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A dining room. The walls are painted white and there is a large wooden dining room table surrounded by multiple assorted chairs. There are many framed works of art hanging on one of the walls. On the table are vases with colorful flowers.
The dining room is anchored by a table designed by creative director Dan Pelosi and built by Brad Miller of Bronx Woodworks.

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‘I have to laugh when stylists and designers talk about a single pop of color’

In Brooklyn, a creative director embraces color, houseplants, and space to entertain

The story of Dan Pelosi’s character- and color-filled Brooklyn home is an example of why it’s wise to never say never.

The creative director had arrived in New York City several years ago and, in a stroke of luck, landed a place in the West Village that was so sweet, he swore that’s where he’d stay. Only one thing could get him to uproot himself: The promise of a dining room table.

“I swore I’d never leave,” Pelosi says. “But then, I saw a photo of a beautiful Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment posted by a friend on Facebook, and suddenly I was asking myself if I should move to Brooklyn.”

A living room with a dark brown leather couch that has multiple throw pillows on it. There is a coffee table, bookshelves with books, and a patterned area rug. There are many assorted houseplants in planters situated around the room.
In the living room, a leather sofa by Restoration Hardware sits atop layered rugs. The armchair crafted from green-painted metal and leather straps is by Eric Trine. Of his plant-watering routine, Pelosi says: “I water them once a week, on Saturday or Sunday morning. Often times they make it onto my Instagram Story, which I hear is great for their health and growth.”
A man smiles at the camera while standing in the kitchen juicing a grapefruit. There are many grapefruits on the counter in front of him. In the background are various kitchen appliances.
Pelosi wanted to be photographed in his element—the kitchen—where he’s busy making a citrus salad. He explains: “My good friend, a senior food editor at Bon Appetit magazine, has me obsessed with citrus salads. He makes them perfectly, and now I can’t stop making them.”

He reached out, and found that the place belonged to a friend of a friend and the images had been posted a mere 10 minutes before. A quick phone call led to a viewing, which led to the signing of a lease.

Pelosi was attracted to the neighborhood and its diverse atmosphere. But what really sealed the deal and filled the moving van was the apartment’s dining room. By day, Pelosi is creative director in charge of the store experience at Ann Taylor, Loft, and Lou & Grey. But after hours he is an enthusiastic cook and host.

“I love cooking and getting a large group of friends together. My last place was small, and we’d end up sitting on the sofa with plates in our laps,” he says.

“In fact, just before I saw the photos online, I told a friend that I’d consider moving to Brooklyn if I could just have room for a [giant dining] table. This place is the upper two levels of a brownstone, and it has a dining room. When I saw the photos, I thought, ‘Oh shit, I just manifested this place.’”

Once a person manifests a dining room, the next logical step is to conjure a dining table. “It was important for me to design this piece for myself,” Pelosi says. “I wanted to make the legs more inset, so I could gather a lot of people around the table without anyone’s knees hitting a leg. We can seat 14 people, but 12 people feels just right.” Pelosi worked with Brad Miller of Bronx Woodworks, an old friend, to create the piece.

A painted white wall with multiple works of art hanging on the wall.
Pelosi only collects and displays art with which he feels a personal connection. Here, a painting by college friend and interior designer Lauren Geremia (top) is grouped with work from iconic gay artist Tom of Finland (center right), Liz Maher (center left, another college friend), and a smiling heart by street artist Chris Uphues.
A white bar cart with bottles of liquor, and an assortment of glasses. A framed work of art which is a portrait of a woman in black and white hangs above the bar cart.
An illustration by Brianna Ashby shows Nathan Lane as Starina.

Once friends prepare to take a seat, they have options. “Over the years, I’ve assembled a collection of pairs of chairs,” says Pelosi. “My friends can pick the best chair for them, as different body types are comfortable in different seats. It makes dinner parties a more democratic experience.”

While sitting at the table, friends are treated to more than Pelosi’s hospitality—they are confronted by colorful art on a display wall, a collection this Rhode Island School of Design grad has spent years building. Most of the pieces are from former classmates and friends, such as Shara Hughes. “I’m not attracted by anonymous artwork I see in an antique store. If I know who the designer is, then the work takes on more meaning for me,” says Pelosi.

