbles and a Limited Edition Gucci Cruiser Bicycle with Gucci leather features, including an oversized messenger bag. Afraid that the $6,300-plus bike might be stolen if the she pedals through Chelsea, Ms. Gallop is content to take short spins through the loft.

On each side of the large open bathroom’s entry are two Lucite Yves St. Laurent sculptures by Sylvie Fleury. The first was purchased for an unbelievable low price at a silent auction (Ms. Gallop was the only bidder). A few years later, when Ms. Gallop reached out to the New York YSL store in need of a recommendation for repairing some of the sculpture’s neon lights, she was gobsmacked to learn that there was another sculpture in the shop’s basement, which the store presented to her as a gift.

The Notorious B.I.G’s “Nasty Girl” music video was shot at this bachelorette pad with guest appearances from the likes of Pharrell, Naomi Campbell and Usher- and the bathroom’s enormous bathtub, which fills from a spigot on the ceiling, has been, at various intervals, filled with celebs, too.

Ms. Gallop told the Observer that she instructed her designers Stefan Boublil and Gina Alvarez of The Apartment creative agency to create “something that looked like a sexy night club.”

“They followed my vision right down to the last detail,” she said. “I loved it from the start.”

A high-powered advertising consultant and founder of the MakeLoveNotPorn movement, who was at one time the chairwoman of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Ms. Gallop is not listing her loft exclusively with Town Residential by Claudia Saez-Fromm and Mark David Fromm for $5.25 million.

“I obviously know my loft is not to everyone’s liking, but I am actually willing to adjust the price to include all the furnishings, which could make a big difference,” added Ms. Gallop.


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