Real Estate: A Designer’s Downtown Showplace

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MAY14_RE_Downtown_Townhouse

Photograph by William Manning

“Interiors should be a little bit irreverent,” says local designer Patrick M. Korb, perched on a couch in the living room of his West Ninth Street townhouse. A quick look around the eclectic space confirms that he does, in fact, heed his own advice.

Take the walls, for example: the animal-themed guest bedroom wallpaper has been varnished to give it a glazed, antiqued effect; the living room walls are hung with hundreds of yards of indigo blue silk—“I’ve always liked the tented look,” he says—and the bar walls are outfitted in wool and silk needlepoint, hand-crafted (along with throw pillows, wall art, and seat cushions throughout the house) by Korb himself.

Korb’s client list includes Park Place at Lytle, Cincinnati State, and various corporate office interiors, but he is perhaps best known for his work at Maisonette. He feels strongly that all manner of collectibles, heirlooms, and tchotchkes are capable of coexisting in the same space. Case in point: his grandmother’s Limoges dresser tray mingles happily near a miniature African bust and an antique shelf clock, while elsewhere his grandfather’s tabletop cigar humidor (lacquered shocking pink), rests comfortably on a dainty tea table.

Korb bought this historic townhouse (parts of it date back to 1864) in the late 1970s and converted the first floor into his design studio and the second and third floors (with stunning Mt. Auburn views) into his home. He also owns the townhouse next door as well as the parking lot and courtyard space between the two buildings; the entire compound is currently for sale.

The kitchen was Korb’s most recent project. It includes a massive center island topped in African Rosewood (“It’s hard as nails,” he says), a Wolf range with pot filler, a warming drawer, and three drawer dishwashers. The kitchen windows are brand new but Korb hand-painted them the same distressed, off-white color as the cabinets, even down to faux wormholes on the mullions.

One of Korb’s favorite design mantras is “you should live with things you love.” If you happen to love Korb’s dramatic decor, furniture, and accessories, stay tuned; Korb has already had two sales and—if you’re lucky—there’ll be plans for a third.

Originally published in the May 2014 issue.

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