As one of Australia’s most respected stylists, Glen Proebstel has a distinctive aesthetic. His signature style is moody and masculine, with a reverence for aged patinas and antique details. The home Glen shares with his partner Larry Dennison perfectly encapsulates these elements, tempered by a few carefully placed contemporary pieces.
Glen has lived in this small studio apartment in a beautiful old building in Chelsea since October 2012. ‘Finding an apartment in NY is tough at the best of times’ says Glen. ‘After viewing several places, I was referred by a couple of fellow stylists to an apartment in their building. I knew from the moment I walked into this apartment that it was meant to be’.
As almost all New Yorkers do, Glen rents his home, however, in NYC renting an apartment comes with far more flexibility than it does here in Australia! Tenants are generally free to paint their apartments, for instance, without requiring approval from their landlord (though if a colour other than white is used, they’re usually obliged to repaint it before moving out).
Glen has painted his apartment twice since moving in. Initially the place was all white. About six months after moving in, Glen decided to paint the main living / sleeping room a deep charcoal colour. ‘Changing the walls to something dark and moody made the space feel very intimate and enclosed, which I loved’ says Glen. However, after a year, Glen reverted to a lighter tone. The resulting mid-grey you see now is the happy medium he has settled on, for now!
One of Glen’s favourite investments, and his first major acquisition after moving in was the ‘Polder Sofa’, designed by Dutch designer Hella Jongerius. ‘It’s a great representation of her work, and acts as the main focus of the room, kind of like a back bone of sorts’ says Glen. This generous sofa also makes for a great bed for out of town guests, who every New Yorker has to accommodate with from time to time!
Glen also loves the striking printed portrait and landscape canvases he ordered from Surface View, a UK company who reprint iconic paintings from The National Gallery Archives onto canvas (they also print incredible wall murals for serious floor to ceiling amazingness – well worth a look!). Originally purchased as backgrounds for Glen’s shoots, these printed canvases are now a key focal point in his apartment. ‘I decided not to have these framed or permanently fixed, so that I have the flexibility to move them around as the space changes’ says Glen.
Other favourite pieces for Glen are his newly acquired ‘Type Cast’ chairs by London based designer Philippe Malouin, as well as the ‘Colour Frame’ weaving on the wall above the dresser, by New Friends Studio in Brooklyn. ‘Typically my aesthetic tends toward a more ‘modern rustic’ feeling, but with the addition of these pieces, introduced by Larry, the space feels more contemporary and resolved’ says Glen.
Working with beautiful props and furniture all the time, Glen admits there have been times in his life where he has ‘acquired a lot of stuff’. His propensity for stockpiling beautiful things, in fact, is partly what inspired him to start The Establishment Studios and prop store in Melbourne, which he still co-owns. Nowadays, in his own home, Glen takes a more pared back approach. ‘Everything that comes into the apartment is well considered’ Glen says.
As someone who travels extensively for work, home means a lot to Glen. He loves having this relaxed space to retreat to after working out of town often for weeks at a time. He and Larry also love the central location of their apartment, which is right in the heart of Manhattan, just up the street from the Highline, everyone’s favourite urban garden!