High above the bustling buzz of Newport and the dazzle of the Ohio River perches a luxurious penthouse. Here, urban living meets upscale comfort for owners Patty and Tim Sandker. Sophisticated art deco sets the stage for the carefully appointed details throughout (think Swarovski crystals embedded in door handles and cabinet pulls), while lights from the Big Mac Bridge and the Cincinnati skyline wink through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
Patty affirms that the panoramic views are “spectacular” (more on those in a bit), but there are other creature com forts that make this residence ideal and explain why the couple has lived here for over a dozen years: convenience, walkability and spaciousness. The condo is only 20 minutes from the airport, which is perfect since the couple enjoys traveling and as snowbirds they spend a few months down south each winter. But when they’re in town, it’s all about walking, whether to nearby entertainment, one of the many restaurants they like to frequent, or along the riverfront for exercise. Finally, at 5,000 square feet, this Riverboat Row home is incredibly spacious—while still being incredibly livable.
Case in point: While the view and location are two big draws, the interiors and exquisite details within each room definitely hold their own. To begin with, the stunning art deco-inspired foyer is topped by a custom ceiling layered in such a way as to resemble old-time cameras, while the door is styled to resemble a 1930s bank safe. And the porcelain tile floors are one of Patty’s favorite features. “It’s incredible how much they look like leather,” she explains. “Our guests sometimes bend down and touch the floor because they think it’s actual leather.”
A grand living-dining area encompasses more custom flooring as well as pillars embellished with hand-crafted Venetian plaster. The color scheme is a study in taupe, gold and black, offset by clean white lines. The room’s custom Rookwood Pottery fireplace and surrounding tiles encompass one long wall and lend the space a distinctive sense of urban warmth. But the real showstopper is the view. With 120 feet of glass from floor to ceiling and a graceful architectural curve to the building, the views are incredibly observable, as well as incredibly interesting.
The primary suite, located off the living room, affords its own set of extraordinary views—of both downtown and Mount Adams, thanks to the room’s floating wall that the bed rests against. In the master bath, cabinets set against
metallic silver paint, resemble not so much cabinetry as distinctive pieces of furniture.
For the cabinetry in Tim’s office, as well as the paneled Olive Burl wood walls and trim, Dan Hueber gets the credit. Entirely custom, the Italian burl in the office was handpicked from many different pieces. Adjacent to the office is a wine cooler with the capacity to hold a thousand bottles of wine (along with storage for cases of wine), as well as a humidor and cigar lounge.
The home theater continues the art deco motif, with custom-commissioned four-inch squares of silver leafing adorning the walls. Erin Lombardi, an award-winning artist and interior designer who handled many of the residence’s personal touches, designed this three-tiered room. The walls are sound proof, so when the family is watching action movies on the 100-inch projection, they don’t have to worry about disturbing the neighbors.
Even with such an incredible room, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would want to be inside when there are such stupendous views beckoning from outside, and when there are three private balconies from which to enjoy these varying views.
“We sit out on the balconies a lot,” Patty says. “We watch the fireworks, the ball games, and love watching the traffic on the river. When we entertain, we like using the balcony. The view is so pretty in every season.”
RESOURCES Entry door Innerwood & Company; Hardware Bona Decorative Hardware; Cabinetry and woodwork Innerwood & Company, Dan Hueber; Silverleafing in theater, handcrafted Venetian plaster Sue Noble Finishes; Wine room door Solid Ground Studio, Kate Demke; Wine room Wine Cellar Innovations; Powder room design, Erin Lombardi Interior Design
Article by Lee Rhodes | Photos by Ross Van Pelt
Article originally appeared in February 2023