Get Hygge with This
Bright Harlem Townhouse

This classically gorgeous five-level townhouse was the longtime home of Nina Persson, the lead singer and lyricist for the Swedish rock band The Cardigans, and her husband and bandmate, the guitarist Nathan Larson.

The couple bought the six-bedroom four-bath home at 1989 Madison Avenue in 2007 and lived there until 2015, when they relocated to Malmö, a coastal city in southern Sweden.

The Cardigans’ “Lovefool” (‘love me, love me, say that you love me’) was a huge hit in 1996, even showing up on the soundtrack for that year’s film Romeo + Juliet, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. The song was also featured on the hit TV show Beverly Hills, 90210 and the 1999 film Cruel Intentions. And hey, it’s got staying power, most recently turning up in the commercial trailer for the new Pamela Anderson Netflix documentary.

The brownstone, which has been beautifully and seamlessly updated and renovated, is now a rental and currently configured as a two-family home. In total, the townhouse, which is known as The Harlem House, offers more than 4,200 square feet of interior space, with an additional 700 square feet of private outdoor space.

Let’s take a look at how each floor of the five-level home is currently configured. The garden level features a modern open-plan kitchen and dining room, a rear bedroom and an enclosed back garden with flagstone flooring. The upstairs parlor level offers a large living room in front with the primary bedroom suite and its private terrace at the back of the building. The third floor has another bedroom along with a large open-plan great room with dining and lounging areas and a modern kitchen. The top floor offers another primary suite, a smaller bedroom, and a spacious media room. The basement holds a fitness area, laundry facilities, and three storage units.

NYC townhomes often have dark interior centers, but this one has oversized windows that flood the center spaces with bright natural light. There are a wealth of other interesting architectural and design details throughout, including three fireplaces with distinctive mantels, both exposed and painted brick walls, high ceilings, moldings, lots of built-ins, wide doorways, solid wood doors, custom kitchen cabinetry with opaque glass, and hardwood floors, including some in an attractive herringbone pattern. The bathrooms are particularly stylish, with clawfoot tubs, pedestal sinks, wainscoting, subway tiles, black-and-white tile floors, and exposed radiators.

Unit 1 includes a two-bedroom, two-bath duplex that could be easily transformed into a three-bedroom home. It also has access to the basement, as well as its own two private outdoor spaces. The new kitchen offers marble countertops, an island and top-of-the-line appliances.

With its own private stoop entrance and a restored original staircase, Unit 2 offers three (or possibly four) bedrooms, an oversized primary en-suite, a washer/dryer and a similarly renovated kitchen with an island, marble countertops, and top-shelf appliances.

The surrounding neighborhood now has lots of restaurants and good shopping, too, including a Whole Foods and a new Trader Joe’s. The home is close to the 125th Street shopping corridor and equidistant from Marcus Garvey Park and Harlem River Park. Other neighborhood attractions include the Apollo Theater and the National Jazz Museum
in Harlem.

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