Inside Liev Schreiber’s Renovated NYC Apartment | Open Door | Architectural DigestIn this episode of Open Door, Ray Donovan actor Liev Schreiber gives a tour of his renovated NYC apartment. The interior design firm Ashe + Leandro turned Schreiber's old bachelor pad into a home for him and his two sons.
From the AD article: Liev Schreiber Invites AD to Tour His New York City Apartment
Client-designer communication can be a delicate thing. It doesn’t typically involve quoting “Sprockets.” But in 2016, when Liev Schreiber decided to retool his triplex apartment in Manhattan’s NoHo district, the Saturday Night Live reference just seemed right. The initial brainstorms yielded proposals that struck the actor as “uncomfortably Teutonic,” he says, recounting his lively give-and-take with Ariel Ashe and Reinaldo Leandro, the 30-something principals who head up the AD100 New York design firm Ashe + Leandro. “Like, ‘I know you want to touch my monkey.’
Schreiber, of course, nails this line—the accent, the inflection—with diamond-laser accuracy. He couldn’t have found a better audience for it. Ashe’s first design job was on set at SNL, and her brother-in-law is Seth Meyers. Suffice it to say, she has a sense of humor. More to the point, Ashe and Leandro’s work has an easygoing cool to it; it’s rigorous, but it’s also relaxed, not unlike the duo themselves. So, you don’t want “Sprockets”? OK, no “Sprockets.” Put into practice at Schreiber’s apartment, the Ashe + Leandro approach—modernist yet utterly livable—has yielded something that all three agree is rare in the age of too-tall, too-skinny condo towers and Edison-bulbed brownstone renos.
The space itself has some backstory: Starting in the late ’90s, Schreiber cobbled together the three-level, three-bedroom apartment from a couple of units in this circa-1880, redbrick, Neo-Grec industrial building. The Yale Drama grad’s career had taken off following a breakthrough role in Nora Ephron’s Mixed Nuts. Soon enough came Scream (and Scream 2), and an eye-opening turn as Hamlet in 1999 at the Public Theater, just a few blocks away. The bachelor pad, tricked out with help from his older brother, a stonemason, served Schreiber well.
After he partnered up with Naomi Watts, in 2005, the place became the stage for a whole new production: family life. (Their sons, Sasha and Kai, are now ten and nine.) Still, the couple got the itch for a new home. And in 2012, they found digs farther downtown, hiring Ashe and Leandro to do the job (AD, March 2016). When Schreiber and Watts separated, in late 2016, he was determined to create something new from his beloved old NoHo apartment. He felt a real rapport with the designers, so he enlisted them to update the space for his life now.
The actor may play tough on TV, but we’re talking about a fellow who’s been known to dip into Seneca and Montaigne, who spends quality time with the novelist Jonathan Safran Foer, whose IMDb listing oozes quality, and who is a familiar presence around the neighborhood, walking Woody, his very cute Hurricane Harvey rescue dog, or cycling with his boys. With his mix of well-honed urbanity and street savvy, Schreiber is every bit a New Yorker’s New Yorker.
So is the apartment, with its distressed-oak floors, steel staircases, wide-open flow, and old-school galley kitchen with new-school black stone counters and sleek Miele appliances, where Schreiber might offer a visiting friend fresh-baked banana bread and a cup of PG Tips tea. It’s also where he gathers his sons for meals, for their presence is unmistakable here, from the bedrooms outfitted with Prouvé and Eames chairs and Harry Potter wands to the board games and the student nylon-string guitar propped up in the living room.
Schreiber’s own quarters are a low-key affair, with one indulgence: a walk-in closet, which prompts him to exclaim, “This I thought I would never have!” Up on the top floor, there’s a glassed-in mini gym flooded with light. “This is the room Ray Donovan built,” he jokes. It doubles as a meditation room. (Schreiber spent part of his childhood at an ashram school.)
For an apartment overrun by two growing boys, there’s a lot of calm and order. Schreiber likes it that way.
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Inside Liev Schreiber’s Renovated NYC Apartment | Open Door | Architectural Digest