Andy Cohen answers the door of his West Village apartment, a duplex in a 17-floor, circa-1931 Bing & Bing building, wearing a fitted navy T-shirt, plaid shorts, and no shoes. It’s a Wednesday afternoon; he has just woken from a nap and is still a little sleepy. “I have, like, nine jobs,” he says. These include: executive producer of Bravo’s franchise (nine locations to date); host-provocateur of a nightly talk show, ; emcee of Fox’s reboot of vintage game show ; Warhol-style diarist; and Sirius XM radio impresario. Today, though, is a “super-mellow day.” He pours me a glass of San Pellegrino in his handsomely equipped kitchen. “I barely cook, to be honest,” he says.
The gold-tiled bar in the living room, however, seems primed for entertaining. Not surprising, perhaps, as many of Cohen’s friends — Anderson Cooper, John Benjamin Hickey, Joe Mantello — live in the neighborhood and often show up for impromptu visits. And the invite list to Cohen’s annual Christmas party is typically 90 guests long.
Wacha (pronounced “wocka”) — an adopted mutt he named after Michael Wacha, a pitcher for his hometown St. Louis Cardinals — follows Cohen from room to room. The dog is a celebrity in his own right, with his own Instagram account (215,000 followers and counting). As we lounge, me on Paul Smith stripes and Cohen on Ralph Lauren denim, I admire a David Hockney lithograph of the garden of a Mexican hotel that occupies an entire wall. But the real view is outdoors. Windows wrap around the corner apartment, forming a panorama crowned by the Empire State and Chrysler buildings. “The light in this apartment is phenomenal,” Cohen says, “and the views are just sick.”
Cohen gets a boost from a flea-market stool in the kitchen, where the Christopher Peacock cabinets are painted in the company’s Black/Blue, and the counters are in end-grain walnut and semi-honed black granite. The range is by BlueStar, the hood is by Proline, the ceiling light is by the Urban Electric Co., and the wallpaper is Field of Daydreams by Flavor Paper.
He has lived in New York for 27 years — in the West Village for all but two of them — and bought what is now the ground floor of his duplex in 2003. “It was my first adult apartment,” he says.The decision to expand the space coincided with a shift in his career, when he stepped down from an executive role at Bravo to spend more time in front of the camera. In a scenario out of reality TV, Cohen heard from the doorman of his building that the elderly resident of the unit directly above his own was dying. “I began doing that creepy New York thing of asking, ‘How’s my neighbor?’ Then the guy passed away, and my doorman and super were looking at me like I’d killed him.”
Within months, Cohen hired interior designer Eric Hughes and architect Gordon Kahn to begin the process of turning the original, compartmentalized two-bedroom layout into a series of spaces that flow into one another. A spectacular, sculptural, Frank Lloyd Wright–goes-to–Studio 54 open staircase now connects the two floors. “It’s Gordon’s triumph,” says Cohen.
His late manager, famed talent agent and real-estate flipper Sandy Gallin, told him, “It’s weird because nothing matches, but everything matches.” A powder room by the front door is cheerfully decadent, with sexy cherry wallpaper and a red lacquered antechamber that holds a shrine to what Cohen calls his “lady idols”: a Bob Mackie sketch of Tina Turner, a Debbie Harry poster, a photo Cohen took of Madonna licking George Clooney’s Academy Award.