When James and Mark first laid eyes on their third floor apartment, they saw past the hideous wall mural in the stairwell, dingy cabinets and linoleum in the kitchen, holes in the walls, and ratty stained carpeting. The dumpy place that scared every other potential renter away filled them with a sense of excitement and possibility. Inspired by the apartment's hip South Broadway neighborhood, which reminded them of the old East Village of their 1960's youth, the duo set out to transform the place into a home. With a lot of imagination and hard work, they've created a unique space filled with humor, color, and kitsch.
After each living alone for many years, these two best friends -- who both have backgrounds in art and retail merchandizing and share the same passion for flea markets, religious iconography, Andy Warhol, vintage portraits and 60's nostalgia -- knew that combining their individual collections under one roof would create a pad that is totally over-the-top. Their beloved objects are assembled in what feels like theme rooms. The dramatic candlelit "Hall of Devotion," which includes an authentic Catholic sick room last rites box, and the 1950's one-armed mannequin in The Warhol Room, adorned with the artist's famous coif and a pair of roller skates, are a testament to their love of excess.
James and Mark’s vibrant home feels like an artistic bazaar, two collectors’ ode to their undying love of the hunt. Despite the outrageousness, their fondness for vintage objects comes from a sentimental place. With a hint of wistfulness, James puts it like this: “It’s the memory of my childhood. It’s the feeling of searching in someone’s attic and finding all of these treasures.”
You can check out Mark and Jimi’s full apartment tour and read more about their style on Apartment Therapy.
Photos and text by Jacqueline Marque