It’s been decades since Ina Garten swapped her White House post for a relaxed East Hampton lifestyle, but her recent Upper East Side apartment purchase will give her another taste of city life. The Barefoot Contessa, a Brooklyn native, is returning to her New York roots.
The former government analyst-turned Food Network celebrity chef just laid down $4.65 million for a two-bedroom, three-bathroom home with her husband Jeffrey, a Yale University dean emeritus. The couple will take over the property from Nancy Novogrod, former editor-in-chief of both Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast’s House & Garden magazines.
Garten’s new 2,450-square-foot pied-à-terre sits in the Philip House on Park Avenue, one of the Upper East Side’s most coveted residential neighborhoods. The pre-war, co-op style apartment emphasizes the bespoke: with mobile-programmed lighting, controllable heated floors, and custom décor throughout.
The living room first welcomes residents into an open space with 10-foot ceilings and gracious natural light, reminiscent of summery-Hamptons vibes. But beige velvet upholstery and a wood-burning fireplace lined with unique stones create a cozy ambiance for winter.
What may have first enticed Garten to the apartment is the listing that claims, “perfect for an enthusiastic cook.” The newly-renovated kitchen boasts no shortage of high-end appliances: Kohler sinks, Dornbracht-polished nickel faucets, E.R. Butler & Co. hardware, a Miele dishwasher, and a sub-zero stainless steel refrigerator. Custom oak and white lacquer cabinets are paired with Belgian bluestone countertops and marble backsplashes.
Besides the kitchen, perhaps the most vibrant part of the home is the dining gallery, painted a color of beachy coral. A glass drop chandelier lights the room for guests to enjoy their home cooked meals.
The home’s second fireplace sits in the corner library, which is lined with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves perfect for Garten’s extensive cookbook collection.
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Yet a third fireplace is shared between the master and second bedrooms, both of which are crowned with coffered ceilings, and custom millwork and molding.
The en-suite bathrooms are all outfitted with mosaic shower walls, marble countertops, and custom vanities. Most impressively, the limestone floors can be heat controlled.
At the top of the Philip House, a rooftop terrace landscaped by HM White features a club room with a wet bar. The building provides an advanced fitness center and game room for entertainment, as well.
The apartment listing also mentions its proximity to the area’s best casual and formal dining restaurants – just in case the culinary couple ever want a break.
After retiring from her government duties in the late ’70s, Garten moved to the Hamptons to open a gourmet food shop. Most recently, she built “The Barn” across from her East Hamptons estate, where she houses a test kitchen, holds meetings, hosts crew members, and stores her massive cookbook library. Her tenth and latest book, Cooking for Jeffrey, will come out this October.