A bedroom. There is a bed with pillows and throw blankets. There are multiple houseplants on a desk by a window. There are multiple framed works of art hanging in the room. There is a pair of slippers next to the bed on the floor.
In this bedroom, Pelosi uses a bench under the window as a long nightstand. He keeps his bed on the floor, as the ceilings are not high here. The pink blanket is made by Caroline Hurley, and she calls it the “Pelosi.”
Gabriela Herman
A wooden desk sits against a bedroom wall which is painted white. There are multiple pieces of decorated paper and artwork affixed to the wall with pink adhesive tape. There is a houseplant, books, and various office supplies on the desk.
A wall in his bedroom provides inspiration. “In design school, we had walls of what we called ‘swipe,’” says Pelosi. “That’s what this is for me, and I have a random collection of things that have an emotional connection.” The hand mirror is by Good Thing.

In every sense, the art wall (and the apartment, for that matter) was assembled by intuition. “I’ve always felt that if I just buy what I like, then it will all go together because it’s my aesthetic,” Pelosi says. “As for hanging the art, I laid it out on the floor in front of the wall, and then just started nailing. They are all hung randomly, and some are hung a little imperfectly. I don’t do perfect, and it gives the space a relaxed feeling.”

That comfortable, colorful atmosphere spreads throughout the rest of the home. In the kitchen, a row of color-coded cookbooks sits atop cabinets and a vintage turquoise dome light fixture hangs over the island. Two stools with bright-blue geometric frames sit in front of the counter, the work of friend and collaborator Eric Trine.

A kitchen with a kitchen island which is white with a blue countertop. There are two stools next to the kitchen island. On the island is a bowl of fruit, and colorful flowers in a vase. The walls are white and there is a blue light fixture hanging from th
“I look forward to the weekends, when I’m in the kitchen cooking and waiting for guests to come,” says Dan Pelosi. The kitchen of his Brooklyn apartment was freshly remodeled when he moved in. He added splashes of color—such as the stools by Eric Trine.
A bedroom with a bed and an end table. The bed has a patterned quilt and assorted throw pillows. There is a patterned area rug on the floor. There are multiple houseplants in the window will next to the bed.
In Pelosi’s guest bedroom—a feature of the apartment he treasures—he displays a quilt his mother made for him when he went to college. “It was on my bed throughout my college career, and it’s destroyed,” he says. “But it’s still a great piece.” The speckled stool, used here as a nightstand, is by Max Lamb for Hem.
A metal bench sits against a painted white wall. There are assorted ceramics and a houseplant in a planter on the bench. There is a patterned black and white area rug on the floor.
A scavenged collection of eye-catching ceramic sits atop a metal bench.

Across from the island, Pelosi has established what he calls his prop library, open shelving with a variety of serving ware he uses to plate and photograph his culinary creations. Naturally, it’s color-coded as well. The mantel of the fireplace here has been reimagined as a wet bar, with the philosophy that cooking and a cold drink go hand-in-hand. “I live in my kitchen and it’s my happy place,” says Pelosi. “Most weekends I spend my days there cooking, planning parties, and baking treats. I’m not a pro chef, but lots of my friends work in food and it’s a big part of my social life.”

A brown leather couch sits against a painted white wall. There are assorted throw pillows on the couch. On the wall hang two tapestries with art. There is a large houseplant next to the couch.
A quilt by Caroline Hurley (left) hangs on the wall.
A shelf in the bathroom. There is a glass shelf with a metallic silver vase which holds colorful flowers. There is a mirror that shows a work of art hanging on the wall in its reflection.
The blush pink in the bathroom is Pink Ground by Farrow & Ball.

If the dining room is the life of the party, then the living room might be considered a place of quiet (yet colorful) respite. Comfortable furniture, layers of plush rugs and a jungle of green plants populate the space.

“This is my dream sofa and the leather, which is the color of a tray of brownies, just keeps getting better with age,” Pelosi says. “I started layering the rugs, and they feel amazing when you walk on them.”

The only non-white room is the bathroom, which is painted a blush color Pelosi originally picked for Lou & Grey dressing rooms. “You literally glow when you are in there,” he says. “It’s so satisfying to look in there and see the giant plants against the paint color—I want to live there.”

Color could be considered the ribbon that ties the spaces together. “Color attracts me in a big way,” Pelosi says. “I have to laugh when stylists and designers talk about a single pop of color—my entire home is pops of color.”

That feeling of being in his element is the whole point. “My friends make fun of me because I don’t want to leave my house—but I think that should be the goal,” Pelosi says. “The world can be depressing and isolating. I think your home should be inspiring and relaxing.”

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