Apartment tour: 1BR on the Upper West Side

Party planner Brett David's seductive playpen is filled with Pop Art, booze and sexy photos.

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  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    Much like his upbeat personality, Brett David's (brettdavid.com) 600-square-foot rental is quirky and charming. The 32-year-old caterer and soiree guru has been living in his bachelor pad with his Yorkie, Napoleon, since fixing it up in 2006, when he redid the hardwood floors, painted the walls, installed his bedroom door and renovated the bathroom.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    "There's definitely a dichotomy in my apartment between the living room and the bedroom," notes David. "The bedroom is a little more serious, whereas the living room is colorful, cartoony and fun." It's no surprise that Pop Art prints and decals are scattered throughout his abode since he always had a "knack for pen, ink and spray paint" growing up in Brooklyn Heights.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    "It's a place where you go when you want to have a good time," describes David of his party-ready pad. "I have a 1,000-square-foot backyard, and I throw amazing barbecues. I can easily fit 40 people in the living room during the winter for a holiday party, and the bedroom can hold another 15. I've had four girls pee in the shower at once [when the toilet overflowed]. So it really works out."

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    David was inspired by the street-art documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop to create this handprint-splattered door. "In the film, we are shown that anyone can be an artist, and it got me thinking: Since I live here, that makes it mine. And what is more you than your own handprint?" he muses. "So I stayed up from 1am to 3am that night painting the door with my own hands."

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    "Technically, it's a heat riser," says David, referring to the metal rod in the middle of his living room. "But in the summer, people dance all over it. It's sturdy and not going to fall down if someone is having a good time on it." A stripper pole wouldn't be the wildest thing in the space: West Elm (locations throughout the city; visit westelm.com) zebra pillows backed by vibrant orange styles from Bed Bath & Beyond (locations throughout the city; visit bedbathandbeyond.com) punch up the neutral couches that David snagged from Crate and Barrel (611 Broadway between E Houston and Bleecker Sts, 212-780-0004 * 650 Madison Ave at 60th St, 212-308-0011 * crateandbarrel.com) about ten years ago. The red rug from Ikea (1 Beard St at Otsego St, Red Hook, Brooklyn; 718-246-4532, ikea.com) also brightens things up.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    David uses these abbreviated-slang--emblazoned photo albums from Urban Outfitters (locations throughout the city; visit urbanoutfitters.com) to store pictures from past parties. "I never, ever use these phrases," he swears. "If you were to say, 'Hey, nice to meet you! That was so much fun today, LOL,' I wouldn't call you again."

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    The two graffiti posters on either side of the Andy Warhol soup-can print from Art.com are souvenirs from a now-closed Mr. Brainwash (mrbrainwash.com) exhibition that opened downtown in February. "He gave out tons of free ones every day," recalls David. "I wound up taking close to 100 posters over the course of his run. I've given them out as gifts to almost all of my friends." He saved this pair for himself and mounted them in frames from Bed Bath & Beyond.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    David didn't have to spend his life savings on this oversize Keith Haring print: "It's actually a linen scarf I got at Patricia Field for $75 and then custom framed for an additional $350," he boasts of his thrifty art piece, which he purchased a year after tattooing the same image on his forearm. "I can relate to Keith Haring because he's a real New Yorker too."

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    This meta Roy Lichtenstein print, snagged at a now-closed West Village gallery, illustrates a man and a woman having a conversation about Lichtenstein's art. "I wanted to own a print from one of the greatest American Pop Artists of the last century," declares David.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    "Do you see the date?" asks David, referring to this framed Playboy magazine cover hanging on the wall by the entryway. "October '79. That was the month and year I was born. If you want to look at naked women, then you can just go onto any Internet site; but at this point, if someone is reading Playboy, then he's actually reading," says the longtime subscriber. "And that's me." The Keith Haring figure is a decal purchased at Patricia Field.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    "I almost never pay for alcohol because I get it from events," admits David, motioning toward his Ikea liquor cabinet, which contains more than 280 plastic Belvedere drinking cups and about $2,000 to $3,000 worth of free booze. "But I don't drink---even when I have a $300 bottle of wine or a $600 bottle of Scotch in my face. I never acquired a taste for it, and I'm a lot more fun sober than drunk." He does, however, consume up to six cups of coffee from the moment he wakes up until about 2am, when he goes to bed.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    "The kitchen was garbage before I redid it two and a half years ago," says David. "There wasn't a cement board behind my apartment, so rats would chew through the walls and run around, which wasn't good---especially when I wanted to bring home a girl at three in the morning." Thankfully, David's landlord didn't charge him a dime to fix up the kitchen. He used a contractor, and most of the supplies were purchased at Home Depot (locations throughout the city; visit homedepot.com).

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    A montage of personal photos covers David's refrigerator. "All of the pictures in my apartment are of my friends," he notes. "It could be an ex-girlfriend, best friend or someone I haven't seen in ten years---it doesn't matter. I'm always entertaining, and I like to have [images of] my friends around." The only exception is a snapshot with Lindsay Lohan, who is not a pal. "That's a photo of me and my ex-girlfriend in L.A.---we wanted to take a cheesy photo," he says of the computer generated image. "It's a goof!"

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    David picked up the framed photo in the corner of his kitchen for $40 at Billy's Antiques & Props (76 E Houston St at Elizabeth St; 917-576-6980, billysantiques.com). "I thought it was a beautiful shot," he says. "I wanted it to be like a preview for what you're walking into when you get to the bathroom---since there's a shower, there's hopefully a naked woman in it." It's not the only ominous adornment leading to the water closet: "I decided to wrap my bathroom door with caution tape," he states. "Not that there's anything dangerous in there, but I think it looks pretty cool. I just went around it with about eight pieces of tape cut into 12-foot strips; it took almost two hours."

