design hunting

Two Grown Men Live in This Pee-wee’s Playhouse-esque Apartment

“I need to be cripplingly overwhelmed by how colorful everything is,” artist Misha Kahn says. Which made the process of moving in with his boyfriend, Interview-magazine editor Nick Haramis, tricky. “My last apartment was very Patrick Bateman on a budget,” Haramis says. “A lot of glass, metal, and black leather.” Kahn, whose current show at Friedman Benda gallery features his finds from scavenging trash along the shoreline of Dead Horse Bay, was also determined to find a “long-lost gem” and dug deep on Craigslist, emerging with lovely apartments — without windows or running water. The compromise: Haramis promised Kahn he could do whatever he wanted with the space, as long as the apartment itself was “nice and normal.” So, Haramis says, “we now live in a Pee-wee’s Playhouse.”

The living room features a Campana brothers – designed furry couch and fish-scale-adorned chest, and the centerpiece of the dining room is a soft-rubber table in the shape of Denmark, designed by Gaetano Pesce. “Eating anything other than soup on it is an adventure,” Kahn says. The floor-through, on the top of a walk-up in Greenpoint, is a rental, and while that usually limits how ambitious tenants get with decorating, Kahn and Haramis didn’t let that stand in the way of their vision. For instance, in the kitchen, all surfaces save for the oven are covered in what looks like a deconstructed Chagall painting, with one wall plastered in bright-yellow Voutsa wallpaper. Kahn says, “It’s the visual equivalent of an alarm that wakes you up to the voices of screaming children.”

The Dining Room: The soft rubber table, with candy-cane-shaped legs, is in the shape of Denmark and by Gaetano Pesce. “It’s from a series he did about the instability of the European Union,” Kahn says. “Eating anything other than soup on it is an adventure.” The vessel on top by Thaddeus Wolfe is upside-down, “otherwise it would pierce Denmark.” The chairs are by Katie Stout. The large colorful drawing is by Donald Mitchell and the pieces in the framed art cluster are by Kara Walker, Ari Marcopoulos, and Karim Sadli, going from left to right. Photo: Annie Schlechter
The Closet: The wardrobe rack divides into Kahn’s side, on the left, and Haramis’s on the right. The green and blue table with appendages is by Wendell Castle. The demarcation between the styles of the two stands out, to say the least. “On our first date, Misha wore a head-to-toe blue felt outfit,” Haramis says. “On our first blind date,” Kahn adds, “he almost pretended he wasn’t Nick because my outfit choice was so garish, and now I would say I regularly include sane things in my rotation.” Photo: Annie Schlechter
The Kitchen: The yellow printed wallpaper on the right wall is by Voutsa, the lampshade around the light fixture is by Print All Over Me, and the hanging art in the lamp shade is by Katie Stout. “The tiles and cabinet covers are recent additions,” Kahn says. “It’s the visual equivalent of an alarm that wakes you up to the voices of screaming children.” Photo: Annie Schlechter
The Living Room: The Flintstone-phone-shaped jar on the table was a gift from one of Kahn’s favorite interns. Photo: Annie Schlechter

*A version of this article appears in the November 13, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.

Pee-wee’s Playhouse-esque Home for Two Grown Men