A Comedian & Artist’s Creative, Colorful NYC Home — House Tour

Name: Laura Lane, Nic Rad and Samo the dog
Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Size: 1972 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned

Laura’s a comedy writer, author and the co-creator of This Is Why You’re Single (a comedy sketch show, podcast and book). Nic is an artist and podcaster. (His current show opened April 1st at Victori + Mo.) Are you thinking that the home of two incredible creatives must be an incredibly attractive, one-of-a-kind space? You’re right.

Nic and Laura knew they loved the neighborhood before they bought this place a year ago; they’ve rented in this same area for seven years (previously just three doors down). “We love the open space and the wood beams of the apartment. A lot of the newer developments feel cold or like hotels, but this place has character and history,” writes Laura.

What’s most striking about their home is the energy it exudes. Bold design elements, Nic’s art, over-sized lighting, dark walls…all these elements come together to create not only a home these two enjoy living in, but one they love to share, too. “We love entertaining and have done everything from campy cult classic screening nights to hosting classical musicians—we like to mix it up and are always open to friends who have ideas for weird events,” says Laura.

“I write and perform sketch comedy so I have a lot of rehearsals at my apartment in the living room,” Laura continues. “It feels a bit like a stage and then we’ll have script readings around the dining room table. We tried to create an environment that was calming but would also foster creativity. I spend a lot of time working on various writing projects at the dining room table and attempting to be productive when I’m not distracted by my cute dog.”

Though the polished rooms might hint that the home is “finished,” this is a space that’s always evolving. Take the room currently dedicated to their dog Samo, which is about to get a remodel thanks to interior designer Casey DeBois: the dog room will soon turn into a nursery—the couple is expecting!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Nic: We tried to pick things that fit in the uncanny valley between ‘wow, what?’ and calming, comfortable.

Inspiration: Nic: We had a few main ideas: a big comfy couch, an art wall, and the circular shelf. From there we went space by space and piece by piece and tried to find themes to connect every room together. One afternoon we met Rob Herschenfeld from Arandee Design at a coffee shop on our block. They had built out a lot of the shops and restaurants we loved in the neighborhood that we had been inspired by. We also worked with Bailey Heck who helped us lay it all out and figure out how to pull everything off.

Laura: Once we decided on doing an entire art wall with Nic’s art and the circular sun shelf, we aimed to let those focal points shine and have the rest of the apartment find a good balance between our more modern sensibilities and playing off the wood beams and natural architecture of the building. Nic is an artist so he is great with colors and shapes and synchronicity. I’m just a design junkie and an overall picky person. So we balance each other out.

Favorite Element: Laura: The circle ombre shelf is one of my favorite parts of our home. We bought the chairs first, funny enough, so we knew the paint color was going to revolve around the color of the chairs. I had been wanting something dramatic on one of the walls. For awhile I was pushing for a rock climbing wall, but Nic, being the more practical one of the two of us, shut that down. Then I became inspired by an ombre shelf at a store nearby called Mociun. We had the same contractors as them so they were very helpful in executing the design. We tried a few different configurations of shapes—a hexagon, a triangle, a diamond, before settling on a circle to play off of other circles in the area (like the Ben & Aja half circle mirror in the dining room and the dining room table). It looks like a sunset, which is my favorite part. It is so calming and your eyes are drawn to it immediately.

Biggest Challenge: Laura: Getting the Kelly Wearstler chandelier in the apartment was by far the biggest challenge. I didn’t read the dimensions when I bought it and it did not fit through the doors. The contractors discussed craning it through our 4th floor windows but the windows weren’t big enough. Eventually we took the door off the hinges, even though we didn’t think that would work. Somehow, in math-defying odds, it fit through the door.

Proudest DIY: Laura: The dining room art wall is all of Nic’s personal art, which he shows at a gallery called Victori + Mo. Having an entire wall of his work is the highlight of our apartment. He must have brought 30 pieces out of storage and we spent an entire day choosing pieces that worked together and also fit perfectly into a sort of puzzle. It’s like having an art show in our apartment every day.

