A large Belle Époque townhouse once owned by the legendary Lillian Russel had fallen on evil times becoming a warren of dilapidated offices. The original interiors destroyed long ago, it was now a gut job. The structure itself built of sandstone in a Beaux Arts style was solid as Gibraltar. "So what do you want to do with the insides", I asked thinking it will become one of those classical New York townhouse exteriors containing a stripped white box interior, so fashionable now. Nothing could have surprised me more when she said, "I want to channel the spirit of late 19th Century eclecticism; think Sarah Bernhardt". Off we went to a huge warehouse where she and her husband had accumulated a vast collection of interior architectural elements. There were entire room shells, staircases, doors, and several mantles including a piece by Marjorelle. There was an illuminated Art-Deco ceiling of stained glass, Luis Comfort Tiffany door panels and entire parquet floors. The collected furniture ran the gamut from several Ruhlmann pieces to a collection of Bugatti case pieces and thrones. Some furniture was rare and special, some was conventional and undistinguished. The art work was just as amazing, ranging from a stellar Benton Triptych, to a Motherwell, a Frank Stella Diptych, a Modigliani portrait, a huge Vik Muniz and a series of romantic “salon” works. “Remember”, she smiled, “I have been collecting for many years, through many stages. Your job is to assemble all of this into an interior for the house”. The object was to create a comfortable family home. Published in Architectural Digest, the portfolio pictures will show the results of this amazing collaboration between us and this exceptional couple.