Designer Philip Gorrivan’s East Village Apartment Was a Labor of Love

After looking at nearly 50 apartments in New York, interior designer Philip Gorrivan finally found this East Village gem, a one-bedroom prewar apartment perched high in a 17-story building—a rarity with downtown’s strict building ordinances. Working from offices in New York and London, Philip has made a name for himself mixing playful, contemporary designs with classic details, so when he stumbled upon this place, he saw it as a chance to have some fun. A custom wall mural by street artist Pixote, far-flung market finds, rich patterns, and a stunning art collection echo Philip’s passions. “The thing I love most about my apartment is being surrounded by things I love,” he says. Gushing over this beautiful space is inevitable. Because we’re the helpful sort, we’ve also listed a few of our favorite takeaways that you could totally apply to your own home.

Although it looks small, the teal Minotti love seat in the living room actually has extra soft cushions that make it Philip’s favorite nap spot. The patterned sectional is another prime place to relax. “My absolute favorite spot in my apartment is sitting on my sofa facing the city north with a view of the Empire State Building with its ever-changing colors. I sit there every night enjoying my view,” he says. Anchored above the love seat are seven bulls’ head baskets, a unique take on a gallery wall. They originate from the Basque region on the border of France and Spain, Philip says. “I don’t know why, but I’m obsessed with them!”

Photo: Joshua McHugh

The designer’s treasured Christian Astuguevieille coffee table, another item he can never part with, holds several vibrant pieces from his malachite collection.

Photo: Joshua McHugh

Philip loves entertaining, so the apartment’s spacious dining room was a big plus. The yellow table is a custom design and the metal-and-leather chairs by Michel Cadestin and Georges Laurent were decommissioned from the Pompidou Center Center in Paris.

Photo: Joshua McHugh

Philip first met artist Pixote when he was working on a project for a client. He loved his work, so when he found his new apartment, he thought it would be the perfect place for them to work together again. As the story goes, Philip left for a weekend and gave Pixote the keys and free reign—and the designer returned to find his dining room wall transformed.

Photo: Joshua McHugh

“Don’t be shy about repainting or even wallpapering part of your apartment, even if you have a year-long rental,” says Philip. “It’s easy to repaint a space, and the enjoyment a year of living with color and patterns that make you happy easily outweighs the small hassle of having to repaint, or remove a small amount of wallpaper for a landlord. Who knows, they may even like it!” Here, a bit of wallpaper, from the designer’s own line at Holland & Sherry, adds texture to the ceiling of the dove gray hallway.

Photo: Joshua McHugh

The hallway’s walls host an array of pieces with stories to tell. Among those is one of Philip’s most cherished, a self portrait of the Italian artist Gabbiano. He purchased the gouache several years ago from the antiques dealer Robertaebasta. “Gabbiano has a timeless quality to him, from his stylish taste in clothes to pensive look—and he’s so full of life. Is he looking into the future or thinking about his next painting?” Philip wonders.

Photo: Joshua McHugh

The spacious master bedroom is adorned in several fabrics Philip designed. The series above the bed is by Ronnie Hughes. “I love his work, and he is from Sligo, like the rest of my father’s family,” he says. The cherry red chair is one of two Spoleto chairs he owns.

Photo: Joshua McHugh

In the bathroom, guests leave messages tucked into in the wooden hands that Philip purchased in South Kensington Farmers’ Market when he lived in London. Strings of prayer beads hang above. “The common thread amongst them all is they offer protection, and I think I’ve got just about every major religion represented last I looked.”

Photo: Joshua McHugh

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