Inside Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita’s Sophisticated New York Pied-a-Terre

Angela R. James

When one door closes, another one opens. Such was the unofficial mantra of actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his husband, lawyer Justin Mikita, when the couple found out Ferguson’s long-running ABC show, Modern Family, was ending after 11 seasons. For Ferguson, the series’ end made it the ideal time to invest in a larger home in New York, as he’d no longer be tied to Los Angeles for filming. “I feel very at home here,” Ferguson says of Manhattan. “I was strictly a theater actor before moving to Los Angeles, so New York sort of feels like my true home.” And, with the couple recently announcing they’re expecting their first child in July, there was no better time to upgrade their East Coast digs than the present.

As Los Angeles is the couple’s primary residence, finding the perfect apartment across the country was no easy feat. But the process was made easier once Ferguson enlisted the help of his friend and former Broadway costar, Sarah Saltzberg, who is also a licensed real estate agent. She guided them to a new build in Chelsea, where the couple was actually among the first to move in. “We knew we wanted to be in a new building because we had previously been in a prewar and [now] we wanted things like central air conditioning,” Mikita says. Ferguson was also entranced by the sleek lines of the kitchen and the preponderance of natural light. “I like the idea of a clean look: You can’t really see where the refrigerator is because it’s all integrated. That was very appealing to me.”

<div class="caption"> The master bedroom is a study of blues. The bed linens are by <a href="https://www.threadexperiment.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Thread Experiment" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Thread Experiment</a>, bedside tables from <a href="https://www.aronsonwoodworks.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Aronson Woodworks" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Aronson Woodworks</a>, sconces by <a href="https://www.rollandhill.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Roll & Hill" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Roll & Hill</a>, and the wallpaper is by <a href="https://www.phillipjeffries.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Phillip Jeffries" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Phillip Jeffries</a>. All the art was found at a Chelsea flea market. </div>

But even though the two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath unit was brand-new, there were still a few questionable design decisions that the couple opted to fix before moving in. Most glaring? “There was actually, strangely, no drawer for silverware in the kitchen, so we had to figure that out and add it,” Mikita says. And, this being New York, space maximization was crucial. “Every time we augmented something, we tried to do it in a way where we would add storage as well,” Ferguson says. “We were always looking for places to tuck things away.”

Mikita likens the apartment pre-move-in to a blank slate. “It was beautifully done, but we came in and added our personality to it,” he says. Helping to realize the couple’s vision was their longtime friend, set and interior designer Peter Gurski. “I’m a storyteller,” Gurski says. “I like to tell a story because of my background in films and television. A lot of the clients I have are people in a creative field and they have a sense of—or ideas of—what they would like, and I help them translate that and make a reality of it.” Gurski describes Mikita’s style as playful, and Ferguson’s as more traditional, but there is commonality. “They love color, if it’s well-curated. They love an interesting shape or design,” Gurski says. “They don’t mind vintage or unusual. I think they’re both, in their own way, risk-takers with design.”

<div class="caption"> The open plan layout of the apartment means Ferguson can hold court in the kitchen while still remaining a part of the action. The gentlemen are seen here in their kitchen and dining area, in front of the custom wall hanging by Meghan Shimek. </div>

The open plan layout of the apartment means Ferguson can hold court in the kitchen while still remaining a part of the action. The gentlemen are seen here in their kitchen and dining area, in front of the custom wall hanging by Meghan Shimek.

Gurski and his team spent about six months renovating the apartment, with the biggest changes being evening out oddly placed niches and setbacks in the walls, and building in storage spaces into every room. Once the bones of the layout were in place, Gurski worked hand-in-hand with the couple to furnish the space with a cool, blue-heavy palette. While at 1,500 square feet, the apartment is spacious by New York standards, cozy details like embroidered animal pillows and lush throws add a homey touch. Texture was added in the form of different wallpapers and three-dimensional wall hangings. The powder room, in particular, is especially memorable, with custom black-and-gold Donald Robertson wallpaper that depicts the couple’s dog as well as New York scenes.

