Art of Living: Leelee Sobieski and Adam Kimmel's Tribeca Loft
Happy Weekend Loves! Many Thanks to Vogue for this story. Its the loft space of Leelee Sobieski and Adam Kimmel. Style, Simplicity and Functional. Story below
The lips were done by Leelee Herself!
Tribeca loft is the backdrop to Leelee Sobieski and Adam Kimmel’s refreshingly down-to-earth lifestyle.
Like most moms, I’m always busy,” says Leelee Sobieski, taking a break at her neighborhood park while her duties as jungle-gym chaperone to two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Louisanna (Lewi for short) are assumed by her husband, designer Adam Kimmel. “Giving Lewi a bath, buying milk, cleaning something, making some decision, reading weird baby blogs, worrying I disciplined in the wrong way.” In other words, being a mom, which she has more time to do, having eased off acting projects for a while. And because Kimmel, too, is taking a hiatus from his eight-year-old menswear collection, he’s busy being a dad. As a cool, creative couple with offbeat styles and artistic friends, they tick off all the boxes of hipster New York, yet the way they live runs completely counter to that. Mornings are consumed by the park; date nights are spent like most American couples’: at the movies. (The last was The Dictator.) When they stay home, which they do a lot, Sobieski cooks. “I don’t follow directions, but I make good experiments—they usually involve a lot of cheese.”
The backdrop for all this normalcy is a 4,800-square-foot Tribeca loft Kimmel moved into in 2007, filled with an extraordinary collection of works by Raymond Pettibon, George Condo, Theodor Seuss Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss), and seminal figures—if not household names—of the 1960s Los Angeles art scene, like John McCracken, Ken Price, and John Altoon. “A majority of what we have is from personal relationships,” says Sobieski. As a wedding gift, Dan Colen created the large canvas covered in lip prints that hangs in the front room. “I did all the kisses,” says Sobieski, who puckered up in more than 20 shades of Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent lipsticks. “Dan said he uses only the best art materials.” And a spare bedroom was for a while referred to as “the George Herms room,” since the artist—whose collages line a wall near Lewi’s play area—was their first overnight guest. The other George in their life, Condo, did the abstract painting The Internal Rage of Rodrigo, which hangs near the living area, and also memorably collaborated with Kimmel on a casino-themed lookbook. “I was trading clothes for artwork at the time,” recalls Kimmel. Like her father, Jean Sobieski, Leelee is a passionate painter; she spent seven months of her pregnancy working on the enormous multicolored piece near Lewi’s teepee. “When I look at it I experience all these feelings about motherhood and being in love with Adam,” she says. “It has the corniest things attached to it, but also it’s, like, life.”
Just as she and Kimmel are taking the year off, the same could be said about certain works they own, like a painting by controversial Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch that was moved to storage after Lewi was born. “When you have kids, you don’t want to put up evil paintings,” Kimmel explains. “But I’m actually happier living without that stuff.” This made room for family-friendly acquisitions, including a Pettibon surf watercolor, Dennis Hopper’s Double Standard photograph, the Seuss pencil sketch of a kooky goat, and McCracken’s ocean-blue plank, which leans against the wall in the living area. “I met him before he died; he was all about sci-fi,” Kimmel says. “I, too, have a thing for sci-fi. I did my last collection on Area 51.” Not last as in final, but for now, leaving him time to spend on creative projects such as building furniture. He made the wooden coffee table near the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, and recycled leftover velvet and corduroy from his collection for sofas. The couple also chose what little other furniture there is in the apartment with their increasingly mobile toddler in mind. “You might like something with really sharp corners, but then you just think about a face-plant,” Sobieski says. In addition to Kimmel’s pieces, there is a handful of mid-century chairs, including Ward Bennett’s Scissor models. “It’s constantly in flux,” Sobieski admits. “We’re always refiguring to make it as cozy as possible.”
Comfort is paramount to the 29-year-old actress, from how she lives to what she wears. She swears by cashmere-cotton T-shirts, jumpsuits, and sweaters from Kimmel’s line for everyday, and for public appearances looks to designers like Raf Simons, who last year dressed her in a navy collared shirt and a brown ball skirt as his date to an event where he was being honored. Simons’s floor-length white shirtdress for Jil Sander, which she wore to a film-festival party, “was a dream dress,” Sobieski says. “It was just so clean.” For someone who has been famous since before she could drive, Sobieski is uncomfortable in the spotlight, happiest in service to others. “I just love helping my friends,” she says, especially when she slips into the role of dating coach for Kimmel’s single friends. “I’m really good at getting the girl.” Playing matchmaker also allows Sobieski to reflect on her own marriage, one so integral to her identity that she’s reevaluated her approach to her career. “Ninety percent of acting roles involve so much sexual stuff with other people, and I don’t want to do that,” she says. “It’s such a strange fire to play with, and our relationship is surely strong enough to handle it, but if you’re going to walk through fire, there has to be something incredible on the other side.” And right now, that something incredible is real life.