Pad proud: Patrick McMullan's posh spot
Celebrity photographer Patrick McMullan's candids of Hollywood royalty are plastered across magazines, newspapers, websites, just about everywhere - except the walls of the one-bedroom apartment on West 14th Street that he uses as a photography studio/entertaining venue.
In fact, you're more likely to find photographic evidence of other people's artistry hanging in the living room. One day, it might be Shepard Fairey's reproduction of a famous Keith Haring photo. Another day, it could be a portrait of President Barack Obama by famed fashion photographer Terry Richardson.
"I like to showcase other people's photography," McMullan said on a recent afternoon as he surveyed the pure white walls of the living room - his "blank canvas." "I celebrate other people. That's what I do as a photographer."
Niki Cheng, owner of eight BoConcept franchises in the city and New Jersey, designed the space for McMullan, who wanted it to be an evergreen, but constantly changing.
"He wanted a white box," Cheng said. "That way, he can easily change things."
And change it he does.
One minute, it's McMullan's photography studio; the next, it's a place to host a dinner party for 22.
There's a screen that descends from the far corner of the ceiling - flanked by lights and tripods - which McMullan uses as a backdrop for photo shoots. But a video projector from the other end of the room can turn it into a movie screen, with Meridian speakers for theatrical sound.
With a dining table that extends to seat 22 people, McMullan can instantly morph the room from his workspace to his party spot. A sectional sofa from CB2 against one wall can seat a casting call of models - or be broken apart and reshaped for business meetings or lounging with friends.
HIS LITTLE 'SECRET'
McMullan's favorite part of the pad is a floor-to-ceiling mirror that doubles as a door with a hidden handle, which opens up like a secret passageway to a platform with a spiral staircase. The idea was literally a dream come true: He'd had a recurring dream in which he stumbled upon a new, untouched room in his Fifth Avenue home, waiting to be brought to life. "That's how it feels with hidden passages," McMullan said.
THE CROWN JEWEL
The piece of furniture that is king in McMullan's pad is his throne of sorts: a clear wingback chair made of Lucite and glass with a plush seat, which he referred to as a "Cinderella chair."
"The whole apartment is designed around this chair," McMullan said. "It's classic but modern."
It was a gift from his friend, Geoffrey Bradfield, a well-known high-end interior designer who created the piece.
"I feel powerful in this chair," McMullan said.
The first thing McMullan did to the place was add a deck on the back, off the kitchen. "This is everything to me," he said. "This is where I get my day started."
He called it a "meeting ground" for him and his staff, a place to enjoy a cup of coffee, talk business or chit-chat.
"Everyone loves it out here," he added.
And you know what else is cool?
"Google is right there," he said, pointing to a building beyond the backyard.