House tour: Andy Cohen merges three Manhattan apartments into an entertaining haven

Douglas Friedman

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 living room’s sofa, in a Maharam stripe by Paul Smith, and love seat, in a Ralph Lauren denim, are from Classic Sofa of NY. The Willy Rizzo cocktail table and Italian bench, both 1960s, are from John Salibello. The faux-bamboo vintage brass stools, with seats in a Rogers & Goffigon wool blend, and the midcentury Marcello Fantoni lamp are from 1stdibs. The brass side table is from ABC Carpet & Home, the vintage folding chair covered in a Jerry Pair leather is from Harbinger, and the silk burlap wallpaper is by Ralph Lauren. Green jute rug, Lawrence of La Brea. Oak flooring, LV Wood. Photograph by Elmar Ludwig.”

Douglas Friedman

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.”

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.”

Douglas Friedman

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.

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.

Upstairs, Cohen shows me his office, a near-replica of the tchotchke-stuffed set, which he has nicknamed “the Clubhouse.” He points out items on the serpentine shelving that was custom designed to house his autobiography-in-stuff: “These are autograph books from the show that the guests have signed over the years. These are my high school yearbooks. Some old cassettes of Grateful Dead shows. A Peabody award for There’s an Emmy up there.” He gestures to a group of glass jars. “A lot of pot.”

Cohen’s personal possessions “speak to him in a way that they don’t to a lot of clients,” Hughes explains. “I tried to treat them like artwork, because they’re incredibly important to him.”

Standing in a walk-in closet that holds dozens of suits and more than 500 ties (“It’s a little much,” Cohen admits), he shows me pocket puffs imprinted with Wacha’s face, a gift from a fan. “I have more paintings of Wacha than you would believe,” he says. “When you’re a talk-show host with a dog…people send you things.” The apartment makes him feel like a king, he says, but it’s clear that Wacha, running excitedly in circles as I prepare to leave, reigns supreme.