A one-bedroom apartment in an 1865 brownstone fits fashion-design taskmaster Tim Gunn perfectly. No alterations needed.
It's furnished eclectically, the brutally honest mentor on Bravo's "Project Runway" told us in an e-mail interview -- the day after Chloe Dao rose to the top of the reality show's design heap. Eclectic but, he adds, "with a traditional bias."
Gunn, who has become a popular persona with lovers of fashion, design and reality TV, says he loves his apartment in Manhattan's West Village because of the area it's in and the sanctuary the space offers him.
"The West Village is a wonderful neighborhood full of bistros, boutiques, small parks and low-rise buildings. Dogs and children abound," says Gunn, who also serves as chair of the fashion department of Parsons The New School of Design in New York. "I have the only apartment in what is otherwise a private house. My apartment is a floor-through [which runs the entire length of the building from the front to the back] on the top floor, so it's full of light and extremely quiet."
A great place for a busy guy to "carry on," as they say.
1. One thing on your nightstand: A bottle of Tums.
2. One thing on a wall in your living room: A 19th Century pastoral landscape painting that I found in a flea market in London. It was 35 pounds. The dealer said, "Not a bad price for the frame," implying that the frame was the only thing of value. I responded, "But I love the painting." He shrugged and muttered, "Americans."
3. One thing you have in your house from your childhood: Mr. Wee, a floppy stuffed animal [giraffe-like] covered in the upholstery of our living room couch at that time. Considering that he's my age, it's remarkable that he's only missing a leg.
4. Three condiments we would find in your refrigerator: Whole grain Dijon mustard, creamy-style horseradish, Worcestershire sauce.
5. Do your dirty dishes go in the sink or dishwasher? They go into and immediately out of the sink to a dishtowel to a cupboard. I can't stand dirty dishes lying around, even for five minutes.
(contiued in comments section.)
6. Most high-tech gadget or appliance in your home? My iPod Shuffle and corresponding audio tuner, both gifts of Bravo.
7. Maker of your everyday dinnerware? Myott-Meakin [of Staffordshire, England].
8. Maker of your fine china? It's a reproduction of an antique Chinese service -- elaborate sepia scenes on matte white. I can't read the chop on the underside, so I don't know the maker.
9. If you had to save one thing from your home, what would it be? An 18th Century solid brass, engraved dog collar. It's a family piece and I'm its designated steward.
10. What is the biggest collection in your home? I have thousands of books, but they're not really a collection. I have made many trips to Hong Kong [all of which were before the hand-over in 1997]. While there, I became enraptured with (maybe "addicted to" is more appropriate) the antiques shops on Hollywood Road. I began to collect Ming Dynasty tomb pieces, mostly furniture -- chairs, tables -- and some animals -- birds, dogs. Each is Ming-green glazed pottery. I love them. And I never paid more than $100 for anything.
11. What would we find in your closet? More Banana Republic than you can imagine.
12. Most embarrassing thing in your home that you hide when guests come over? The three buckets that I have placed under leaks in the ceiling. It's the downside of living on a top floor.
13. The one thing your house needs right now -- the next big purchase: A new roof.
Mr. Wee - Precious
The more I read what Tim has to say the more I love him and think he would be the coolest to be friends with.
Just the fact that he was willing to disclose the Tums [tm] on his nightstand tells me a lot.
I'm looking at the NYT real estate in the West Village, and the housing market there is ludicrous. Eight bedrooms/one bathroom for $12.5 million?! Ten bedrooms and ZERO bathrooms for $10.5 million?! (That's not a typo. 10 bedrooms, zero bathrooms.)
Typical 1 bedroom condo there goes for about $1.6 m (ostensibly with buckets included). No wonder rent control is such a huge issue there.
Wow. I mean...wow. Yikes. The only other place I've seen such an over-inflated real estate market is San Francisco/San Jose. Insane.
But I digress. Carry on.
Awwww I love him. I live in the East Village- maybe I should wander West more often it is a great area. Mr Wee oh so cute- wouldn't it have been fun to wander HK with Mr Gunn...
Awwww... Mr. Wee (missing a leg) and giraffe-like! How darling is that?
love this interview!! I believe
Tim Gunn is just the coolest person on TV now, hands down.
i was thrilled to open up the Trib on Sunday and discover Tim's gorgeous face beneath the fold.
after reading this, i realized that Tim could hold down a starring role in a reality show of his own! would love to see Mr. Wee and the stashing away of those water buckets before some celeb shows up for tea -- and "The T".
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