Open House: Neil Goodman’s Space-Age Studiolo

Neil Goodman moved into his 860 square foot “space-age studiolo” ten years ago this week when his aunt Ann, the one-bedroom apartment’s first and only prior inhabitant, passed away at the age of 99. “When I first moved in I was conscious of the fact that a relative had lived in the space for over 30 years and that my grandparents must have long ago visited the very rooms I was now living in,” explains Neil. “Now I don’t think about it much except to sometimes marvel that there has been a family presence in the building since the year I was born.” Prior to moving into the mod Lake Shore Drive one-bedroom apartment, Neil lived in a Roman apartment with ancient exposed columns on a tiny medieval street behind the ruins of the Portico of Octavia in the Eternal City’s Old Jewish Ghetto. As an expat, the self-described maximalist and Italophile assembled a fantastic collection of ancient objets d’art, which he now displays alongside mid-century and contemporary furnishings and art pieces such as the Chromawall light sculpture created in 2006 by British artist Jeremy Lord. “It generates infinite combinations of thousands of colors,” says Neil. Although the sculpture’s ever-changing lights significantly impact the “feel” of the room from moment to moment, the combination of elements in the space make such a strong statement that it doesn’t overpower the space. According to Neil, his apartment functions as a personal living space, library and cabinet of curiosities representing a 2000 year span of western culture. Explains Neil, “I’m just as into the 1960’s and 70’s as the 1460’s and 70’s.

Thanks to Neil and also to Chicago Home + Garden EIC Jan Parr for referring him and telling me about his spectacular space.

Click here for past Open House posts.

A gilded bronze figure of Chronos. According to Neil, the personification of Time likely once held a scythe in his left hand.

The Chromawall is a programmed light sculpture created in 2006 by British artist Jeremy Lord.

British designer Mark Brazier-Jones designed this nickel-plated bronze chair in the 1980’s.

Neil picked up this 19th century Italian bronze piece on a recent trip to Rome.

Neil stumbled across the rare Mondrian screenprint (right) at a thrift store for a song; it will be included in Wright’s auction of Post-War & Contemporary Art in September.

“With the exception of the child’s photographs, which are pictures of my father as a boy, the portraits are not actual biological ancestors, but have been ‘adopted’ as family member over the years from various places,” says Neil. “I love portraiture and living with antique examples compels the contemplation of the past and the lives of others.”

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23 Responses to “Open House: Neil Goodman’s Space-Age Studiolo”

  1. I love this space! The mix of ancient and modern art is skillful. It feels like a rich, welcoming place with just enough layers to keep your eye entertained. Thanks for sharing Neil’s apartment!

  2. I absolutely love this, thanks for sharing for sure!!!!

  3. Holy S_ _T! This place is a spectacular orgy of curiosa. Keep your eyes entertained…my eyes are seriously buggin’ out! Just wish there were more pics of this proficient pickers paradise. Pazzamente magnifico!

  4. Thanks for showing us an apartment that doesn’t fit the generic mold.
    This apartment is bold, colorful and impressive. I love when people decorate with crazed passion instead of just following design trends.

  5. sharon jablin 05. Aug, 2010 at 9:02 am

    The shoelover told me about this fabulous site. Just love it. I am passing it along to friends in NY.

  6. I love the light sculpture by Jeremy Lord. Brilliant, literally! And the hallway table below it rings my bell, too. Awesome gallery.

  7. Neil must be among the smartest, most artistic, creative, and most clever people around. The apartment is full of treasures with beautiful surprises in every corner. The colors and design are superb. Neil’s father must be a cute guy right now, based on his picture as a youngster.

  8. Absolutely amazing! I especially love the Mark Brazier-Jones chair!

  9. Wow, this place is really really different. I love it.

  10. Its like bringing Studio 51 home in a gift box wrapped in air mail stickers. Very nice to see this!

  11. BRAVO……a real “show stopper !
    I wish there were 20 more rooms to see.

  12. Although the photos are amazing, actually being in the room is an amazing experience that is not only pleasing to the eye but an all around sensory experience. Neil definitely has an eye for exceptional pieces with the Jeremy Lord light sculpture being the ultimate show stopper. A fantastic space to view and experience.

  13. You’re absolutely right Dennis. My photos did not do it justice.

    BTW, Linton, I received your e-mail, but my reply was twice returned as undeliverable. Please email me again with your phone number or an alternate email. Thanks!

  14. I really appreciate all the positive feedback everyone! Thanks again for selecting my apartment Tate…it all came out beautifully.

  15. WOW!!! Quite amazing. Very rarely do I see a space where the designer has the ability to mix all of these elements at once and have it come out looking spectacular. Love the detail shots.

  16. Neil -Your apartment is Fantastic! A beautiful blending of new and old. It was fun to see old photos of your Dad

  17. Very cool, quality objects. Great eye, Neil! Love the well thought out placement.

  18. Wow, really great space! I love the vibe. Definitely would love to walk through each room and see everything up close!

  19. Truly a unique and wonderful space! I can’t pick one this for my swipe list – I’d have to bring a large duffle bag for all the cool stuff that I covet!

  20. Tate, you hit the jackpot with this presentation. My favourite living space of the year to date! I could be very comfortable in this space: colourful furniture, lighting, mirrors and great books are among my most-loved decor items in anyone’s home.

  21. Absolutely one of the most impressive displays of artistic design I have ever witnessed. Spectacular and inspiring…


    of $ 300 + shipping to Belarus or Ukraine.