June 2, 2014
Building & Beers with Brad
Brad talks design while we drink vodka. The universe makes sense
Summer in the city means a lot of things, but mostly rooftop parties and the incessant use of anyone’s balcony/fire escape. So when the mercury hit 83 this weekend we climbed out onto Brad‘s Greenwich Village terrace for some beers, limes, and vodka (not in that order). There we chatted about him, his love life, his love of dancing, his perfect weekend to-do list, and his work designing the Food52 kitchen (more on that later). Part one of this feature, starts here:
Hey Brad! Tell us your age and star sign:
I’m 29 and an Aries
And where are you originally from ?
West Bloomfield, MI
What do you do?
I’m a designer and maker
What’s your average weekend routine like?
I usually don’t get out of bed until I beat Scrabble on the hardest setting. After a ride up the West Side Highway, or SoulCycle class if the weather is shitty, I meet with friends for brunch in the Village. This is followed by a visit to the Union Square Farmers Market to pick up some fresh produce. I love entertaining, so I try and keep a stocked fridge. For dinner, I’ll invite friends over to enjoy good food and wine. And if we’re feeling ambitious, we’ll go dancing.
Come on now, stop. SoulCycle, the Farmers Market, and a dinner party? You’re lying—tell us something about your weekend that you’d prefer not to. Give us something real:
I mean, I do my laundry. Does that work?
OK, sure. And dancing? Does that still happen in New York?
Sometimes it’s in my apartment and sometimes we’ll head to this cool salsa place in the East Village.
Why did you move to the city?
The energy. It’s a good match
What would you say is your defining characteristic?
I’ve been told I’m personable
As a teenager who did you worship?
Eliel Saarinen. He designed my high school and I was always so inspired by his architecture.
And what’s your go-to karaoke song?
“Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley
What are you currently obsessed with?
Creating affordable artwork. I’m opening an E-commerce shop in a few weeks
Oh that’s exciting! OK so food! What’s your favorite restaurant in New York?
Taste you can’t live without:
Imperative to what we’re drinking. Are you single?
What exactly are you looking for?
What’s your favorite coffee spot and your favorite place to ride to?
Newsbar Café in Union Square and Central Park
We love your place? Tell us about it:
Thanks! This is my live/work loft. My friends call it the B. Sherman Lodge. There are always people here, to work and play. I moved in 6 months ago and had all this leftover material from past projects that I used in the renovation. I wanted the space to feel casual and natural. There’s a wood-burning fireplace, a rarity in New York, which is always going the minute the outside temperature goes below 50 degrees. I also grow veggies and herbs on my terrace.
So, you’re an interior designer, right?
Of sorts. My clients think I’m nuts. One day I’ll be drawing up demo plans and then next I’ll be knee deep in drywall helping my contractors put up walls. I like being involved in every step of the process. I mainly design spaces and furniture for start-up companies.
Why do you do it?
Because I believe design should be accessible. Interior design can be expensive, especially in New York. Start-ups depend on cool spaces to show their company culture and help attract the best young talent. Most of the time, start-ups have a small budget and we’re happy to work with it.
Plus, I love spending time with my clients—getting to know them, their personalities and how they work best. It helps me design most functional spaces.
Define your aesthetic in three words
Collected, clean, artsy
My room is a mess, where do I start?
Step 1: Take everything out
Step 2: Bring back in the basics, thereby eliminating all clutter
Steph 3: Experiment with everything else. If it’s a lot of small art, try grouping it. If it’s a cool hat, find a hook and make it art. If a side table is not working, look around your house to see what else you can mix in. Use closed storage solutions for the stuff that normally lives on your surfaces.
Stick around, we talk about one of Brad’s biggest projects, the kitchen at Food52, this afternoon!
Photography by Eric Moran