Retail sales representative Jeff Fazio and human-resources director Paul Salkind moved into their 900-square-foot abode in 1995, but it wasn’t until they gutted the space three years ago that they decided to truly make it their own. “The building [dates to] 1959 and as a lady of a certain age, it needed a face-lift,” jokes Salkind. Knowing that they wanted a loft, the couple originally started apartment hunting but quickly realized that it was not only cheaper to renovate, but easier to get exactly what they envisioned. The pair hired architect Carlos Rodriguez (rodriguezstudio.net) to transform their junior four-bedroom into an open floorplan by removing any nonstructural walls. They then set about filling their airy pad with retro furniture, street art and colorful trinkets. “There should never be anything in your house you don’t like,” says Salkind. “That’s our rule.”
A painted mirror and a printed rug from ABC Carpet & Home (888 Broadway at 19th St; 212-473-3000, abchome.com) greet guests in the foyer, which is coated in Benjamin Moore’s (benjaminmoore.com) cheerful Feel the Green 417 lacquer. For shoe storage, the couple tosses their footwear into a large wooden box, while their day bags sit pretty on plush cushions, all from the home-decor mecca. Salkind picked up the bench from custom-furniture shop Desiron (200 Lexington Ave at 33rd St, suite 702; 212-353-2600, desiron.com).
After renting bikes while on vacation in Key West, Florida, the duo was inspired to buy this floral bicycle from Liberty of London’s limited-edition collection for Target (locations throughout the city; visit target.com). Although neither of them uses it for his daily commute, the two-wheeler stays parked in the entryway for impromptu weekend rides.
“Everyone who walks in [to the living room] is smiley,” says Salkind. “You can’t be depressed in here!” Nontraditional furniture, such as the brocade couch Fazio bought for his first apartment in the ’80s from a now-closed Chelsea store, and funky artwork—including a whimsical pig painting from the defunct Chelsea Antique & Collectible Flea Market—help create a cheerful atmosphere. A vintage floral area rug from ABC Carpet & Home further brightens up the room.
British royalty has touched this textured pillow, which Fazio acquired from Barneys New York (660 Madison Ave at 61st St; 212-826-8900, barneys.com) when he worked there in the ’80s. “There was actually a party there for Fergie after she had her daughters, and [Barneys] had these pillows made [for the event],” he explains. Once the bash concluded, he grabbed them as a parting favor. The cow painting is from ABC Carpet & Home.
This chicken-leg table was a wedding gift from the couple’s friend.
Ivan Jenson (ivanjensonartist.com) became a popular street artist in the ’80s and later had his work featured in one of the first Absolut Vodka ads in Interview Magazine in 1993. “I actually ran into him at a bar once wearing a plain white T-shirt and he told me to pause while he drew my face on it,” recalls Fazio, who immortalized the garment by having it framed.
Salkind discovered this antique floor lamp at ABC Carpet & Home. “The silk on the shade actually rotted because it used to be in the sun,” he explains. Rather than toss the fixture, he embraced its imperfection, adding decorative bugs that were a gift and a floral bulb from a local hardware store for quirky flair.
After spending 20 years together, Fazio and Salkind officially tied the knot this past May at the Frying Pan (Pier 66A, W 26th St at the Hudson River; 212-989-6363, fryingpan.com). These figurines served as cake toppers at their nuptials, and are now prominently displayed in the living room’s built-in shelving unit.
Countless other knickknacks adorn the living-room cubbies, including this Philippe Starck (starck.com) ashtray. “It’s one of the first things he ever designed,” says Fazio. “It’s very French because you can’t actually put your cigarette down when you use it.” Another special item on the shelf is a mermaid-shaped spoon from Barneys that Fazio gave Salkind one year for Valentine’s Day.
Not ones to sacrifice style for comfort, this driftwood-inspired teak chair from Andrianna Shamaris (261 Spring St between Hudson and Varick Sts; 212-388-9898, andriannashamarisinc.com) is Fazio and Salkind’s answer to a traditional recliner. One of the couple’s dogs, four-year-old Cairn terrier Billie, frequently hangs out on the stiff seat.
“If you don’t like something, change it,” declares Salkind, who did exactly that with this armchair from ABC Carpet & Home. Originally from the ’50s, the seat had a black-and-white zebra pattern the couple wasn’t fond of, so they enlisted their carpenter friend Cleve Crosby (clevecrosby.com) to reupholster it with a brocade fabric they liked from Wolf Home by Silk Trading (936 Broadway at 22nd St; 800-220-1893, wolfhomeny.com). “You’ll notice that many things in the apartment have a floral motif,” notes Salkind. “It’s just happy looking.” In lieu of a pillow, Salkind added this limited-edition Takashi Murakami soccer ball he bought from Barneys.
Although the entire space is an open concept, the couple had three wheeled panels installed on a track in the middle of the apartment to help define different rooms. “This way, we could block off the bedroom for privacy if needed,” notes Fazio. A trio of floral wallpapers—two from Anthropologie, one by artist Damien Hirst (damienhirst.com)—covers the sliding doors, which also display artwork purchased from street artists, as well as an ornately framed painting by local artist Beatricia Sagar (beatriciasagar.com).
