Wesley Vultaggio is certainly not the first person to buy a house, adapt it to his strong vision, and then later renovate it to fit his evolved lifestyle. But the transformation of the businessman and creative director’s SoHo loft—a 4,200-square-foot space in a former New York factory building with original Corinthian-style columns—is nothing if not dramatic.
Before marrying Michael McCarty in 2022, Vultaggio embarked on an update with his close friend, Studio MBM founder and architect Maurizio Bianchi Mattioli, that stripped back black damask wallpaper—and so much more. The bathroom metamorphosis was one that all parties particularly craved. It previously had a teak bath and a garage-style door that opened to the bedroom. “Maurizio presented a phenomenal concept of how to make it what I really wanted, which was the sexiest hotel spa bathroom you’ve ever seen,” says Vultaggio.
Now it’s Vultaggio’s favorite space, and the area is completely—and meticulously—clad in gray quartzite with copper accents. Bianchi Mattioli says they looked to Brutalist references for inspiration, and “took advantage of the 16-foot ceiling heights…. Even though the bathroom is extremely sculptural, it’s also very functional. The back becomes a display wall for objects that are very bring color.”
The bathroom, like the entire attic, is utilitarian. And yet the focus of the house remains squarely on art. Vultaggio began acquiring pieces somewhat casually six years ago, with the help of art advisor Chris Wolf, a close friend. While the loft’s massive walls left plenty of room for larger acquisitions, smaller pieces—for example, a Pablo Picasso vase and Jean Cocteau plates—can’t help but stand out. One wall in the dining room was a years-long effort to fill. The final choice was a Sterling Ruby canvas that wowed Vultaggio. “I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is perfect. It looks insane!”
Unintentionally, much of Vultaggio’s art and furniture comes from young and/or New York City-based artists and designers. Thirty-one-year-old Jake Szymanski, based in the Bronx, is one of the avant-garde creatives behind a series of black metal tables and chairs, which are mixed with statements from the likes of Faye Toogood and Wendell Castle.
One notable exception is Milan-based AD100 designer Vincenzo de Cotiis, who made a desk purchased from SoHo’s now-closed Studio Oliver Gustav. “I quickly became obsessed with his work and the idea of furniture as art,” says Vultaggio, who ended up flying to Italy for a meeting to select materials for his sofa, dining room settee and chairs. On that trip, the concept for a prismatic floating rod, “designed from scratch”, was also discussed. That spacious corner, previously an afterthought, was reimagined by Bianchi Mattioli with sleek opulent emerald green Dimorestudio chairs, a de Cottis side table and a neon Tracey Emin work—Another world.
And yet the cage still maintains a distinctive ability to feel lived-in. “Maurizio and I could have gone a little more serious with the bedroom,” says Vultaggio of the previously all-black space. “But Michael wanted to make sure we kept a little soft touch because at the end of the day we sleep there. It’s not all about aesthetics. It has to feel warm, especially if we have children – we want them to be able to jump into our bed and not hit their head on some sharp piece of metal.”
There is no risk of that in the embrace of a velvety mohair bed that Bianchi Mattioli designed for the couple. The pair, who are six five and six six respectively, wanted something big enough to be comfortable, without compromising on elegance. The same can be said for the room in general. “There’s this overlay of textures, from the Japanese plaster walls to the green carpet,” says the designer, who collaborated with Jake Szymanski and Eric Bruce on a linen and horsehair weave for the bedroom’s Roman shades. “When the light hits them, it creates this beautiful wash of light,” says Bianchi Mattioli. “It’s romantic, in a way.” Of the room in general, Vultaggio says, “We’re so lucky because it feels exactly who we are as people.”
Similarly, their cavernous media room, with lacquered gray bookshelves, is full of fantastic design and art objects, expressions of themselves collected during trips to Bhutan, Bali and beyond. “Maurizio is one of my best friends, and everything he recalibrated for us shows that love, for our friendship and for my husband and me,” says Vultaggio. “It has that warmth. He made it feel like ours.”