The Carlton House: Exclusive Luxury on East 61st Street

By Daniel J. Bollinger

The Carlton House, located at 21 East 61st Street, is a wonderful luxury residence. Its location in the Upper East Side makes the Carlton House one of the most distinguished addresses in Manhattan. The building is set along Madison Avenue, which houses some of the most luxurious ateliers and boutiques in New York City and is among the world’s chicest shopping destinations. The proximity to Central Park, Midtown’s Plaza District, and Museum Mile makes The Carlton House an epicenter of culture, fine dining, and entertainment in the city. The first thing you’ll notice about The Carlton House is the lobby. Although it’s the entryway to the building, with a 24-hour doorman and concierge, it’s very warm and personal. The artwork and furniture that adorn the area makes it feel as if you’re in your own home. The Carlton House motif is inspired by two distinct design styles—Art Deco and Modern; and the designers have matched these two wonderfully. The Art Deco design enhances the fireplace, which sits adjacent to a courtyard garden with a beautiful stone fountain. By now, you know that this is not your typical lobby. It’s the first statement by the designers that you’re at one of the most premier luxury buildings in Manhattan. And it only gets better as you enter the actual apartments.

The Carlton House offers 68 luxury residences ranging from two to five bedrooms. I toured a three- and five-bedroom apartment, as well as a half-floor apartment. There are two interior design packages offered, Pearl and Mink. The Pearl is the lighter of the two palettes and Mink is a warmer palette. One construction aspect of all the spaces that is well thought out pertains to the layouts and windows. From a sound perspective, I felt like I was in a country estate far, far away from the bustling city. While Madison Avenue is a busy block, inside the Carlton House you’re free from the outside world and can enjoy your family time in a peaceful, quiet setting unencumbered by outside distractions.

Most of the residences are laid out gallery style with bedrooms on one side of the apartment and common space on the other. I really appreciate these layouts and I love how the Carlton House has an open layout in the common areas. Whether hosting guests in the oversized den or simply enjoying an evening at home with your family, these layouts are both spacious and cozy. The windows allow an ample amount of light in and the kitchen-den-dining layout is sizeable enough for comfort and keeps the whole family together in this openly designed space. One design detail worthy of calling out is the Butternut wood drawers ribboning the cabinets in the Pearl kitchen style. They bring an added sense of warmth to the kitchen, accentuating the white lacquered upper cabinetry and the reverse painted glass backsplashes. You’ll see this on some of the cabinet pulls, as well. Opposite sides of the kitchen cabinetry have different pulls, which is a very subtle, but very nice design detail.

The bathrooms also have some great design elements. The water closets with glass partition doors and the art glass mosaic tile walls and ceilings are immaculate. The water closets’ rain shower is set flush to the ceiling for a seamless design and the drains are not center in the water closet, but offset. The medicine cabinets are works of art. Art Deco themed with multiple panes of reverse painted glass, which are also on bathroom walls and in the kitchen, makes it more artwork than medicine closet. A concealed medicine closet exposes the walnut interiors, which help define the luxury experience you’ll find in the Carlton House bathrooms.

I could go on and on about the foyer and home office in the master bedrooms and the wraparound terrace on the half floor apartments, but I have to tell you about some of the completely unique amenities.

The Carlton House offers all of the basic amenities you’re sure to find in all luxury dwellings in New York City, including bike storage, fitness center, and steam rooms. There are luxury buildings with amazing pools, but the Carlton House’s pool is a salt-water pool. What can be more amazing than that? And the amenities that make the Carlton House truly stand out is its exclusive partnership with Barneys New York, located directly across the street. This partnership offers residents VIP access to Barneys Personal Stylists, access to the Barneys Penthouse Suite for private shopping and events, and invitations to exclusive Barneys private events and designer personal appearances. These are just some of the amenities that no other luxury building offers.