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    David admits he has a penchant for smiley faces: You'll find them adorning this shower curtain from Bed Bath & Beyond, in the Takashi Murakami floral print hanging above his liquor cabinet and in the framed Keith Haring scarf over his dining-room table. "You should want to come home somewhere that makes you smile," he explains. "If everything in the apartment is making you smile, then it should make other people smile as well. I won't lie, I've had a few girls cry in here, but you take what you can get." Juxtaposing the optimistic decor is a John Steinbeck quote ("New York is an ugly city, a dirty city...") engraved on a piece of wood. David "had to have it" when he saw a street vendor selling it on West Broadway in the summer of 2010.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    "I went to high school in the '90s, so I used to do a lot of stuff like this," David says of his bathroom collage. "I pulled images from about 30 magazines; there's an Adidas and Keith Haring collaboration, a photo of Sienna Miller and a picture of a Tom Ford model."

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    "This is a bachelor den of sorrows and iniquity, but yes, it is a bachelor pad," jokes David, and his minimalist, masculine bed fits that theme. The bed frame, mirror and shelves are all from Ikea, while the comforter and pillows were purchased from Pottery Barn (locations throughout the city; visit potterybarn.com). "You don't want to decorate your whole apartment with Ikea," he concedes. "But it really makes sense for a lot of key things, and these pieces fit perfectly in this little nook."

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    David borrowed this Hennessy lamp from a buddy. "My friend said hold on to it---I'll pick it up," he says. "That was about five years ago."

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    "I've always been fascinated by blown glass and pottery," notes David, who scored these ceramic vases at Angel Street Thrift Shop (118 W 17th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves; 212-229-0546, angelstreetthrift.org) and the orange-and-red ones at Ikea. "It takes the concept of functionality in its most primal form---a vessel to eat and drink out of---and has been redone countless times. These [styles] may just be a few of them, but they spoke to me at the time."

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    All three black-and-white prints hanging above the couch in David's bedroom are from a now-closed West Village gallery. Sandwiched between an image of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol and Herb Ritts's iconic photograph of supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour, Christy Turlington and Tatjana Patitz is a snapshot of a man and a woman in a seductive pose. "I don't know who the photographer is, but I've probably done that pose myself," says David. "I've had these photos for about ten years, and they're just images I love. And I've always wanted a black-and-white room." Polka-dot pillows from Bed Bath & Beyond further help him achieve his desired color scheme.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    David's walk-in shoe closet holds close to $30,000 worth of collectible kicks (it's dedicated to his top 100 pairs). A majority of the footwear was purchased at Blue and Cream (1 E 1st St at Bowery; 212-533-3088, blueandcream.com), Dave's Quality Meat (7 E 3rd St between Bowery and Second Ave; 212-505-7551, dqmnewyork.com), Alife (158 Rivington St between Clinton and Suffolk Sts; 212-375-8116, alifenyc.com) and Niketown (6 E 57th St between Fifth and Madison Aves; 212-891-6453, store.nike.com). "Even in high school, I was always the guy with the cool sneakers," he recalls. "It's turned into more of a gallery than stuff I actually wear."

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

    This poster of an NYC subway map with a graffiti-style New York Yankees symbol over it is another bargain purchase from a street vendor. "While I'm more a fan of street art and graffiti culture than the Yankees, my grandfather is a huge fan [of the team]," says David. "He's 94 years old and will most likely outlive me. This poster connects us."

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Brett David's Upper West Side Apartment

Much like his upbeat personality, Brett David's (brettdavid.com) 600-square-foot rental is quirky and charming. The 32-year-old caterer and soiree guru has been living in his bachelor pad with his Yorkie, Napoleon, since fixing it up in 2006, when he redid the hardwood floors, painted the walls, installed his bedroom door and renovated the bathroom.

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CB2 (451 Broadway between Canal and Grand Sts; 212-219-1454, cb2.com)
"It's an affordable, colorful and downtown-style alternative to the regular-priced, more conservative line," says David.

HomeGoods (795 Columbus Ave at 99th St; 212-280-6303, homegoods.com)
"You can buy great items, large or small, for very affordable prices," enthuses David of the discount chain. "Paying retail for fashion or design in NYC is a sucker's game."

Patricia Field (302 Bowery between Bleecker and E Houston Sts; 212-966-4066, patriciafield.com)
"She has her finger on the pulse of the newest trends as well as the up-to-the-minute style evolutions in this city," says David, who found his Keith Haring wall decals and framed scarf at the celebrity stylist's clothing shop.

Urban Zen (705 Greenwich St between Charles and W 10th Sts; 212-206-3999, urbanzen.org)
"You can find gifts, artwork and tapestries that range from $25 to $2,500," notes David of this altruistic shop from Donna Karan (proceeds are donated towards work programs and rebuilding infrastructure in impoverised countries). "And it's great quality, no matter what."

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1 comments
Chris Fox
Chris Fox

Tie up your dog like everyone else does. Dispose of your black market Service Dog Patch on Napoleon. And don't take dogs into Whole Foods... Check out: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/05/nyc-residents-using-fake-service-dog-tags-to-take-pets-everywhere/?test=latestnews You are mentioned by name and career, Wasn't so hard to find you. My wife is blind and uses a Service Dog, you and people such as you defile the loyal and caring nature of legitimate Service Dogs. Thank you, Chris.