Consummate tech guru David Rosenblatt famously ushered digital marketing website DoubleClick to a record-setting $3.1 billion sale to Google before being recruited by online antiques platform 1stdibs. For the interiors of his sprawling penthouse perched atop the luxe Lucida building on the Upper East Side, Rosenblatt enlisted the design prowess of Russell Groves and, of course, 1stdibs.
Were you always interested in design? Yes, as a general concept. But the expression of that interest has taken several forms as my career has progressed. Around 2012, two things happened: I was introduced to 1stdibs, and at the same time my wife and I bought two apartments, combined them, did a gut renovation and furnished our new home.
Sounds like an extensive design project! We knocked down the walls in between the apartments, eliminated one of the kitchens, took out the ceiling (which was very complex because there was a 3-inch slab of concrete between them) and we put the stairs in.
How is this massive space organized? Each of the four corners of the apartment represents a different type of living.
That sounds like a very modern concept. Downstairs we have a public living and dining room adjacent to the outdoor area and on the other side we have a family area with a casual dining space, study and playroom. Upstairs is the domestic area. One side is the kids’ space, and what we tried to create there was a dorm-like feel. On the other our space, which includes my office. I love seeing west and south out my windows.
Which areas feature the most pieces from 1stdibs, or is it all a mix? Most things in the public area are 1stdibs. The dining room table was custom-made, but the chairs are from one of our top dealers, Donzella. We also have furniture from Lobel Modern and lighting from Dual.
What about the art ? We have a Mark Shaw 1962 Carnival Cruise lines ad and a remarkable commissioned piece by Robert Greene that is small strips of paper inked and overlaid. One important focal point is our staircase, where we have sculptures by Hervé Van Der Straeten (bought through 1stdibs dealer Maison Gerard) and a custom chandelier designed by Russell Groves.
What do you love about living in this part of the Upper East Side? We’re at a busy intersection right on top of the subway and everything that we need, from my kids’ school all the way down to toothpaste, is within two or three blocks. I love being able to spend time in an aerie like this and feel as if you’re living in a cloud with fantastic views of midtown Manhattan. Then in just 30 seconds you can be in crazy, loud, crowded New York.
Do you use Central Park? Yes, I walk my beagle Roxy across 85th Street, up into the park and then down again. There’s nothing more grounding for me than walking my dog at night and seeing the skyline of Midtown Manhattan. Beyond that I have to say that my life is 100 percent spent with my kids and is just a blur of school drop off, sports, and kids’ activities!
What was it about 1stdibs that sparked your interest and belief you could add value? Because we have critical mass both on the designer side and on the buyer side, we’re really the only resource for the types of product that we market. It brought everything from the Paris flea market to La Cienega in L.A to one’s desktop at any time of day. That resonated with me.