Hamish Bowles Lists His High-Design Village Co-op for $2.9 Million
The celebrated design editor Hamish Bowles is selling his whimsical and ornate Greenwich Village home, a cozy prewar duplex that he filled with assorted treasures, from antique furnishings to vintage books and couture clothing.
The asking price for the co-op unit, at 45 East Ninth Street, near Washington Square Park, is $2.9 million, according to Chris Poore, a broker at Sotheby’s International Realty, which is listing the property. Monthly maintenance is $3,758.
Mr. Bowles, Vogue magazine’s global editor at large, recently moved back to London, his birthplace, after being named in 2021 the new editor in chief of The World of Interiors, a Condé Nast interior design publication headquartered there. The first issue under his leadership hit newsstands in March.
In a Vogue video earlier this year, which seemed to serve as a final tour of his frequently photographed (and even painted) Manhattan home, Mr. Bowles said he was happy to be returning to London and “rediscovering it anew.”
He has spent the last 30 years living in Manhattan, first in the West Village, then in Sutton Place, before buying the Greenwich Village duplex in a 2008 estate sale, paying $1.5 million.
“The former owner of my apartment was a distinguished literary agent who had lived here since the 1950s,” Mr. Bowles said in an email, “and to my great pleasure, we discovered nearly all of the apartment’s architectural detailing and original structure intact.”
The home sits on the first two floors of a brick-and-limestone Ninth Street apartment house, which was built in the mid-1920s between Broadway and University Place and converted to co-ops in the late 1950s.
Measuring around 1,400 square feet, it is currently configured with one bedroom, two full bathrooms and a bedroom turned dining room, which can easily be converted back.
“It’s one of those old school Village apartments with character,” Mr. Poore said, “what the Village used to be like.”
Many of the unit’s prewar architectural details remain, like the 16-and-a-half-foot coffered ceilings, decorative moldings, hardwood floors and wood-burning fireplace. A number of new flourishes were also added, with the help of Mr. Bowles’s Milanese design friends, Laura Sartori Rimini and Roberto Peregalli of Studio Peregalli, and the Agencie Group, a New York architectural firm.
This includes custom millwork in the living room, like the pediment-topped bookcases that flank the fireplace, and a playful design decoy in the dining room.
“One of the amazing things they did was to create a trompe l’oeil so it looks like a full door,” with hinges included, Mr. Bowles said in the video. “It’s very amusing because guests come, and you can see they’re just fiddling with this handle and not knowing why they can’t open the door.”
(Actually, there is a real door and doorknob just inches away, and it opens to a bathroom.)
Mr. Bowles’s quirky and distinctive decorating style, which includes an eclectic mix of antique furniture, artwork, and the liberal use of bold and textured wall coverings with plenty of purple and lilac, has landed his apartment in numerous publications over the years. This includes the interior design book “New York Behind Closed Doors,” published in 2017, and even The World of Interiors’ November 2014 edition.
For Mr. Bowles, though, the duplex was always his refuge. “Before the pandemic I led a strangely peripatetic life and my New York apartment was a wonderfully comforting place to return to,” he said in the email. “During the pandemic it became a salvation — and a marvelous place for me to call home.”
Some of his treasures, or what he calls “objects of affection,” are still in the apartment, even though he essentially moved out several months ago.
The apartment is entered through a spacious foyer, where there are stairs off to the side leading up to the second level. Off the entryway is also a galley kitchen, outfitted with marble countertops, wood cabinets and black-and-white checkered flooring, and beyond that the dining room and bathroom.
The entryway also opens to the large, north-facing living room, which is anchored by the fireplace and imposing bookshelves. Mr. Bowles would entertain people in the fashion industry there.
Mr. Bowles, who joined Vogue’s American edition in 1992, has long been a fixture in international fashion and social circles, with an extensive list of celebrity friends, including his boss, Anna Wintour, Vogue’s editor in chief.
The primary bedroom suite on the top level features a windowed en suite bathroom and (no big surprise!) lots of closet space. There was originally a Juliet balcony on the second level, Mr. Poore noted, but Mr. Bowles had closed it off and turned into a closet.
The new owners, of course, may want to restore the balcony, tone down the décor, and make other changes, Mr. Poore acknowledged. Or, they may be happy to leave it all as-is.
Either way, he said, “the bones are great, whether it be somebody’s taste or not.”