Tim Gunn may be best known for mentoring aspiring fashion designers on Project Runway, but when it came to styling the savvy reality star’s home, it was up to him to “make it work.”
When Gunn, 63, made the decision to act as his own interior designer for his Upper West Side apartment, it wasn’t the first time the TV star had toyed with interior decorating.
“I’m obsessed with architecture. I always have been,” Gunn tells Traditional Home in their September issue, on newsstands Tuesday. “When I was 9, I went to Monticello and was enthralled. I scraped together my pennies to buy a book of Thomas Jefferson’s architectural drawings. When I got home, I built some of the rooms with Legos.”
Now working with far more sophisticated building blocks, Gunn has assembled a busy city retreat, that’s complete with family heirlooms, traditional artwork and timeless furnishings.
“These things mean something to me,” Gunn says of his proudly displayed collections. “I love history, and objects with a story to tell.”
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He famously puts the pressure on Project Runway contenders to quickly complete their designs, but when outfitting his spaces Gunn prefers a relaxed pace — except for one aspect.
“I’m very slow and plodding when it comes to furniture arranging and hanging paintings,” he says. “But when it comes to color, there’s no hesitation.”
His preferred palette includes earthy tones that serve more as a neutral backdrop than a focal point pop. “I like a soothing canvas,” he says.
While his interiors certainly serve as a cozy escape from the everyday hustle and bustle, the true standout of his 1,700-square-foot apartment is the European-inspired terrace. Gunn found a mentor of his own in landscape designer Antonio Parrotta. Together they created a stunning outdoor oasis that features secluded seating nooks, enchanting antiques and plenty of greenery.
“In New York, having this terrace and this apartment is a true luxury,” Gunn says. “I’m a nester by nature. It feels amazing for me to be able to come home every night and close the front door.”
For more of Gunn’s home, pick up this month’s issue of Traditional Home, on newsstands Tuesday.