Atlanta philanthropist Susan Been and designer Bob Brown create a luxurious escape in Manhattan

This home, part of the Baccarat Hotel and Residences, is all about magnificent views and a central location for exploring the city

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Atlanta philanthropist Susan Been and designer Bob Brown create a luxurious escape in Manhattan
Floor-to-ceiling windows offer magnificent views of iconic New York landmarks, so designer Bob Brown and homeowner Susan Been kept furniture neutral. “We did push it up one notch by using an animal-print rug, but it reads more as a neutral pattern,” says Bob. “Everything here is all about the views.”

Photograph by Christopher James Photography

From her home near the top of Manhattan’s Baccarat building, Susan Been can look out onto Central Park, the Museum of Modern Art, and the shops of Fifth Avenue. The New York pied-a-terre she bought as a getaway from Atlanta is all about magnificent views and a central location for exploring the city. “I love that New York is a walking town, whereas Atlanta isn’t really like that,” says Susan. “I warn people when they visit that we’re going to be walking everywhere.”

Atlanta philanthropist Susan Been and designer Bob Brown create a luxurious escape in Manhattan
A daybed anchors one side of the living room. Atlanta artist Todd Murphy, who passed away last year, installed his metaphorical ballgown painting himself.

Photograph by Christopher James Photography

Hotel home base Her three-bedroom home is part of the Baccarat Hotel and Residences (homeowners have a separate entrance from the public lobby), which means Susan and guests can take advantage of hotel amenities such as a pool, fitness center, and spa.

Atlanta philanthropist Susan Been and designer Bob Brown create a luxurious escape in Manhattan
Another seating area includes art from Pryor Fine Art and pops of Susan’s beloved red.

Photograph by Christopher James Photography

Design decisions The high-rise came move-in ready with a swanky SieMatic kitchen and marble master bath already in place, so Susan called in longtime designer friend Bob Brown to furnish it in her style—which Bob knows well since they’ve worked together on some 20 homes. Letting the floor-to-ceiling windows be the focal points, the designer (begrudgingly) abandoned lush draperies and installed shades that are mostly unused except in the bedrooms. Whereas Susan’s Atlanta house is saturated with color, “our strategy here was to keep the upholstery neutral and let the view and accessories be the color,” Bob says. Susan’s striking art collection includes pieces by Atlanta artists Steve Penley and Todd Murphy, as well as several paintings and a sculpture from Pryor Fine Art on Miami Circle. A painting by Robert Mars of the glamorous Grace Kelly is a focal point in the living room.

Atlanta philanthropist Susan Been and designer Bob Brown create a luxurious escape in Manhattan
A floating marble vanity distinguishes the master bath.

Photograph by Christopher James Photography

Adding the sparkle Other than walking the city’s neighborhoods and visiting fashion houses like Prada, Susan’s favorite thing to do here is to sit in the living room, taking in the shimmering lights of Manhattan at night. She played off the elegant crystal chandeliers of the Baccarat Hotel by upgrading her own crystal collection, filling her bar cart and glass-front kitchen cabinets with stemware by the famous French artisans.

Atlanta philanthropist Susan Been and designer Bob Brown create a luxurious escape in Manhattan
Touches of gold and red in the master bedroom continue a color palette elsewhere in the high-rise.

Photograph by Christopher James Photography

City life Bob arranged the furniture to fit a Manhattan lifestyle. “The dining table is more of a library table, for books and art, rather than a place to eat meals,” the designer says. “Just like the kitchen is set up more like a bar rather than for cooking because when you live in New York, it’s all about dining out.”

RESOURCES | Robert Brown Interior Design, robertbrowninteriordesign.com | Pryor Fine Art, pryorfineart.com

This article appears in our Spring 2021 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

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