Tour a Brooklyn Apartment Packed With Color – and Books

How two Broadway veterans turned their apartment into a Crayola explosion.

Photo: Wendy Goodman
Photo: Wendy Goodman

On one of the rainiest, grayest days, a visit to Chase Brock and Rob Berman’s apartment was so uplifting a hurricane couldn’t have dampened the fun.

Broadway choreographer Chase Brock and his husband, music director Rob Berman, moved to their two-bedroom, two-bathroom, Crayola-colored apartment in Brooklyn Heights two years ago, after living a few blocks away for more than a decade — they wanted more space, a view, and to be nearer the waterfront. Their architect, Ed Kopel, knew they liked color, and that he had to accommodate “220 lineal feet of books” — hence the six zones of built-in bookshelves. “Our favorite piece in apartment,” Brock says, “is the giant bookcase Ed designed for the living room, with staggered vertical fins in four bright colors we chose.” Photo: Wendy Goodman
There’s never a dull moment — or lackluster square inch — in this apartment. The couple lived here during the renovations, which lasted from October 2014 to May 2015, since most of the work was decorative. “The color palette of the apartment was originally based on Warhol’s Turquoise Marilyn,” Brock says. “But it kind of exploded out from there.” The sofa, coffee table, and pair of armchairs are from Jonathan Adler. The red Eames chair is from Design Within Reach. Photo: Wendy Goodman
With just a border of cherry-scented wallpaper — Cherry Forever from Flavor Paper — the kitchen exhibits an unusual restraint. Photo: Wendy Goodman
A splash of wallpaper was used to decorate the kitchen wall. If you are in the mood for the ceiling’s Yosemite Blue or the wall’s Tricycle Red, you can find them at Benjamin Moore. Photo: Wendy Goodman
You can’t be sad in this apartment. The orange nest armchair is from Dot & Bo, and the Brillo Box pouf is from Module-R. Photo: Wendy Goodman
Bookshelves have been designed to fit every conceivable wall space. Here, in the midst of shelving between the guest bath and the master bedroom, Kopel built a cabinet. Photo: Wendy Goodman
The cabinet is used for storing the couple’s electronic accessories. Photo: Wendy Goodman
“My childhood bedroom was painted lime-green and orange on alternating walls, each with the trim in the opposite color,” Brock says. So, in other words, this is in his blood. “And I had my first lava lamp as a child, and have incorporated them into my homes ever since.” This apartment has three, including the one in the bedroom corner, seen here. Photo: Wendy Goodman
Kopel built the couple a walk-in closet big enough to accommodate their individual wardrobes on either side of the space. This side is Berman’s. Photo: Wendy Goodman
And this side, no surprise, is Brock’s. Photo: Wendy Goodman
“The biggest challenge was perhaps the black lacquer floor,” Brock recalls. “Ed suggested it, and we fell in love with the idea.” The other challenge was living through the painting process, which involved numerous coats and treatments to get the perfect finish. A great contractor, Jon Cole, and his team helped things go smoothly. Photo: Wendy Goodman
The guest room, bathed in soft lilac hues, provides an iPod and some snacks to nibble on before you fall asleep. “Amazingly,” Brock says, “after looking at 44 apartments, losing one bidding war and making one deal that fell through when the owner decided not to sell, we got it all!” Photo: Wendy Goodman
Tour a Brooklyn Apartment Packed With Color