Celebrity Style: Neil Patrick Harris’ Harlem Townhouse

Living spaces should reflect their occupants’ personal taste, style and modus operandi in day-to-day life. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with taking cues from exceptional interior designs to expand one’s idea book. On that note, let’s take a peek at Neil Patrick Harris’ Harlem townhouse to glean a little inspiration. 5 Takeaways From Neil Patrick Harris’ Harlem Townhouse While reading about NPH’s townhouse on Architectural Digest, I was struck by five points that I feel are important when buying, renovating and or redesigning a living space, and I thought I would share those with you.


  1. Go with your gut feeling. When NPH and husband, David Burtka, first entered their five-story, late-19th-century townhouse (which needed quite a bit of work), Burtka says that he, “just had that feeling” that it was meant to be home. Intuition will go a long way with helping you find and purchase a home and will continue throughout your design process as you work through various layout options, furnishing and finishes – from the macro to the micro.
  2. Create a design that suits your lifestyle. If you try to create interior designs you’ve seen on TV or in magazines, you’ll end up with something that doesn’t suit you. NPH and Burtka made big changes when it came to areas like the kitchen (it was entirely reconfigured to suit Burtka’s gourmet cooking style) or the parlor floor (which was designed to accommodate their very social and family-oriented lifestyle,) but all of the design choices were very personal and intentional in regards to how they live.
  3. There’s nothing wrong with mixing style. There’s no need to choose “Traditional” or “Modern.” You can always find a way to blend styles harmoniously. The townhouse has gorgeous traditional 19th century woodwork and accents that NPH and Burtka refinished to their original glory. Even so, they’ve incorporated innovative textured wall paper and a modern art and furnishings collection seamlessly.
  4. Get funky! Don’t get so serious about matching, contrasting and complementing that you can’t have a little fun. I’ve showcased the colorful energy graffitti art can bring to the contemporary home; NPH achieved a similar effect with a chandelier designed by Carolina Fontoura Alzaga. Says NPH, “That’s a juxtaposition I love…A fancy chandelier made with old bike chains, in a New York townhouse.”
  5. Balance interpersonal design styles. If there is more than one adult in the house, work to balance interpersonal design styles.

NPH and Burtka admit they have different design styles but say that balancing them made the design process more efficient. Burtka’s style is more emotion-based (if he likes it, he wants it) while NPH is a pragmatist. Hence, they have created a home that equally prioritizes plush velvets and rich leather furnishings with spaces that accommodate, “two dogs who slobber and two kids who love to finger-paint.” This balance is evident – and admirable – in every room in the house. Are you ready to design a home taking cues from NPH’s townhome and making them your own? Give me a call at (866) 235-1651.

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