James & Mark's Haute Flea Market Style

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Name: James Franco and Mark Goldrick
Location: Newport, Rhode Island
Size: 1200 square feet (includes an outdoor deck)
Years lived in: 8 years; rented

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.

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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 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."

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Haute flea market with a sense of humor, nostalgic, eclecticism. 

Inspiration: Our backgrounds in art, merchandizing, and retail; derelict houses that need love have so many possibilities.

Favorite Element: The portrait room - I (Mark) have been in love with old portraits since junior high - and the way our separate collections mesh together.

Biggest Challenge: Never enough room, and no closets!

What Friends Say: "This place is cool." "Wow, it's like a museum."

Biggest Embarrassment: The apartment needs lots of work. My room, no closets!!!! (Mark won't let ANYONE see his room.)

Proudest DIY: A great paint job with expensive paint. Making an unrentable (scary) apartment look like it should (not scary).

Biggest Indulgence: Our art and religious collections. 

Best Advice: Don't be afraid of color or placement. It can all be redone.  

Dream Sources: The world, high and low. We love the hunt.

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Resources of Note:

PAINT & COLORS

• All Benjamin Moore
• Warhol Room & Hall of Devotion: Deep Space
• Living Room: Cactus Flower
• Jimi's Bedroom: Mexicali Turquoise
• Bathroom: Rumba Orange
• Portrait Room and kitchen cabinets: Perennial
• Kitchen walls: New Lime

WARHOL ROOM
  • Mannequins: Purchased at Leys Century Store in Newport when they closed   in 1996; the female bust was designed by Andree Putman; paper headpiece made by James.
  • Jazz Print: Bought from Tucker's Bistro in Newport when they closed• Mark's white ceramic collection: Haeger, McCoy, Stangl; found at flea markets and antique shops
  • Poodle figurine: Belonged to James' grandmother
  • Bookcase and display case: Estate sale
  • Panther: Gift from friends Tucker and Ellen, owner's of former Newport restaurant Tucker's.
  • Hand and lips: Samples sent to Pleasant Surprise, the gift shop Mark manages.
  • Sofa and leather chair: Inherited from friends
  • Pillows on leather chair: Crispina for Fuchsia, Inc., made from recycled sweaters
  • Pillows on sofa: Artobjects Unlimited - now gone - Mark ordered through a sales rep friend.
  • Shakespeare silkscreen: Purchased from A Newport Art Gallery at a going out of business sale.
  • Painting of Boxer: "A Hard Lesson" by Emmeric James Konrad, 2003
  • Roller skates: James' own
LIVING ROOM
  • Dollar silkscreen: Purchased from A Newport Art Gallery at a going out of business sale.
  • Wing chair: Inherited from Mark's grandmother
  • Sofa: Inherited
  • Artwork: Peter Jimolka, former Newport Artist, now in Monterey
  • Elvis: Gift from Mark's Godson
HALL OF DEVOTION
• Religious icons mostly from Armory Antiques in Newport

KITCHEN:
• Painting: Newport artist Sue McNally
• Schoolhouse clock: Consignment store in Vermont
• Mod clock: Pleasant Surprise
• Sunbeam girl: Brimfield Antique Show
• Tiny jukebox: Target
• Question mark plates: Curiosity Shoppe for Target
  • Rug in front of sink: Purchased from a friend who went to Turkey to buy rugs. It is over 100 years old.
  • Tin cans: Mostly from the 70's from Boston
  • Clown cookie jar: James' Aunt
  • EAT letters: Anthropologie
  • 1950's ceramic elves: Thrift store
  • Toaster: Michael Graves for Target
  • Framed seed packets: From a company that bought a warehouse full in upstate NY; Mark ordered a set at a stationary show.
PORTRAIT ROOM:
• Portraits: Friends, resale shops, antique shops, street finds
• Belfast water clock: Brimfield Antique Show
• Sofa: Thrift store in Miami
• Question mark pillows: Curiosity Shoppe for Target
• Other four pillows on the sofa: Bloomingdales, NYC

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Thanks, James and Mark!

(Images: Jacqueline Marque)

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