sneak peek: kevin o’shea

interior designer and ceramicist kevin o’shea lives with his partner david and two kitties – stella and boris – in a light-filled apartment in New York City’s financial district. kevin’s ceramic’s company is called happy and that’s certainly the vibe one gets from his apartment. it’s filled with things that make us smile! [thanks, kevin!] – amy a.

[When we moved into this apartment a year ago it was a white box, it took me about 6 months to figure out what I wanted to do with it.  The building was built in 1929 and is on the National Historic Register, it is a fabulous Art Deco tower but has many odd angles and random window placements, which made furniture placement, wall hangings, and lighting very challenging but after another long six months of work the apartment has finally come to a place that makes both us very happy! I made a point to incorporate a lot of original artwork and craft into our home, one example of this are the brightly colored handmade pillows purchased from various crafters on ETSY.  I especially love the 50’s Birdcage Pillow by Olive (it is a little ironic that this corner of the sofa is favored by the cats!).  The vintage lamp base was being thrown away by a friend of mine, I rescued it, and topped it with a new shade.]

The long eight-foot sofa was the perfect fit for this imposing wall and it serves as the gathering place during the dinner parties we throw frequently.  The turquoise ottoman once stood in my grandmother’s bedroom in her house on Cape Cod. She loved mid-century modern furniture (when it was new!) and I used to nap on this ottoman as a kid but never dreamed it would end up in my house in Manhattan! I am really big into cacti and succulents lately, this was the first cactus I ever owned and it has inspired many more which seem to popping up all over the house. The vintage rubber glove mold is from one of my favorite shops in New York, Fishs Eddy.

Because this room is so oddly shaped I took a “loft living” approach to the furnishings and created small vignettes of furniture that can be moved around depending on their needs.  This fabulous imposing wingback pops against the rich chocolate brown wall and can be turned toward the TV or the sofa depending on the need.  There are also a lot of stools around the house, perfect for impromptu seats or tables this stump stool is one of my favorites.  The wall hanging is from San Francisco artist Kenneth Wingard.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Kevin’s sneak peek (including all the image on one page) after the jump!


We call this The Wall of Curiosities, it is a collection of original art by local artists (and myself), mementos from our past (including David’s first Abba album), and oddities we collect when we travel to commemorate certain trips or locales.  This wall is constantly evolving and overlooks our dining area where it serves as a great conversation piece during dinner.

Another seating vignette in the house is this fabulous purple velvet chair accented by a black rubber Gnome Stool from Kartell.  I was lucky enough to find a tray that fit the top perfectly making this stool into a very whimsical side table.

I am obsessed with many things in life but marble topped tables’ rank very high on that list.  The dining table was the first thing we bought for the house and the acrylic chairs let it stand out proud! The spectacular mirror above the table is over 150 years old and we found it at the Brooklyn Flea Market.  The china cabinet is another antique David brought with him when he moved from London, I dressed it up with some new hardware and its one of my favorite pieces in the house.
I wasn’t kidding about the marble table obsession; it appears hear in the bedroom with these buttery colored marble nightstands.  The mercury glass lamps add a touch of glamour to the otherwise sparse room.  An Australian artist that David met when he lived in Sydney for a few years painted the watercolors over the bed.

When you enter the apartment, there is a long corridor that I really hadn’t given much thought to at first.  We had wanted to combine photos of family and friends on a “gallery” wall for quite some time and this proved to be the perfect location.  We photocopied all the photos into black and white and have been collecting various black frames for over a year now, this wall continues to grow and always stops people when they walk through the front door.
We are fortunate to have the ever-coveted outdoor space in Manhattan.  The very long and skinny terrace proved challenging at first but after two growing seasons I think it is now perfect.  I designed this space to feel like an outdoor room with a nod to traditional garden furniture.  David has the green thumb and tends to all the gorgeous flowers and plants and we both enjoy sunset cocktails here overlooking the Hudson River.  It is a really magical place at night with all the lanterns lit; it’s our little oasis amongst New York City’s canyons of steel.


i love the terrace! and the black frames in the hall! and pretty much everything!


This is one of my favorite Sneak Peeks, great use of space and fabulous taste!


Beautiful home, Kevin! I am (of course) wildly jealous of your porch space.

Would you mind sharing where you got your sofa?


I am loving every inch of this place! Especially the ‘Wall of Curiosities’…

Also, Grace, the ‘Click Here’ link is a dead end.

Kevin O'Shea

Thank you all for the lovely comments, I am glad you enjoy the house!

The sofa is from Room and Board for those of you inquiring.


Perfect. I love the bright colors as well as the deeper, saturated ones.


I love the wall of curiosities! What a great idea to prompt conversation during dinner. I also love the single red frame on the wall of black frames.


I was dying to see pictures of the kitties, I admit it, especially since my cat is named Boris too… Beautiful home though.

Julie Wolfson

My dream house! Thank you so much- I will take one of those please.


I am in love with the wall of curiosities. Am thinking now of what eclectic things I have around my house too!


For those who love the sofa, in addition to Room and Board, check out the Bantam sofa from DWR ($1780-$1980), or the Metro line of sofas at Macys (about half the price).

melanie c

LOVE your space! I too would love to see the kitties… but your home is really amazing. clean yet cozy; designy yet personal!


Hey Kevin,
Great place! Where did you get that rug out on your porch? It’s so colorful!!!


beautiful kev! i love the use of turquoise throughout. can’t wait to see it in person!


How I yearn for a little outdoor space! Love the place, I had seen those pillows by Olive and wanted to purchase them, oh well I am going to copy.

I just love the feel of this space. And the turquoise ottoman is to die for.


rediculously wonderful. i’ve officially stared at that split between the living room and the bookcase for 15 min. i’m also a bit of a “family photos on the wall” hater but yours look fantastic.


i love the colors and the general cheerfulness of this apartment. i read recently that because of the dire economic times we are in, many people are going for bright, cheery colors. whether or not this was the intent of the designer, it certainly evokes a positive mind frame! excellent work, love the ottoman!



What a great space…I love the wall of balck and white and that awesome outdoor space you were able to put together. Wonderful job.


The Kenneth Wingard piece looks DIY-doable. I am filing that one away in my “inspiration for beautiful, bizarre coathanger sculptures” folder. =)


i’m in love with that gallery wall..especially with that single red frame !!


Great space and use of color. And just had to post to say how adorable that your mom and dad posted! Such sweet parents. :)


Lovely and HAPPY.
The black wall idea is great as well as the B&W photos in black frame with a surprise red frame!
Very relaxed and inviting.


Love it! Is the couch vintage? Would love to know where it came from so I can go there NOW.


I love your entire place, but I’m especially inspired by your use of color in your outdoor space.


The photos made the place look magical – just as it does in person! :) Wait – when did you say you were coming over to decorate my place?

Nancy Hambleton

What a wonderful, colorful place! I just love it!