Welcome to our series, "At Home with...," where we sit down with our favorite design tastemakers to learn about the inspiration behind key spaces in their home.
Having grown up on the Upper West Side, Brooklyn was an eerie, far-away land for . But when the producer and creator of MTV’s super-series, Catfish, began his search for the perfect family home, a new borough was calling his name. With a young daughter and a kid on the way, Nev and his wife Laura's efforts shifted from casual browsing to a serious search. Still, Nev explains: “While our search for a new home was very active, we were willing to take our time in order to find the perfect place." Living temporarily in a bright skyscraper on the Upper West Side, Nev and Laura were spoiled with great views and lots of natural light—two boxes they hoped to check off with their final landing pad. "We wanted something open and airy, with that signature New York City character," Laura says.
From converted brownstones to old factory buildings, every home they toured had a different quality to appreciate. Still, their 'sacrifice nothing' attitude meant that the search would not end until they had it all. When they first stepped foot into their future home, Laura and Nev knew right away. “The building wasn’t flashy or brand new, but it had a doorman, elevator, exercise room, and that beautiful natural light that we yearned for,” Nev says. And unlike the very common case of the Catfish, this was not too good to be true.
We talked with Nev and Laura about how they made their dream apartment a home worth settling into.
"In New York City, you want your home to be an oasis," Laura says. "In a city known as the 'concrete jungle,' we wanted the space to feel like a real jungle." To get the job done, Nev and Laura hired Guy Reziciner of , who had previously carried out the design for their matcha cafe——which Nev is part owner of. “We loved the way that Guy had so simply and elegantly designed the space,” Nev says. The two also commissioned Mikheil Karanadze of to carry out all of their custom millwork.
“The main goal was to open up the apartment as much as we could. There was a third bedroom that was probably once a living room annex, and we decided to open it up and add an archway to make it feel like a part of the living room,” Nev says.
“The vibe of the home is very modern retro. We are both attracted to round shapes and edges, and by using these softer silhouettes, we warmed up the feeling of the spaces. We also both love color, art and plants (Nev calls Laura his ‘plant goddess’), and we knew that by keeping the foundation of the home light and bright, we could bring in a lot of fun accents in a way that feels clean and contemporary but also very organic.” By keeping the palette soft and warm, the two could weave in their personal and quirky collectibles that would, in turn, create a cozy and layered feel.
“One of the first big renovations we did was completely gut the kitchen. We wanted every inch of the space to be used, so we added a large island and plenty of storage. While the original cabinets appeared to go all the way up to the ceiling, a good portion of the space was completely unusable. As a family of four living in an apartment, clever storage was key for us. From the hallways to the bedrooms and the kitchen, opening up weird and awkward spaces and turning them into a place for miscellaneous items was key,” Nev says.
“While the kitchen’s overall aesthetic is very minimal, we incorporated custom details like rounded edges on the dining table and cabinets, and statement artwork by ,” Laura explains. “ I describe the space as being reminiscent of a big ship from the ‘60s.”
“When we got rid of the third bedroom, we knew that eventually the kids would be sharing a room. Because of that, we made some adjustments to the master, like extra soundproofing,” Nev explains with a laugh. The bedroom—with a crisp white palette and incredible natural light—features pops of color from a large-scale piece of ombre artwork by above the bed, and weeping vines cascading from a potted plant on the raised shelf. “The apartment truly didn’t feel like ours until we put up our art…it’s one of those things in the home that I couldn’t live without,” Nev says.
"I have a home in Los Angeles that I lived in for six years before moving, and that's where I stay when I'm filming for Catfish. It can get very lonely. When it comes to making this home feel personal, just having my family around me is enough—if I don't hear the sound of screaming infants or catch the occasional eye roll from Laura, my day isn't complete."
"But on a material level, having a great collection of meaningful art, a bowl full of fruit, and a fully stocked fridge are my essentials."
A light, bright, and airy bathroom features photos by and a tapestry by .
“While most parents hope their children’s toys don’t make it into the living room, we accepted from the start that they inevitably will,” Laura says. “While we obviously don’t want it to feel like you’re in a Chuck E Cheese, having a clean foundation weaved with pops of color makes it easier to pull off the ‘scattered toys’ look. I have wonderful memories from my childhood of chasing my siblings around the house, and with our current home's open concept and flow, I’m excited to see the same with my kids.”
Overall, Nev and Laura embody the modern family—crafting a home that is precious but not material. One where great design does exist, but that’s only a small piece of it all. “Our home is beautiful, but it’s also lived in,” Nev says. And when family is the greatest accessory, that’s pretty much guaranteed.
Nev and Laura pose in their living room with their newborn son, Beau.