Inside Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita’s Sophisticated New York Pied-a-Terre

<div class="caption"> Jesse Tyler Ferguson is writing his first cookbook, so he spends many a night recipe testing in the New York City kitchen the actor shares with his husband, lawyer Justin Mikita. Designer Peter Gurski retrofitted the existing cabinets with help from <a href="http://www.castrorenovation.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Castro Renovation" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Castro Renovation</a> and added <a href="https://www.kallista.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kallista" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kallista</a> faucets. </div>
Jesse Tyler Ferguson is writing his first cookbook, so he spends many a night recipe testing in the New York City kitchen the actor shares with his husband, lawyer Justin Mikita. Designer Peter Gurski retrofitted the existing cabinets with help from Castro Renovation and added Kallista faucets.
<div class="caption"> The glowing rooster in the kitchen is a custom piece done by <a href="http://nightsofneon.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Nights of Neon" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Nights of Neon</a>, in an homage to a New York bar called The Cock. “The bar is just signified by a red cock outside of it; there’s no other name for it,” Mikita says. “We had the rooster re-created, and then Jesse told me that roosters are actually good luck in the kitchen. So, it’s a double meaning,” Mikita says. </div>
The glowing rooster in the kitchen is a custom piece done by Nights of Neon, in an homage to a New York bar called The Cock. “The bar is just signified by a red cock outside of it; there’s no other name for it,” Mikita says. “We had the rooster re-created, and then Jesse told me that roosters are actually good luck in the kitchen. So, it’s a double meaning,” Mikita says.
<div class="caption"> The dining room features a bespoke piece over the <a href="http://www.kgblnyc.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:KGBL" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">KGBL</a> banquette from artist Meghan Shimek. “We commissioned her to design a version for that space with the colors that we have featured in the New York apartment,” Mikita says. The dining room table is from <a href="https://www.restorationhardware.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:RH" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">RH</a>, and the sheep is vintage (and named Timothée Chalamet by Mikita). </div>
The dining room features a bespoke piece over the KGBL banquette from artist Meghan Shimek. “We commissioned her to design a version for that space with the colors that we have featured in the New York apartment,” Mikita says. The dining room table is from RH, and the sheep is vintage (and named Timothée Chalamet by Mikita).
<div class="caption"> The living room is where the couple spend the most time, often curled up on the <a href="https://www.restorationhardware.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:RH" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">RH</a> couch watching the <a href="https://www.samsung.com/us/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Samsung" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Samsung</a> Frame TV. “I don’t know why I don’t have one in every room now, because they’re so beautiful,” Ferguson says of the TV. The rug and leather chair are from <a href="http://www.abchome.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:ABC Carpet & Home" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">ABC Carpet & Home</a>, the sideboard is <a href="https://www.lanobadesign.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Lanoba Design" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Lanoba Design</a>, and the wallpaper is from <a href="https://www.phillipjeffries.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Phillip Jeffries" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Phillip Jeffries</a>. </div>
The living room is where the couple spend the most time, often curled up on the RH couch watching the Samsung Frame TV. “I don’t know why I don’t have one in every room now, because they’re so beautiful,” Ferguson says of the TV. The rug and leather chair are from ABC Carpet & Home, the sideboard is Lanoba Design, and the wallpaper is from Phillip Jeffries.
<div class="caption"> The powder room features custom wallpaper by Donald Robertson from <a href="https://www.astek.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Astek Printing" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Astek Printing</a>. “It has references to Broadway and martinis and eating out and a dog and us. It’s sort of an homage to our life. So, that’s really special,” says Ferguson. The sconces are by <a href="https://www.circalighting.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Circa Lighting" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Circa Lighting</a> and the mirror is custom designed by Gurski and fabricated by <a href="https://www.kaufmaniron.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kaufman Iron Works" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kaufman Iron Works</a>. </div>
The powder room features custom wallpaper by Donald Robertson from Astek Printing. “It has references to Broadway and martinis and eating out and a dog and us. It’s sort of an homage to our life. So, that’s really special,” says Ferguson. The sconces are by Circa Lighting and the mirror is custom designed by Gurski and fabricated by Kaufman Iron Works.
