Jonathan Van Ness Got a Bigger NYC Apartment for His Cats

published Feb 15, 2019
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From transforming folks on “Queer Eye” to his inspiring ice skating journey on Instagram, Jonathan Van Ness is busy being our internet BFF all day, every day. But when he has some down time, where does he go to relax? The Fab Five member recently upgraded his New York digs, and—can you believe??—we have a peek inside.

Van Ness recently upgraded to a larger space for a reason many pet parents can relate to: “I needed a bigger apartment in Manhattan because I had two cats and then I adopted a kitten, and I was really struggling as a cat father in a tiny NY apartment and needed more space for the kids!”

He worked with Maggie Lydecker Kanter, interior designer and part of AllModern and Wayfair Design Services, to get a relaxing, “cabin in the city” vibe for the place. “I love wood, and earthy stuff. I love a rustic, cabin-in-the-city chic aesthetic–like Ms. Honey’s home from Matilda,” Van Ness said. “That’s exactly what AllModern helped me achieve in my new apartment.” Here’s how she made it work.

Be smart about storage

Lydecker Kanter shared her top tips on designing for a small space, and a big challenge—no surprise here—is storage. “The two bookshelves we used to flank the TV doubled as storage solutions. In addition, we made sure his bed was high enough to store seasonal clothes underneath. We also incorporated floating wall shelves in place of a nightstand.”

Work with what you love

“Jonathan found an amazing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ print at a flea market on Melrose in L.A.,” she told Apartment Therapy. “We decided to hang it above his bed, and pulled colors from the piece into his accent pillows to tie the room together.”

Less is not always more

But a smaller space doesn’t necessarily mean a stripped-down layout. “People get confused by putting less furniture in a small space, but actually the lack of furniture makes a space look smaller. Instead, focus on the layout. Furniture that’s purposeful makes the space feel elongated, so don’t be afraid to add additional seating in front of the sofa.”

Pet hair doesn’t have to take over

“We went with a pet-friendly faux leather sectional since leather makes it easy to wipe away fur and dirt,” she said. “Darker colored and bold patterned rugs are a great way to hide cat hair. AllModern sells one of a kind rugs, so we were able to find two bold red rugs for his living room and bedroom, that didn’t feel identical.” Van Ness counts the rug as one of his favorite things about the space—adding “and my cats of course!”

Define the space

“It’s no secret that NYC spaces are small, so it’s important to love every inch,” Van Ness said. Lydecker Kanter identified that breaking up the space is essential, especially when your place is tiny. “It was important to make a clear distinction between the living room and dining room, so we layered the rug under the living area to separate the space. We then created a dining moment and the gallery wall–which helped to anchor that as its own space. And the cat print played great homage to his favorite furry friends!”