Nic: I make work about visual ambiguity, staring into screens, things that are aggressively ephemeral, or temporal ‘spasms.’ That’s a bag of words to say that most of my pieces evolve over years of getting shuffled and reconfigured in the studio, then edited or obliterated. Installing them for any length of time in a home or in gallery is a weird kind of battle. It’s similar to looking in the mirror for a very long time and trying to believe in yourself. There’s a lot of posing and grooming, wishful thinking and projection and then at some point I have to step back and accept what I’ve done. Welp. There. I. Am. So now I have an art wall in my house. Maybe I’ll change it soon?

Biggest Indulgence: Nic: We built a padded bench in the living room for our dog to look out the window. Then we built her a mini staircase for it. She loves it, but doesn’t use the staircase. When she jumps up she likes to look over her shoulder at me as if to say ‘I don’t need that, dummy!’ She’s cute.

Best Advice: Laura: Ask for help when you need it! While Nic and I took on the renovations ourselves working with the architect, contractors and choosing all of the lighting, furniture and fixtures, we owe a major shout out to interior designer Casey DeBois. She came on board at the very end and made some changes that really impacted the place and made everything work cohesively. In some instances she moved entire pieces of furniture to different rooms and in other instances she rotated a kitchen accessory 45 degrees. In either case, I stepped back and was like, wow—that looks a million times better and is something I never would have thought of. She’s an expert for a reason.

Resources:

PROS
Architect — BHH Architects
Contractor — Aranddee Design
Styled by — Interior Designer Casey DeBois
Photographer — Christina Lilly

ENTRY
Green Velvet Bench — Porter James
Gold side table — Michael Aram
Vase — Recreation Center
Rug — Studio Proba
Incense holder — Zola

LIVING ROOM
Fireplace — Ignis with a custom frame by our contractors
Circle coffee table — CB2 x Kravitz Design
Couch — Restoration Hardware – Maxwell Modular (Italian Brompton leather in Pewter color)
Couch pillows — Langdon LTD (the 2 triangle designs) & Kelly Wearstler fabrics (spotted)
Living room rug — Restoration Hardware – Chunky Braided Twist Rug in Charcoal
White Ottoman — Mercer41
2 velvet chairs — Jonathan Adler
Gold objects on 2nd row from bottom on circle shelves — Seletti
Menorah on top of circle shelves— Michael Aram
Singing bowl on bottom shelf of circle shelves — Donna Karan Lenox Singing Bowl III

DINING ROOM
Art Wall — Victori + Mo Gallery (Nic’s personal art) Chandelier — Kelly Wearstler – cubist large chandelier
Mirror with fringe — Ben & Aja from The Future Perfect
Rug — Restoration Hardware – Reve Rug in grey
Dining Room Table — The Last Workshop by Ben Hanisch
Half circle vase & pitcher — HEA Ceramics
Gold candlesticks — Michael Aram
Bar Cart — Kenneth Cole Reaction Home
Gold Candy dish — Michael Aram

KITCHEN
Copper Bowl — Mauviel
Copper Pepper & Salt Mill — Pepper Mill Imports
Copper Kitchen Tool Caddy — Old Dutch
Copper Faucet — Dornbracht
Kitchen Stove — 6 burner Wolf stove
Pitcher and cup (blue & brown) — HEA Ceramics
Mugs (with yellow handle) — Recreation

BEDROOM
Bed — Rove Concepts – Asher Bed
Bed Pillows — Peter Dunham Textiles (white, blue & green) & Bloomingville (grey with fringe)
Bedroom rug — Restoration Hardware – Distressed Pinstripe Flatweave Rug in Oatmeal/ Gunmetal
Bedroom side lamps — One Forty Three (custom size)
Bench — Porthos Home

GUEST BEDROOM
Bed — CB2
Wallpaper — Eskayel
Light — Beam
Velvet Pillows — Porter James
Other pillows — Eskayel
Black & Grey Pole Art — Lindy Lane

OFFICE
Bookshelf — From the Source
Blue gold chair — Jonathan Adler
Rug — West Elm – Souk Wool Rug
Baskets — Bloomingville
Green Velvet Pillow — Porter James
Chandelier — Jonathan Adler
Green couch — Porter James
Rug — West Elm
Triangle cabinet — CB2
Decorative pink and blue colorful poles — Lindy Lane
Gold picture frames — Michael Aram

MASTER BATHROOM
Artwork — Artist’s own work
Vanity Stool — Urban Designs
Bathtub Caddy — Custom from Etsy
Black accessories — CB2

Thanks, Laura and Nic!


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