<div class="caption"> The master bedroom is a study in blue. The bed linens are by <a href="https://www.threadexperiment.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Thread Experiment" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Thread Experiment</a>, bedside tables from <a href="https://www.aronsonwoodworks.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Aronson Woodworks" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Aronson Woodworks</a>, sconces by <a href="https://www.rollandhill.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Roll & Hill" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Roll & Hill</a>, and the wallpaper is by <a href="https://www.phillipjeffries.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Phillip Jeffries" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Phillip Jeffries</a>. All the art was found at a Chelsea flea market. </div>
<div class="caption"> The master bath is clad in Carrera marble, with sink faucets from <a href="https://www.kallista.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kallista" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kallista</a>. The plant hangers came from just up the street from a supplier in the Flower District. </div>
The master bath is clad in Carrera marble, with sink faucets from Kallista. The plant hangers came from just up the street from a supplier in the Flower District.
<div class="caption"> The guest bedroom’s focal point is an arresting photograph by Grey Malin. The two animal pillows are from <a href="https://www.westelm.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:West Elm" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">West Elm</a>: “I think we had those fellows at our very first place together, years and years ago,” Mikita says. “So, they’ve made it through the test of time.” The bed linens are from <a href="https://www.threadexperiment.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Thread Experiment" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Thread Experiment</a>, with side tables from <a href="https://www.aerostudios.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Aero Studio" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Aero Studio</a> and table lamps from <a href="https://www.circalighting.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Circa Lighting" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Circa Lighting</a>. </div>
The guest bedroom’s focal point is an arresting photograph by Grey Malin. The two animal pillows are from West Elm: “I think we had those fellows at our very first place together, years and years ago,” Mikita says. “So, they’ve made it through the test of time.” The bed linens are from Thread Experiment, with side tables from Aero Studio and table lamps from Circa Lighting.
<div class="caption"> The home office is actually in a corner of the guest bedroom. “I had a very specific idea of what I wanted in that desk area,” Ferguson says. “It took a little while to find it, but once we did, it was exactly what I pictured.” The cabinetry was done by Atlas, the chair is from <a href="https://www.restorationhardware.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:RH" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">RH</a>, and the rug is <a href="http://www.abchome.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:ABC Carpet & Home" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">ABC Carpet & Home</a>. </div>
The home office is actually in a corner of the guest bedroom. “I had a very specific idea of what I wanted in that desk area,” Ferguson says. “It took a little while to find it, but once we did, it was exactly what I pictured.” The cabinetry was done by Atlas, the chair is from RH, and the rug is ABC Carpet & Home.
<div class="caption"> Ferguson (seated) and Mikita pose in their living room. The leather chair is from their previous apartment and was purchased at <a href="http://www.abchome.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:ABC Carpet & Home" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">ABC Carpet & Home</a>. </div>
Ferguson (seated) and Mikita pose in their living room. The leather chair is from their previous apartment and was purchased at ABC Carpet & Home.
See the video.

The open-floor plan of the apartment means the common rooms flow into one another, but the couple say their most-used spot is the sun-drenched living room. “One of the things we really wanted—and we had the space for it for the first time in New York—was a really nice, big couch,” Ferguson says. “So, we got the cloud from Restoration Hardware, which I think a lot of people own. And they do because it’s such a great couch.” Another of their favorite items in the room is their Frame TV from Samsung, which displays art when not being used to watch a show. “I don’t know why I don’t have one in every room now because they’re so beautiful,” Ferguson says. “It’s a great way to display a piece of art, but then it’s also television.”

The living room is also ground zero when the duo entertains; they actually hosted Christmas here for both of their extended families. “It’s where we told them all that we were pregnant, so that was a fun way to celebrate the apartment,” Ferguson says. Aside from acting, Ferguson is also an accomplished chef, who is currently hard at work recipe testing for his first cookbook. “Justin is lucky enough to be a taste tester for it,” he says. “I love to eat; I don’t love to cook,” Mikita adds.

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Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest

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