Stylizing the Upper East Side

Setting the stage for a surprising mix of traditional yet totally cool

For the brief time we lived in Manhattan, I was a proud Westsider — I didn’t really have a reason to cross 5th Ave. very often, and was quite content scooting down to the West Village/Meatpacking District or up to the Upper West Side from our Hell’s Kitchen abode. But something about these Upper East Side “homes” makes me think perhaps they are much more hip over the park than I had originally assumed….hmmm….

Christina Tonkin

[ such a lush combo of exotic textures, modernized with a Lucite Bourgie lamp ]

Christina Tonkin

[ love the mix of Marilyn Minter edgy art + feminine wallpaper + mid-century simplicity ]

Christina Tonkin

[ I’ve had my eye on that acrylic Chloe chair for a while now, and with the deco desk
and contemporary art piece on a yellow wall, it’s all just gorg! ]

Christina Tonkin

[ Pretty, right? ]

Christina Tonkin

[ Apparently this piece by artist Paul Villinski was made of
crushed beer cans he collected off the streets of New York…how gritty. ]

Christina Tonkin

[ Of course I want the chair in the foreground! But mixed with that sofa,
nouveau wallpaper and modern console, it’s heavenly. ]

Christina Tonkin

[ 1960’s mod lounge chair, check; geometric form screen, check;
tufted headboard and ornate wallpaper, check check. ]

Christina Tonkin

[ Simple chic, and you can’t go wrong with an Audrey print. ]

Christina Tonkin

[ The silver-leaf wall treatment, salmon silk bedding, and brass tables
are what I’m digging about this space. ]

Christina Tonkin

[ Single-button tufted upholstered Ghost chairs? I die. ]

Christina Tonkin

[ Abstract paintings make any space look hip, no matter how traditional that space may be. ]

Christina Tonkin

[ Cherner armchairs with fancy chandelier and avant-garde photograph = so up my alley! ]

Christina Tonkin

[ The Tucker Robbins red wire side table is just the right amount of pop. ]

 Christina Tonkin

[ The power of art: I can’t get over how much this Richard Phillips piece does for this space. ]

Okay so by NOW you have probably realized that these “homes” are actually sets by Christina Tonkin for Gossip Girl.  She has quite a talent for combining sophisticated furnishings, luxurious textures, rich hues, and modern touches, don’t you think? Here are a few more, technically not “UES”:

Christina Tonkin

[ this has New York written all over it with the old-style glass and new-style chairs ]

Christina Tonkin

[ I’m a fan a good piece of bold contemporary art in any space, really ]

Christina Tonkin

[ love how the feminine curves and color look so at home in an industrial loft space ]  

I’ve actually only been watching the show since last season, but I had always heard that everyone watches it for the fashion. I seem to be more drawn to the sets — that Van der Woodsen living room is one of my all-time favorite spaces!

And can we talk about last night’s and last week’s episodes? Very disappointed in the Dan/Blair brush-off. You? 

...xoxo

Set design by Christina Tonkin
Erika Brechtel

Erika Brechtel

Creative Director

Desiring an online space to explore well-rounded, inspired content in all topics she loves most, Erika created 'The E List' (formerly the Small Shop blog) in 2010. When not enjoying an “occasional" glass of wine and wanderlusting for even warmer climates, Erika can be found sharing laughs with friends and family, and trying her very best to keep up with her 6-year old daughter (yet failing miserably).

13 Comments
  1. I lived on the UES after college and it can be very stuffy I will say! Alot of great food and shopping tho too.

    I never really got a good look at the Van der Woodsen dining room before until now and I really like it!

    1. Ha ha I kid, really. I love all of Manhattan and wish we still lived there! Although on a day like today, I’m happy to be in So Cal.

      Yes I thought cropping the photos a little differently than Christina Tonkin had on her site may give a different perspective of her work!

  2. I absolutely LOVE her work! And Gossip Girl, but I haven’t seen the last couple episodes. I can’t get over how much we have in common! Every day I read your blog and just love it 🙂 Thanks for sharing everything that you do! Can’twait to hopefully work together in the future!

  3. Don’t watch Gossip Girl, but those are some cool spaces – obvs love Marilyn Minter and the butterfly art installation – great post!
    -e (modern24seven.blogspot.com)

  4. I’m always staring at the interiors on Gossip Girl! Love that you gathered it all in one place. I taped last night’s episode, which I will enjoy with a large glass of wine tonight!

  5. Love the Van der Woodsen living room !! And the first two rooms are amazing as well! Love gossip girl…havent watched last nights episode yet, have it recorded !

    xxLily
    goldandgray.com

  6. These Upper East Side apartments are certainly beautiful! We fell in love with the exposed brick and industrial factory windows in the last few images. There’s just something very glamorous about the UES, and there always has been.