Architectural Digest 'Outs' Gay Celebs

By Charles Alexander

This year's March issue of Architectural Digest -- for 95 years an international interior design authority -- features as its cover story, "Power Players: At Home with Neil Patrick Harris + David Burtka."

The Conde Nast publication -- with a paid circulation of 814,959 subscribers and thousands more design knowledgeable readers -- comments in this gay-focused, groundbreaking article about the famous, highly visible gay stars, "The entertainers at their smartly renovated Harlem townhouse create a dashing sanctuary for raising their young family and hosting friends."

The actors -- who met 10 years ago in New York and also while performing in the CBS TV hit, "How I Met Your Mother" -- were married a year ago last month in Italy, with Elton John providing music and friendship accolades for the famous couple.

Harris and Burtka moved last year to a five-story, late 19th-century townhouse in New York, after living for 10 years in L.A.

The move to New York facilitates ongoing Broadway roles and gives easier access to, and better education opportunities for, their 4-year-old twins, Gideon and Harper.

Enhanced show business entertainment and party options with theater friends are also a plus.

The overall interior townhouse design is by well-known, L.A.-based interior designer Trace Lehnhoff, in collaboration with New York architect, Jeffery Povero. Renovation of the townhouse took about 14 months.

Comments Architectural Digest, "The building had previously been used as a bed-and-breakfast, so most changes had to do with creating a single family flow to the interiors. That included dramatically reconfiguring the kitchen -- expanding the cooking space, adding a large island, and outfitting it to Burtka's standards."

Burtka, who was born in Dearborn, grew up in Canton and later attended the Interlochen Center for the Arts, trained as a chef at Le Cordon Bleu. He was also a founder of the L.A. catering company Gourmet M.D. (About his husband's cooking, Neil Patrick Harris, comments, "Real men cook quiche.")

Both Burtka and Harris are gracious and avid entertainers, and they specifically devised the parlor floor for "fun and relaxing with friends." Among contemporary artist works on display throughout the townhouse are works by Mike Kelley, Jennifer Steinkamp, Kehinde Wiley and other emerging artists.

There is also a prized item of Neil Patrick Harris on display: an original painting from the Haunted House in Disneyland. Another prized possession, as quoted in a recent Vanity Fair interview, "I still have my four wisdom teeth. I refuse to let them go, or I'll lose my wise parts."

The 10 interior photographs shown in the Architectural Digest article reflect both traditional quality furnishings and cautious -- nonetheless expensive and designer quality -- shared contemporary tastes of Harris and Burtka.

Google "Huffington Post: Neil Patrick Harris" for articles relating to the same-sex couple's New York relocation with family and townhouse renovation.
This Week's Issue

Download or view this week's print issue today!