Kelly Behun Just Designed the Most Gorgeous Model Unit and—Yes—You Can Shop It

Anna Fixsen
·2-min read
Photo credit: Nicole Franzen
Photo credit: Nicole Franzen


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If you were asked to describe the work of New York–based interior designer Kelly Behun, the word traditional probably wouldn’t make the list, especially considering that her private residences feature maximalist flourishes like Op Art–inspired furniture and that she once launched a pop-up store called “A Kook Milieu” with Barneys.

So it might come as a surprise that Behun has been paired with neo-traditional doyen Robert A.M. Stern Architects to design the residences, lobby, and amenity spaces of 1228 Madison Avenue, a classical brick-and-limestone tower on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

But in characteristic Behun fashion, she’s putting her own stamp on things. Last week, the ELLE Decor A-List designer launched the “Living Gallery,” a model unit–meets-boutique in one of the building’s sprawling, floor-through residences. Not only can you tour the well-appointed apartment online, but you can also shop nearly all of the objects featured within it, from art curated by Mellyn, Dvorkin & Monrow Art Consultants, to affordable finds from Anthropologie, to Behun’s own collections for Hudson Valley Lighting and the Rug Company. “Even if the style is maybe not precisely yours, the space is animated in a way that gets you excited about being in it and gets the creative juices flowing, like, ‘Oh, I could see myself living here,’ ” Behun says.

Though this is her firm’s first time designing the interiors of a multifamily residence, the Living Gallery is an evolution of a concept she first took for a spin in 2017 at Rafael Viñoly’s sky-high 432 Park Avenue. “I think it’s a little bit of a window into how these spaces come together in a very layered way, with furniture, rugs, window treatments, art, and accessories,” Behun says. “So it’s a really nice comprehensive edit of what’s happening here at the space”—one that we will happily crib style notes from.

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