sneak peek: ryan humphrey

by


here on d*s it’s always a treat for us when we can throw in a dose of “boy” style.  this sneak peek comes to us from artist and former top design contestant, ryan humphrey. ryan and fashion designer girlfriend, lindsay derose, bought the apartment located in jackson heights queens six years ago as a major fixer-upper.  the apartment has come a long way from the contact paper kitchen counters, wall-to-wall rose-colored carpet and matching floral embroidered cushioned toilet seat in the bathroom. enjoy the full – revamped – peek below, and click here for additional images (don’t miss the sneak peek of fellow top design star goil amornvivat star here). {thanks, ryan!} -anne

{photos by kevin ryan}

[above: Admittedly, my approach is FUNKY. Stream lined, balanced, and tasteful spaces are a bore more often than not.  I do not think anyone’s home should look like it is a set for catalog photography. This perspective to interiors got me in a lot of trouble when I designed a room around a girl’s cat on Top Design.  But that is all right, because subjectivity is what makes the world so dynamic and interesting.

The room in the background is the living room; the blue chair is a vintage Eames (rescued from a dumpster!) The table is an Arne Jacobsen. (Rescued from an apartment cleanout pile!)  The stainless steel R was handed to me by a construction worker on 42nd street who was tearing off layers of a building façade and throwing it all in a dumpster. The portrait next to the R was a self-portrait painted by my father when he was 17.  The desk is an antique given to me by my mother; she also made the hanging lamp.  The paintings are by Aaron McMasters and Sam Gibbons.]


The sofa is by Todd Oldham for Lazy Boy, I bought it from two really mean sisters in Williamsburg for $35!  The aqua colored painting above it is by David Von Schlegell I found it on the street in the middle of the night.  He was a huge sculptor in the 60’s and was also the head of the Yale art department. The poster is vintage Van Halen. (EBAY IS AWESOME!) All the pillows were sewn by my mother except for the Bravo pillow, which I stole. The African sculptures were my grandmothers, probably from the 50’s. The LeCoultre clock was my grandfather’s. Some of the other artists are Kevin Ryan, Sarah Eichner, and Sam Gibbons. The Moschino bag I customized with punk rock spikes.  I also designed and built the CD cabinet and the coffee table.


This is the foyer/library. The shelves are raw unfinished lumber that was borrowed from a Con Edison construction project. The library shelf was made by Brooklyn artist Jonathan Schipper. I retrofitted it with skateboard wheels.


The display cabinet on the left was the front of an old checkout counter, it was used to hold sunglasses, I pushed it home from the closing store on a moving dolly, intentionally losing drawers and doors the whole way. After a little creativity with a Sawzall and a router I was able to shave off the front and install it on the wall.  Yes! It is heavy.  It contains, objects ranging from my childhood, to flea market finds, to mementos from traveling.  Some examples are a dentist casting from the left side of my mouth, Star Wars action figures, a practice hand grenade, Eva Ziesel vessels, silverware found flattened on the road.  The art on the floor are graffiti artists NECKFACE, and DOZE GREEN, Both of which were “liberated” from a construction barricade and a giant metal office cabinet that was thrown away. The red and white painting is by Christine Heindl and the small spin art painting is a copy of a Damien Hirst by Eric Doeringer.

CLICK HERE for the rest of ryan’s peek after the jump!


This is my prized collection of vintage 80’s skateboards most of which were found at street sales or Craigslist, The tramp art Eiffel tower lamp I found curbside and I rewired it, The collection of Frisbees are 60’s and 70’s vintage and I bought them all at a yard sale for $5 The framed Daguerreotype is a portrait of my face covered with Vasoline by Matt Larkin.


This is the corner of our bedroom. The rug is vintage Edward Fields that I traded a painting of mine for.  The Dresser is mid century mediocre, We call him “Rex the Robot” because if you leave a drawer open it looks like it has a mouth and the handles look like eyes. The drawing above the dresser is one of my own and the Humphrey Industries boxes were in an exhibition at The Whitney Museum.  The framed posters are vintage 80’s Skateboard heroes Mark “Gator” Rogowski, and Jeff Phillips. The bicycle I also custom painted.


