Stepping into this one-bedroom apartment in Chelsea, NYC, it’s immediately clear that you’re in the home of some serious selfie-takers. The entryway has not one, not two, but four full-length floor mirrors, bouncing light everywhere and making the space seem enormous. For influencers Brock Williams and Chris Lin of Yummertime – a lifestyle brand, blog and Instagram the couple founded together five years ago – this is the exact vibe they were going for when they made the move from San Francisco earlier this year.
“We moved on April 1st, April Fool’s Day – though I don’t know how funny our families on the West Coast thought it was!” says Chris. The California natives haven’t spent more than seven days apart since they met eight years ago. They launched Yummertime as a creative outlet to show off their looks and lives together through photography. “In the beginning it was much more fashion-focused, but now we’re really in the lifestyle space,” says Brock. “Food, travel, home design – it’s all through the lens of our life together.”
The couple made the big move to New York after feeling like they had settled into too much of a homebody routine in San Francisco. “New York seemed scary and challenging, and would force us to be completely out of our comfort zone at moments,” says Brock. This also meant leaving their comfort zone design-wise. “We came from a newly developed apartment building in San Francisco with floor-to-ceiling windows, so we were used to that very modern ordeal, and we went into New York thinking that’s what we wanted,” Chris says. They first set their sights on Hudson Yards, a luxe new neighborhood development in Midtown West, but “it just felt a little detached, and we knew that moving to a new city, we’d want to feel like we’re in the middle of things.” So they decided to embrace the pre-war vibes in the Chelsea neighborhood after getting a tip from a friend who lives in the building. “I love the character of the apartment — the beams, which are exposed but painted, the window frames — all of it,” says Chris.
“This apartment fit the bill of having our ‘New York moment’ right now.
We’re embracing pre-war and it feels like the ’20s!”
— Brock + Chris, Yummertime
Next came the decor. After working with West Elm’s Design Crew in San Francisco for their last apartment, Brock and Chris were eager to team up with the West Elm Chelsea team and start from scratch. Scott Charles, the Lead Home Stylist for West Elm Chelsea, helped the men marry their modern yet distinct styles — minimalist for Brock, eclectic for Chris — into one cohesive vision: mid-century and artsy-chic, with a New York spin. “They’re the perfect clients, because they know exactly what they want and they’re also willing to try things that they’re not too sure about,” says Scott. “It was such a collaborative process — they came in with a specific idea and then we kind of altered it to give it a New York flavor.”
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Brock and Chris let us into their home as they prepped for their first NYC World Pride Parade on Sunday, which they think will be “totally different” from what they’re used to in San Francisco. “New York has no chill – the city is already so excited,” says Brock, noting that since it’s the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, the energy is palpable right now. “I’ve never seen the amount of rainbow flags in my life than I have in New York for Pride this year,” says Chris. “I feel like the excitement is everywhere – it’s really great.”
Tour the full apartment, learn more about the design process + shop the looks below!
Photography by Landon Vonderschmidt
Dining Room + Kitchen
While the guys went with all modern decor in their last space, Scott says a mid-century modern look made more sense for them in their New York apartment to complement the architecture of the building, and they were totally into it. As they walked the West Elm showroom at the Chelsea store, Scott got a sense of what they were drawn to and what their goals for the space were.
Chris and Brock wanted their home to be a hang-out spot for movie nights, dinner parties and more. “We never really hosted in San Francisco,” says Brock. “As much as we liked to say that we loved having people over, we just didn’t really get it together.” Within weeks of moving to NYC, the friends kept rolling in and they quickly realized their place was going to be a go-to spot. At Scott’s suggestion, they traded in a smaller dining table for the Mid-Century Expandable Dining Table, which fits 6, and extra guests can sit on the Slope Leather Counter Stools on the kitchen counter. The whimsical Fable Rug with black and white faces under the dining table helps pull together the “artsy-chic” look the pair were going for. “Now we have people over every single week, for good or bad!” says Chris.
The living room is a spot where Brock’s minimalism and Chris’s maximalism collide. The precisely-measured gallery wall, for example, leans into Brock’s love of clean lines. The show-stopping Starburst Coffee Table, Janus Ikat Rug + pillows are where Chris gets a hit of funkiness.
“What’s great about them is they’re not afraid of color,” says Scott. “The color of New York City is like black and gray. So in apartments that I normally design, the clients want a nice monochromatic feel, but these guys were very interested in color.”
The duo originally envisioned chandeliers in the space, but Scott helped them see that gorgeous flushmounts would work better in terms of the ceiling height (the guys are tall!). “I think the Champignon light in the living room is one of the most beautiful things that we make at West Elm!” says Scott.
The “hall of mirrors” look was actually Brock’s idea, but it leans into Chris’s maximalist sensibilities. “It’s just so impressive,” says Chris — not to mention great for selfies. A strategically placed Souk Wool Rug is not only cozy and inviting, but it also helps pad some creaky floorboards that have become the enemy of their 6-year-old cat, Thomas. (Welcome to New York living!) “Thomas will be walking around at night, and he’ll hit a certain board and it’ll make such a sound,” says Chris. “It sounds like a person is breaking into our apartment! In our first week we were like, oh my God, it’s a ghost.” The rug helps a lot, they say.
“When designing, I always take the idea of – if I’m going to live here, how would I want this to look?” says Scott. “I actually wanted this rug for my bathroom, but I put it in their mockup too!” And the Organic Luxe Fibrosoft Towels pull the black-and-white bathroom together. “Those towels are seriously the fluffiest, softest towels I’ve ever touched,” says Brock.
Scott Charles, Lead Home Stylist for West Elm Chelsea
Chris, Scott + Brock
Photography by Landon Vonderschmidt
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