NY House Tour: Uri Stays Monochrome
Location: East Village
Size: 1600 sqft
Favorite: that it is rent controlled and is a big space with an open feel
Years Lived In: 13
Uri relishes monochrome as a background because of all the possibilities it allows in the foreground. Growing up in a Brooklyn home designed by his father and full of some of the furniture seen here had an impact as well on his color choices. While accustomed to this palette, Uri does not feel constrained by it…
“People stand out more,” says Uri when explaining why he chooses to live, primarily, among the colors black, grey and white. But it’s not just guests that get highlighted. Uri loves how he can introduce one colorful object–such as the set of blue bowls in the kitchen–and it becomes the instant focus of the apartment. In fact, a couple of years ago, Uri had a yellow phone in the living room and he said, “it seemed like the sun.”
Uri’s apartment was once the between-act lounge of a Yiddish Theater. If you need proof, take note of the payphone in the corner of Uri’s apartment, just behind the turntables! Soon, it might be the only payphone left in New York City!!!
The building is now a movie-plex. To throw out his garbage, Uri has to go downstairs and through the movie theater lobby to the garbage bins in the back courtyard. After 13 years of this ritual, the career ticket-taker finally recognizes him and no longer asks Uri for his ticket!
My Style About 70% of the way to 2001: a space odyssey
Inspiration See above
Favorite element Argon, or the steel coffee table I made.
Biggest Challenge When I first moved in, the place was a pit. There was a giant hole in the floor of the bathroom that led to a dank, disgusting space large enough to hide a family of six. The hardest thing was becoming comfortable with pouring money into a rental apartment.
What friends say The most satisfying thing has been the change of the median comment over time: “Wow, you have an amazing place!” (2006) from “Wow, you could do so much with this place!” (1993)
Biggest Embarrassment Probably the ‘temporary’ shades that have been up for 18 months now.
Proudest DIY The bathroom. It went from being truly terrifying to my favorite room in the house.
Biggest Indulgence The 100-pound industrial coffee grinder from the 1940s that I bought at an antique store. The vendor had no idea if the thing worked, so I went across the street and bought a quarter-pound of whole-bean Kenya AA to check it out.
Lighting Cords from Ikea; large incandescent bulbs from Just Bulbs; all the others are compact fluorescent