Name: Chuck and Michael
Location: East Village
Size: 820 square feet, one bedroom with patio
Lived-In: 5 years, own
Everything in Chuck Gonzales and Michael Thibeault's East Village one-bedroom has a story. Whether it's a wood carving picked up in Mexico or work made by friends, every inch of the apartment is used to display their eclectic art collection, and yet somehow it doesn't feel cluttered...
Their art obsession comes naturally, Chuck is an illustrator and Michael is an art rep and co-creator of Think It Ink It Publishing, a creative writing experience for kids that allows them to turn their stories into hardcover illustrated books.
Last summer, they renovated their kitchen with the help of friend and designer, Barry Rice, who opened the 1980s kitchen up to the whole apartment. The new kitchen utilizes every square inch of space and allows them to exercise their love of homemade Tex-Mex and peanut butter cookies.
Chuck and Michael's Survey
Inspiration: Art. Especially work by the many artists we know.
What is your favorite element of your home? The kitchen and outdoor space…it’s a tossup
What is the biggest challenge of your home? Space, of course.
What do friends say about your home? They seem to like all of the art and everyone loves Barry Rice’s kitchen design (www.barryricedesign.com) and what it has done for our cooking!
What is your home's biggest embarrassment? The closet doors have a will of their own. They constantly spring open…
What DIY project are you most proud of? We're always working on something from changing light fixtures, to painting and gardening. We keep ourselves pretty busy.
What is your Biggest Indulgence, when furnishing your home? Art and we just love that we splurged on a real solid bed!
Best Advice: Buy art and frame it well. You don’t necessarily need a big budget. There are lots of galleries, cafes or online sources. When buying art online, galleries are usually willing to exchange the art if when it arrives, the art is not what you expected.
Hardware: Our sources range from local hardware stores to flea markets.
Furniture: Our last sofa from Crate and Barrel still looked good after 10 years, so we are sticking with them for sofas! Also Cite in Soho. And we have had great success with Park Upholstery on East 14th street. They have been around for years.
Lighting: The Bowery, Gueridon and flea markets
Rugs and Carpets: ABC Carpet (in the basement where they are always willing to negotiate)
Tiles and Stone: Stone Source
Bed: ABC Carpet and Home
Artwork: A lot from artists we know personally and love, but many from travels and going to galleries. And we are heavily drawn to folk art….we appreciate and admire that many folk artists who may be untrained and working with a limited resources, yet have such motivation and drive to make beautiful art.
Masood Kamandy -- Afghanistan airplane close-up in kitchen
Ben Miller -- linoleum collages
Max Miller -- Willie the dog portrait and various abstracts
Peter Ross -- b&w Afghani bricklayer portrait
Matthew Waldman -- fairy
(kitchen photos in slideshow taken by Peter Ross)