The actor's Nolita apartment was a former wagon wheel factory

By Hannah Chubb
November 15, 2019 01:15 PM
Max Burkhalter

David Harbour’s character on Stranger Things might not be all that stylish, but in real life, the actor who plays Chief Hopper has quite the eye for design. 

Recently named one of PEOPLE’s Men of the Year, the 44-year-old native New Yorker spent three years searching for the perfect apartment in downtown Manhattan before finally finding a space in Nolita that fit his vision of the ideal urban loft. 

Harbour recently opened up to archdigest.com about the 10-month “soup to nuts” renovation it underwent to go from a “crazy space that clearly hadn’t been touched since the ’70s” to a bright and airy retreat.

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“It didn’t look like much,” the actor, who is currently dating British singer Lily Allen, told the site of his first impression of the loft. “The floors were uneven, there was crappy drywall. There were two bathrooms placed right next to each other that served no purpose other than to make it a two-bathroom.” 

Max Burkhalter

Because it felt more than a little run down, the price was right, and Harbour went full steam ahead on the renovations. 

Knowing that he would be shooting Stranger Things in Atlanta for nearly a year, Harbour enlisted the help of Kyle O’Donnell of Gramercy Design to overhaul the 1,400-square-foot space in his absence. O’Donnell worked to maintain the historic integrity of the building, which was once a wagon wheel factory, while also tweaking it to suit Harbour’s personal style.

Max Burkhalter

Throughout the 10-month process, the former factory was stripped down and restored from the floor up. The two bathrooms were combined into one, five closets were added for storage and an antique tin ceiling was installed, maintaining the space’s old-school aesthetic. 

Almost all the 11-foot walls are painted pure white, but warm shades of red, orange and brown add pops of color throughout the space. Massive bookshelves and plenty of plants break up the loft’s largely open floor plan. 

Max Burkhalter

Harbour is quite fond of both his new greenery and literary surroundings. 

“It’s the best sort of air purifier you can buy, and also just makes the place feel kind of alive and messy in the way that I like,” he says of his new role as a plant dad

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“It feels romantic in a way,” he continues, referencing the many books in the apartment. “All these writers that I admire, who lived in New York back in the ’20s and ’30s, it’s a place where they would have lived.”

He admits that spending time in the space inspired him to get creative, as well, sharing:  “I actually did start writing in this apartment.”

To read the full feature and see more photos, visit archdigest.com

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