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Tour This Colorful West Village Town House

Tour This Colorful West Village Town House


Seven years ago, when Grace Fuller, then a jewelry editor at Vogue, met Diego Marroquin, the Mexican American financier and art collector lived in a SoHo loft that, he offers with a self-deprecating laugh, “Grace would categorically describe as a bachelor pad.” There he paired a 1980s Joe D’Urso rolling table with the original Knoll sofa that had been created to exhibit alongside it. Marc Newson chairs surrounded a Martin Szekely dining table, joined by Maarten Van Severen bookshelves and a Kuramata feather stool. “It had a very distinct postmodern design aesthetic,” Marroquin notes. “But it wasn’t a family home.”

Nicolas Party plates surmount a Franke sink in the kitchen; LaCanche range, Paul Arnhold Glass vase, G. Lorenzi knives. 

Noe DeWitt

Fast-forward a few years, and the newlyweds were expecting their first child. Fuller Marroquin was starting a career as a landscape designer, and she wanted outdoor space and a stroller-friendly neighborhood. One night before going to bed, Marroquin shared a listing for a 19th-century West Village town house—and “as soon as I stepped out on the rooftop, I knew it was home,” she says. It had been fully renovated a decade or so prior in such an indistinct way that the couple haven’t been able to pinpoint whose hand was behind it. All the better to make it a home for their growing family. They moved in three months before welcoming their daughter Gloria, who is now two.

A designer who could blend Fuller Marroquin’s old-world aesthetic with her husband’s more modern one was crucial. One evening while having dinner at a friend’s parlor-floor Chelsea abode, it hit them: She was exactly the person they needed. Though a fine-art photographer by profession, Leonora Hamill had a passion for interiors. Says Marroquin: “We were so charmed by the way that she and her husband live.” They weren’t the only ones. “People would come to dinner and then ask if I would help with their interiors,” Hamill relays with amusement of how her design practice came to be. “I joke with Leonora that we’re her worst clients because we give a damn,” Fuller Marroquin explains. “We are so involved in the whole process.” Hamill confirms that everything “down to the piping had to be approved.” But, she adds, “we were really on the same page.”

Grace Fuller Marroquin, with daughters Gloria and Flora, at their West Village town house. More than 50 plant varieties fill the beds, with an emphasis on New York species. 

Noe DeWitt

Another view of the sitting room, where a nautilus shell, a Carl Auböck brass foot, and a Mexican black clay heart adorn a Martin Szekely cocktail table.

Noe DeWitt, © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved / DACS, London / ARS, NY 2021

Marroquin’s collection of iconic late-20th-century furnishings was carefully curated. “Some of it was an acquired taste,” Fuller Marroquin candidly admits, “and some was just not my taste.” Pieces that fell into the latter category were shipped off to storage or sold at auction. Thankfully, Marroquin is more receptive to his wife’s opinions than the sentiments expressed on the Richard Prince painting currently hanging in their entry hall, which cheekily states: “Five years ago my wife ordered me to quit smoking and boozing.” “Did it work?” “I don’t know. I haven’t seen her in five years.” Of the curatorial process, he says, “buying art is one part of it, knowing how to live with it is another.”

Hamill’s personal fabric library served as a jumping off point to weave it all together. “She has an incredible expertise in textiles,” says Fuller Marroquin. “We found so much commonality in our love for prints and embroideries.” The two women selected a rich mélange of florals, paisleys, and rare antique specimens, masterfully mixing it all with more contemporary pieces. In the living room, Damien Hirst butterfly works levitate over sofas upholstered in Braquenié’s Le Grand Corail, with a cherry-red Martin Szekely cocktail table holding court in the center of it all. It is flanked by two midcentury chairs that were initially a minor sore point between the couple, but after Hamill had them recovered in a saffron velvet with chocolate piping, “they work,” the designer says. “They’re kind of ugly-beautiful.”

A Cowtan & Tout fabric dresses the headboard, valance, and curtains in the Marroquins’ bedroom; Design Frères nightstand, Stark rug.

Noe DeWitt

In the girls’ bedroom, a Grange daybed is upholstered in an Etro fabric; Damien Hirst artwork, Afghan carpet.

Noe DeWitt, © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved / DACS, London / ARS, NY 2021

Hamill introduced the couple to Lisa Corti’s hand-printed textiles, but they happened upon other pieces serendipitously. Fuller Marroquin cops to “a crazy growing collection” of tabletop items, as evidenced in 300 pieces of 19th-century Gien dinnerware—complete with a fortuitous GM monogram—scored at the Marché aux Puces in Paris. Notes her husband, in a tone of amused disbelief, “They arrived by truck on a crate that had to be opened on the street because it couldn’t fit in the door.” Excess aside, the couple prefers to host gatherings that have a more intimate scale, calling their dinners “casual in essence.” The dining area next to the open kitchen lends itself to a certain informality, but when the weather is mild, they swing open the doors to the terrace.

Upstairs, the trio took extra care with the sleeping quarters. In the children’s bedroom (Gloria was joined by sister Flora last summer), another Hirst butterfly work, a wedding gift from the artist, hangs over a rattan bed. The primary bedroom is dressed in a leopard chintz, from bed frame to curtains, and the elegant Jacques Quinet desk, a Mother’s Day gift, is paired with a Maarten Baas chair that almost looks like it was sculpted out of play dough. “It is perfectly positioned because there’s such beautiful foliage outside that window,” says Fuller Marroquin.

Her favorite room, though, is the lush rooftop. “I have loaded it up for such a small planting area, but it’s my testing ground,” she says, adding that she’s juggling projects in New York, Connecticut, and Mexico. It’s an intoxicating paradise of New York natives, from crested iris to grass of Parnassus. Flora is still too young to do any digging, but Gloria wields her own shovel and has made friends with the bees, butterflies, and a family of doves who’ve become frequent visitors. “We obviously love butterflies in our house,” Fuller Marroquin says, nodding to the plethora of Hirsts. “Diego and I came into this marriage with our very different styles. In the beginning, it’s safe to say, they clashed, but now there’s a peace that we’ve created amongst this opposing force. It’s really both our energies in every room.”



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