A Laurel Canyon Home in Manhattan

A native of Los Angeles, Dr. Kat Cohen has transformed her Turtle Bay home in New York into a reminder of the California she left behind.

“It’s like a cool Laurel Canyon house,” she says.

The townhouse on East 51st Street was renovated in the mid 1950s by architect Jan Hird Pokorny Architects, with all the style and flourishes of that period.

“It’s one of the original, very few mid-century modern residences in the city,” she says. “Every inch of the home was designed perfectly – it’s lasted this long because it’s so well utilized, with no wasted space.”

Pokorny raised the ceilings and flooded its 3,500 square feet with natural light, then opened up a view to its garden planted with trees and wisteria, whose purple petals bloom, then cover the ground in late spring.

“It’s just glorious – people come over and say they’ve never been in a house like this,” she says.

Working with interior designer Penny Drue Baird, Cohen – CEO of IvyWise, an international educational consulting firm – scoured the globe for the art and furnishings inside the home.

“I go to museums and galleries when I’m ¬†visiting cities around the world,” she says. “I’d call my style eclectic, but it’s still a mid-century modern feel with more contemporary art.”

Among the artists she favors are painters Eric White in New York and Alison Van Pelt in Los Angeles, along with photographer David Drebin.

So what if it lacks some of the modern conveniences, like central air? It’s got the right feel for Cohen.

“I feel like I’m touching base with my Laurel Canyon roots,” she says.

And you can’t do that just anywhere in Manhattan.

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Photos courtesy of onefinestay