This is a vintage Russel Wright sideboard that I got for cleaning out someone’s house when I was college. Inside I have my Grandfather’s entire collection of Russel Wright dishes, which gets added to on a regular basis.  The top shelf contains my collection of Tiki cups collected solely from thrift stores (EBAY IS CHEATING!)  I found the last supper painting in the middle of the sidewalk, it was taped to a portrait of Jesus, I suspect someone leaned it against their car, forgot about it, and drove off.


This is a detail of the foyer. The wallpaper is Cole and Sons. The Charlie Harper book was a gift from Todd Oldham. The phone I customized with Eddie Van Halen’s guitar graphics. The gun vase is by Brooklyn Artist Tracy Gilman, the trunk is a Jewish Immigrant’s trunk that I bought for $10 at a junk shop.


These are guitar amplifier cabinets that I turned into bookshelves lined with faux fur.  Nothing says “Hair Metal” more than high quality pink fur.


This is a solid column of Lego Duplo blocks that I have been saving.  I hope to someday make a couch from them.  The portrait of Evel Knievel was a gift painted by Audrey Wideman who was my sole fan from when I was on Season One of Bravo’s Top Design. right: Dumpster dived vintage 80’s Kemper snowboard I turned into a bathroom shelf with scraps of Baltic Birch plywood.


More about Ryan’s design sensibility:

What can I say?  At 39 I am still a teenager, I am interested in vitality. I am inspired by skateboard graphics, rock concerts, and vintage muscle cars more than anything Louis XIV. My mother is responsible for developing my artistic eye at an early age, to this day I can still spot something distinct a block away.

I love interior design, however my approach is that it should be active. If you love ping pong do away with the dining room table, if you love your motorcycle maybe that will be more important in the home than a fancy credenza, If you love surfing I can’t think of a better thing to hang on the wall than a surfboard. These objects are extensions of one self.

I am primarily a fine artist, however I do find myself attacking commercial work time to time.  I have done t-shirt designs for old navy, posters for Dolly Parton and the Beastie Boys and recently did a window/art installation for Moschino.  I am currently working on taking my BMX Bicycling art exhibit titled: Fast Forward to Austin this spring followed by Miami and Los Angeles, as well as my next solo gallery exhibition at DCKT Contemporary in April.  I am also working on a DIY book on repurposing often-discarded objects into cool usable things for the home. I am also slowly restoring my 1969 firebird.

Kelsey Couch

This is awesome! I love what he did with the skateboards very creative and shows off a fun passion. It would be awesome with surf boards on the coast and snowboards in the mountains!

cheryl

I think the homemade snowboard shelf in the bathroom is really fabulous. It made me think twice about how to use objects in my home.

Katherine

This is probably one of my favourite sneek peaks! So many colours! :)

chelsy anne

Ryan. I love what you have done with your space. I haven’t seen the wall to wall pink carpet *before photos, but I can tell you and your girlfriend put a lot of creativity into this home. It’s spaces like these that I wish I actually hold on to books and odd ends. Every summer I get the purging glow (in a good way) for a yard sale. I think I will just have to hit up a couple as well this year.
Thanks for sharing your home.

Kiri

This has to be my favourite of all the sneak peaks. I sometimes wonder if keeping my snowboard and surfboard in the house is a bit bizarre, but not any more!

rachel

oh my…that is the coolest idea to transform amps into bookshelves!!! i’m not a fan of pink, or fur, for that matter…but i’m desperate to find some amps and transform them!!! what an awesome idea!

Jason

nice, i love all your collections. i have a similar godzilla collection of my own.
also, where did you find all the great typefaces I see throughout all these photos? maybe the so cal flea markets just don’t match up to those in your neck of the woods!