For the bedroom, the duo stuck to the same purple-and-green color scheme that carries throughout the loft. “We know that we’re consistent enough in taste, so anything is going to go together,” explains Salkind. A floral bedspread from T.J. Maxx (locations throughout the city; visit tjmaxx.com), patterned quilt from ABC Carpet & Home and tufted pillows bought at Anthropologie cover the couple’s custom-made bed frame by Modern Design + Construction (mdcdesignconstruct.com).
The pair created a quirky headboard by tacking Astroturf from ABC Carpet & Home onto their bedroom wall. “We found [the material] humorous,” says Salkind. “We just love things in unexpected places.” This unique setup also gives the newlyweds a place to display some of the artful bugs and flowers they’ve collected through the years. “You should honor the stuff you have,” says Salkind. “If you can’t display it, you shouldn’t own it.” A Gaetano Pesce sunflower light from Moss (256 W 36th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves, tenth floor; 212-204-7100, mossonline.com) serves as a focal point in their DIY installation.
“When it comes to storage, we’re all about function,” says Fazio, who repurposed a tool chest from Home Depot (locations throughout the city; visit homedepot.com) as a nightstand. A branch-shaped lamp from Anthropologie and a wooden jewelry box bought at ABC Carpet & Home make the piece feel less utilitarian.
Salkind made this nightstand about ten years ago, when he purchased a cheap wooden dresser from Gothic Cabinet Craft (locations throughout the city; visit gothiccabinetcraft.com) and then covered it with emerald python fabric that he found online. A floral lamp from Anthropologie sits atop Salkind’s creation.
Fazio discovered this cowhide rug from a now-shuttered Australian store in Tribeca. A suede armchair from defunct shop the Oops Store flanks a dresser custom-made by Glenn Gissler Design, while a painting by brother Gary Gissler (garygisslerstudio.com) hangs on the wall.
While browsing at Jim Kempner Fine Art (501 W 23rd St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves; 212-206-6872, artnet.com/jkfa.html), Fazio and Salkind spotted this broken Jeff Koons dog sculpture. The piece had been delivered to the gallery damaged, so one of the resident artists reassembled it into what the couple now calls “Broken Puppy.” “We shouldn’t go anywhere together, or else we just buy things,” jokes Salkind. To wit, the porcelain giraffe and zebra from Jonathan Adler (locations throughout the city; visit jonathanadler.com) are products from another one of their joint shopping excursions. The puppy-paw imprints in front of the figurines are displayed in remembrance of the couple’s first pair of dogs that passed away.
The roof garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Ave at 82nd St; 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org) inspired the bathroom, which is covered in floral tile from Bisazza (43 Greene St between Broome and Grand Sts; 212-334-7130, bisazza.com). Salkind stenciled large blooms over Benjamin Moore Grape Ice paint on the walls. A mosaic umbrella stand that Salkind purchased in Chinatown now serves as a waste bin, while a wooden stump from Pearl River (477 Broadway between Broome and Grand Sts; 212-431-4770, pearlriver.com) provides a place to sit in the shower.
Although Fazio and Salkind adore cooking, the only meal they have in their renovated kitchen is breakfast. “We actually eat dinner in bed every night to catch up on our favorite television shows,” admits Salkind. Fazio found the chairs at the now-closed Conran Shop inside ABC Carpet & Home, while the table was custom-designed by Glenn Gissler Design (1123 Broadway between 25th and 26th Sts, suite 1100; 212-228-9880, glenngisslerdesign.com). Salkind made the storage cart that book-ends the dining set. He calls the piece his “garage,” since it stores all of his kitchen tools. Murallike wallpaper from Anthropologie gives the area a whimsical vibe.
Salkind designed this sleek tray at Chelsea Plastics (30-02 48th Ave between 30th Pl and 30th St, Long Island City, Queens; 212-924-4530, chelseaplastics.com) as a gift for Fazio one Christmas. The tray was originally created for their meals in bed but now stores the couple’s liquor collection, as well as two pitchers Fazio scored at Housing Works (locations throughout the city, visit housingworks.org).
As if this colored chandelier from ABC Carpet & Home weren’t eye-catching enough, Salkind threaded silk flowers from a 99-cent store around its neck to conceal the lighting fixture’s chain.
For Salkind, the kitchen is the one room in the house that needs to be purely functional. A pot rack from JCC Restaurant Supplies (354 Broome St between Bowery and Elizabeth St, 212-431-1888) stores cookware without taking up valuable cabinet space, while clear canisters and mason jars keep various spices and snacks on view.
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AF Lighting fashion mini chandelier, $118, at wayfair.com
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Crate & Barrel Harris pitcher, $17, at crateandbarrel.com
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Old Dutch International six-inch solid berry colander, $25, at casa.com
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Z Gallerie French bulldog coin bank, $18, at zgallerie.com
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Andy Warhol Cow 28" x 40" giclee print, $100, at art.com
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H&M Home printed pattern duvet cover set, $25, at hm.com