Interiorssneak peeks

Sneak Peek: Kevin Burke and David Kimelman

by Shannon Grant

As a documentary and portrait photographer often capturing people in their homes, David Kimelman is always looking for the angles and details within a space that highlight the occupant’s personality and passions. Over the past three years, he and his husband, Kevin Burke — the vice president of creative services for Tommy Hilfiger — have utilized their discerning eye and proclivity for curation to display their own treasures in unexpected ways. They have created a space with gallery-worthy installations containing everything from decoupage to chalk art in their Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, home. Sixties science, magic and the natural world — this is how Kevin and David sum up their decorating style. This curious mix of decor is a testament to their desire to balance old and new, DIY and designer and sophisticated and kitsch, always finding the perfect spot for the never-ending influx of art that they love to make and collect. Their favorite part of their home — the adjustable custom shelving system they designed — is certainly the centerpiece of the space. This modular system gives them ample flexibility to showcase their favorite things. Thank you, Kevin and David, for sharing your home and for the beautiful photos! — Shannon

Image above: We had a DIY chalk mural party with a few friends and lots of wine, and this is the outcome. We couldn’t be happier, and we add to it every once in a while. It’s a permanent work in progress.

Image above: Note our library ladder that’s conveniently located to get up into the hidden storage loft.

See more of Kevin and David’s home after the jump . . .

Image above: Lisa’s favorite place to sit and be adored. She loves cashmere.

Image above: These are our completely adjustable custom bookshelves that we designed. Form and function. We have so much control over displaying books, art and treasures we’ve collected throughout our travels. The library ladder can also be easily moved and used to access the storage loft above the kitchen. We were also thrilled that our design was able to downplay the flatscreen television by containing it within the framing of the shelves. Nothing drains the energy of a room like a television that’s not on.

Image above: Custom designed table by Brian Foster, who makes gorgeous furniture out of honest materials. This piece of wood was out behind his studio in Philly bleaching in the sun for over two years. Painting by Canadian artist Brian Donnelly.

Image above: We found the skull in the basement of our building when we moved in. Our neighbor, who put it down there, saw it in our house and gasped, claiming that it’s possessed. Fun fact: we have enough barware for a party of 80.

Image above: Handmade Turkish rug from a recent trip to Istanbul. We never get tired of looking at Helmut Newton’s photos. There is always a book of his images floating around the house.

Image above: Portrait of Courtney Love by fashion photographer David Roemer. Textural painting, “Farbscheisse II” by Laurel Sparks, gets a place of honor next to a lovingly handmade crocheted version of Chase-No-Face, (the cat without a face) by Johnny Linville. The monkey skull under the bell jar is a keepsake from our self-guided backpacking trip through Western Africa. We found it off the beaten path along the Gambia River. Also on the shelf is a collection of teeth, bones and horns we picked up on a Senegalese beach near Dakar. The little black chick in front of the vintage triptych mirror is made by a Parisian taxidermist friend, Mathieu Miljavac.

Image above: Kevin made this decoupaged Courtney Love “un-makeover” vanity from a thrift store find. It features articles, headlines and images from magazines spanning from 1995 to 2005. It’s a statement piece. Kevin loves Courtney. Anyone who knows him knows this.

Image above: Pattern play. Squeezing Moons painting by C.Finley adds dynamic color to our moody bedroom. We picked up the bedding while traveling through Senegal.

Image above: One of David’s portraits of the performer Mx. Justin Vivian Bond. This picture was taken to promote an Obama fundraiser that David organized and Mx. Bond emceed.

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  • Its nice to see a place showcased that is interesting and funky. It seems like I often see apartments/homes shown that are perfect and cute (which I also enjoy) but this one looks lived in and creative. I dig it.

  • I am in love with the whole bedroom set up, and how the space is maximized and minimized all at the same time and it still looks gorgeous.

  • Oh man, where to start? This place is incredible!
    The light is gorgeous, and it highlights your art collection beautifully. And I thought I was so bored of chalkboard walls, but hello, look at that awesome thing!
    But wow, that Courtney Love vanity?! AMAZING!!!

  • Best use of chalkboard paint. Hands down. No contest. As for the rest of the house, sorry boys, my bags are packed, I’m moving in.

  • Very cool home-love the plants,the art,that the cat is named Lisa:)and and the lamp looking at itself in the vanity mirror:)

  • One of the most interesting places you’ve shown, which makes me want to get to know the couple better. Well played!

  • What an amazing, amazing home! They are too talented and clever for words………..

  • this house is an example of how true creatives operate in a class of their own. such a breath of fresh air to see something that is authentic and not just the usual attempts to be “interesting” and “unique” that currently floods the design world.

  • This house reminds me a little of my own! I fell in love with, and then asked myself were has this type of decor been seen, the answer, where I am sitting! Their pallet is a little more refined than mine, but what an amazing use of space! Home RUN!

  • This is perfection. It speaks to the creative personalities that occupy this wonderful space. My favorite sneak peak of all time.

  • I am in awe. Wonderful, imaginative, eclectic, witty, multifaceted, cultivated, quirky…
    Both the home and you two. And great photography!
    I used to have a “Siamese” also :-)

  • @Anni Timms. I located the paint can the other day for touch ups. The dark grey color in the kitchen is BM Temptation.

  • I missed this one first time round. It is simply fabulous. The dining table, the art, the customised shelving, the decoupaged vanity – everything.