Amanda

this place is awesome!! one of the best sneak peeks. i love how undesigned and whimsical it is. thanks so much for sharing this with us!!

gail

SOOO.. girls! outta my way!
I am Ryan’s BIGGEST fan!
he is the stuff! I love him, his pad and design sensibilities!

but too bad he is already taken. :(

Katie (australia)

Wow, some really original ideas here! The skateboard bathroom shelf is tops, can you believe someone would throw this in the dump?

Jacqueline

I’m in the middle of decorating a place that I moved into last year( just no time at all) and I haven’t done a thing to it, but this is the year, and this is place to get some great ideas.

Alison

I love that this sneak peak is a home with the character and story of the life of the real person who lives there. It’s not anonymous and impersonal like some others.

Laura H

Yay! This sneak peak made me so happy and made me feel so much better about all the odd collections I have and display in my tiny house. Thank you for sharing!!!

Margaret Russell

Wow. Ryan was so busy pontificating about anarchy on Top Design that he didn’t let us discover he has an amazing–albeit quirky–eye. I loved this sneak peek; it’s deeply personal and utterly charming. Truly inspiring. Now I’ll click to check out Goil’s place; thank you!

Koral

way way way way too cool!!!! love all the neon details, especially the vintage skateboards displayed on the wall…. love the kenievel artifacts too… but my fave is the totem lamp… is this a canadian souvenier?

nath

i really loved this. it’s so personal and interesting and eclectic. oh but it makes me sad that i don’t live in a city anymore, i miss the great scores you find on street corners.

Leia

one of my favourite sneak peaks! a very realistic, personal, livable style that i would love to live in myself. so refreshing after all the retro modern stuff i always see on her.i all my guy friends would drool over this place.

david

This is one of the best sneak peaks. I can not believe how much stuff he found on the street/ dumpsters or in thrift stores. Everything is like eye candy for me. I mean 80s skateboards! amazing.

Christine Schwalm

I love how the home is a real reflection of the owner. The Van Halen phone might be my favorite item because it’s just so darn clever. And designing your home for the way you really live is the very best design advice you could give.

Angela Traunig

That coffee table is to die for! I’ve done similar work on paper, but I never thought of putting my funky tree rings on furniture. Awesome!

angie

Ann Kwilinski

I love this place, LOVE LOVE LOVE. Wow so makes me nostalgic, like I am sitting on the stoop with the boys on my old vision deck.

Chloe C

Loved this
Loved this.
Loved this.
a real home for areal person.

Chloe C.

Loved this Loved this Loved this.
a ral home for real people.

Eva

yeehaa! it’s kind of crazy but that’s why we like it. i think you have a very cool home. thanks for sharing!

John Mueller

Amazing. The Eddie Van Halen phone is too inspired for words. It is very appropriate that you have the cool Pee-Wee & Chairy figures. This is the home Pee-Wee would have if he ever “grew up”.

Shelley

This is a fun Sneak Peak. I love all the fun, eclectic things (well, maybe not all, I’m not sure about the bright pink fun fur shelves…hmm) I really like all the great little collections! Thanks for posting this Sneak Peak.

Aimee

So inspiring, that is the work of one fabulous creative mind! I love the lego tower… I want a lego tower.

Ryan Humphrey

I am really flattered that you all like the place so much. It has been a real treat. I thought I would answer a couple of questions: The totem pole lamp was found in Maine for under $10 (best antiquing ever!) All the letters were found here and there. I just keep my eyes open all the time.

Emmeline

I feel like this house would spark creative inspiration the minute you walk into any one of the rooms. I really love it. It’s wonderful.

holly

I love that it exemplifies PERSONALITY…yours. The best design is the design that reflects YOU and it has been a pleasure to explore your home. thanks

susan strange

the circular color banded coffee table is fabulous
how did ryan make it?
Please?

Farmgirl Susan

Funky is FABULOUS! So many great things about this home. Love the stack of skateboards in the top photo. Thanks for the sneak peek.

OldSkater

I used to have the same skateboard as the one with the peace sign. There’s a smiley face on the top too. Do you know who’s design it is? I can’t remember and have searched for hours on the web and this is the only pic I’ve come across.

LEAVE A COMMENT