After adopting his third kitten, Jonathan Van Ness needed a bigger home for his growing family.
“I was really struggling as a cat father in a tiny New York apartment,” the Queer Eye grooming expert, 31, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. He found a two-story loft near Manhattan’s High Line park but because of his busy schedule, wasn’t able to tour it before moving in.
Luckily, “it was love at no sight,” he says, adding that he knew he couldn’t pass up the space’s unique layout and location.
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Van Ness, who kicks off his stand-up comedy tour Road to Beijing on February 28th, teamed up with AllModern designer Maggie Lydecker Kanter to create a “chic, cozy cottage” vibe with a ‘rustic Miss-Honey’s-cottage-from-Matilda aesthetic.”
The pair worked together to complete Van Ness’s vision, adding checked curtains and cozy textiles in the living room to give it a “cabin in the city feel.”
“I think his expressive wardrobe is something that is definitely part of his personality, but he also loves being home,” Lyndecker Kanter tells PEOPLE. “I think there’s that deep contrast of who he is and how he dresses and his personality, but also him wanting to curl up on a really cozy leather couch. This calming environment I think was really important to him.”
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“I actually am a total homebody,” Van Ness says. “I love to work and entertain, but the only time I really go out at night is if I’m doing standup. Because I’m so busy, that time at home is really important to my wellbeing.”
His favorite way to cozy up? “I love spending my evenings chilling at home with my cats and a gorgeous documentary.”
Because Van Ness feels most at home with his cats Bug the Second and Larry, they also had to work to cat-proof the space while maintaining its sophisticated vibe. According to his designer, at first, Van Ness wanted a linen sofa, but they settled on leather as it’s more durable around pets.
Lyndecker Kanter also says she didn’t have to compromise the design in Van Ness’s space because she was able to incorporate a fierce, modern-looking cat tree that fit seamlessly with his aesthetic.
To visually anchor the dining room and define the space in his open-plan living area, Lyndecker Kanter convinced him to create a gallery wall.
In his bedroom, he went for a warmer vibe with a darker color scheme, but added pops of color through a “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” art print he found at a flea market in L.A.
“There are no earthquakes in NY, so I feel safer hanging things above my bed here,” Van Ness jokes.
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Now, he says, he loves his space and how it fits into his lifestyle.
To see more of Van Ness’s apartment, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
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