A warm, calm color palette creates a relaxed retreat for Rosanna Scotto
She can sauté a sea bass like Mario Batali and grill a politician like Barbara Walters, has two terrific kids and an adoring husband. Then there’s that high-profile job, a beautiful Manhattan apartment, and three -- count ’em, three -- Emmys. Yet talking to her is like catching up with your best friend. (OK, maybe an exceptionally glamorous best friend.)
New Yorkers need no introduction to Rosanna Scotto. They’ve had the pleasure of watching her coanchor their local Fox 5 News for the past 22 years -- a very long run in the fickle world of television.
Design: Eric Cohler, Tony Klein, Eric Cohler Design, 95 Fifth Ave., Sixth Floor, New York, NY 10003; 212/737-8600, ericcohler.com.
Photography: John Bessler
Produced by Jenny Bradley
Somehow she seems to be here, there, and everywhere. Consider a typical Rosanna day: get the kids up and out, emcee a charity luncheon, prepare dinner, broadcast the early news, serve dinner, broadcast the evening news, and maybe along the way pop in to play hostess at Fresco by Scotto, the Manhattan restaurant run by her mother, sister, and brother. “Customers are always surprised to have me show them to their table,” she says with her easy laugh.
“Rosanna is a bundle of energy,” says her friend and interior designer Eric Cohler, who -- along with designer Tony Klein -- helped her redo the three-bedroom apartment she shares with her husband, Louis Ruggiero, and teenage son and daughter.
“She has a personality that could light up Pittsburgh,” Cohler says. “But the nightly news is not always pleasant, so I wanted her apartment to be a relaxed retreat from her workaday world.”
Rosanna -- sitting here with her husband, Louis Ruggiero -- says she discovered Cohler (who was a neighbor in her East Side high-rise) when she noticed his door ajar and couldn’t resist a peek inside. It had the same layout as her apartment but the similarities ended there. “I thought, this is it, this is what I want my home to look like. But then I had to pretend I wasn’t being nosy,” she adds with a smile. After a decorous delay, she ambushed him in the building lobby and begged for help. “We weren’t using most of the apartment before,” says Rosanna. “We were all kind of squashed in the kitchen every day.”
Cohler and Klein created a more open floor plan by combining the living and dining rooms, carving out a TV room/library at one end that can be closed off by pocket doors, and then bathing the whole place in a warm, calm color palette. “Nothing stuffy, not too many antiques, nothing over the top. And my kids don’t have to worry if they spill soda,” says Rosanna -- “though please let it be Sprite if they do!”
The painting over the living room sofa was lent to Rosanna by her dad for her first apartment, and she still hasn’t given it back. New pocket doors divide the living room from the library.
The living room’s cozy reading corner.
Two different styles -- black leather chairs and Deco slipper chairs -- keep things casual at the dining table.
Oak trim was installed throughout the living space and right into Rosanna’s pride and joy, her new kitchen. “Eric nearly fell over when I told him that I make dinner every day,” says Rosanna. “He said, ‘You mean you really cook?’” Assured that she did, Cohler and Klein remade the kitchen into a bright space open to the rest of the apartment so whoever’s cooking can still be part of the party.
The floor plan accommodates many cooks -- “my daughter, who gives directions; my son, who loves to help; and my husband, who likes to eat,” laughs Rosanna.
A snappy polka dot-upholstered bench behind the table is a kitchen space-saver.
The master bedroom is a “complete retreat,” says interior designer Eric Cohler. Walls and headboard, both covered in chocolate- brown fabric, blend together, and custom demilune bedside cabinets with shagreen inserts and mercury-glass tops add to the “ahhhh” factor.
The way she keeps sane, Rosanna says, is, “I put family first, end of story. Work is work, and home is mommy. Even my Emmys stay at the office.”
If Rosanna gets home from delivering the 10 o’clock news and finds her family already asleep, she says she’ll often just sit for a few minutes looking out at the city that unfolds beyond her 30th-floor windows, a panorama of lights stretching from Yankee Stadium to Brooklyn to the Empire State Building. “I sit here and say thank you,” says Rosanna. “I’m so blessed."