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Commercial Interior Design Project Highlight: Morgenthal Frederics

Morgenthal Fredericks designed by Liz Curry Studio

In the bustling heart of New York City, at 944 Madison Avenue, lies a luxury optical store that

has recently undergone a stunning transformation. Morgenthal Frederics, renowned for its

sophisticated eyewear and clientele, has completed a minor renovation aimed at modernizing its

interior while preserving the traditional style cherished by generations of customers. This article

delves into the details of this commercial interior design project, highlighting the thoughtful

upgrades that blend contemporary aesthetics with timeless elegance.

Modernizing a Classic

Objective and Vision

The primary objective of the Morgenthal Frederics renovation was to refresh a store that had

become dark and dated. The goal was to introduce modern elements and lighter tones while

maintaining the traditional charm that defines the brand. The design team, led by Liz Curry

Studio, embarked on this project with a clear vision: to create a bright, inviting space that

reflects both luxury and heritage.

Key Design Elements

Elevated Finishes and Fabrics

One of the standout features of the renovation is the use of elevated, lighter tones throughout

the store. This approach not only modernizes the space but also enhances its elegance.

Traditional millwork was meticulously refinished to a lighter tone, and new cabinet pulls were

installed, offering a fresh, clean look without straying from the store's classic roots.

Custom Fabricated Vitrines

A significant addition to the store is the custom fabricated vitrines by Chord Studios. These glass

display cases are strategically placed between the millwork against a backdrop of upholstered

walls, using fabric by Perennials. This combination creates a visually appealing and functional

display for Morgenthal Frederics' exquisite eyewear collection.

Wallcoverings and Textures

To envelop the space in luxury, wallcoverings by Philip Jeffries were used extensively. The walls

are adorned with a plaster texture that adds depth and sophistication. This choice of material not

only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also complements the store's traditional elements,

creating a harmonious blend of old and new.

Functional Enhancements

Bar and Seating Area

Morgenthal Frederics after Liz Curry Studio updated the bar

Photo: Aimee Ryan

The bar area received a notable upgrade with new upholstered panels fabricated by Ultimate

Upholstery, using Erica Shamrock vinyl leather. The barstools, from Moe's collection, are

upholstered in Kravet fabric, providing both comfort and style. This revamped bar area now

serves as a chic spot for customers to relax and enjoy their shopping experience.

Flooring and Lighting

Morgenthal Frederics after Liz Curry Studio updated the space

Photo: Aimee Ryan

New oak flooring by PID Flooring was installed throughout the store, adding warmth and

continuity to the design. The lighting, a crucial aspect of any retail space, was overhauled with

new architectural lighting designed by Kugler Ning Lighting. Additionally, new chandeliers from

Visual Comfort were added to define the space and enhance the overall ambiance.

Custom Desks and Shelving

Morgenthal Frederics desk after Liz Curry Studio designed the space

Photo: Aimee Ryan

Custom fabricated desks by Chord Studios, made with maple veneer and topped with Quartz by

Compac Stone, were introduced. These desks provide a sleek and functional workspace for

staff. Moreover, a custom fabricated shelving unit, wrapped in Perennials fabric to match the

upholstered walls, offers an elegant backdrop and open display for the store's products.

Collaboration and Execution

Contractors and Designers

The renovation of Morgenthal Frederics was a collaborative effort involving several key players.

Rofer Construction with Park East Development managed the construction aspects, ensuring

that every detail was executed to perfection. The lighting design by Kugler Ning Lighting played

a pivotal role in creating a bright and inviting atmosphere, crucial for showcasing the store's

luxury products.

Before Pics


The renovation of Morgenthal Frederics at 944 Madison Avenue is a testament to the power of

thoughtful design and skilled craftsmanship. By blending modern elements with traditional

charm, the design team has created a space that is both inviting and luxurious. This project highlights the importance of preserving a brand's heritage while embracing contemporary

aesthetics, a balance that defines the best in commercial interior design.

For more insights into similar projects and to explore the creative vision behind such

transformations, visit Liz Curry Studio.


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