The Style-Defying, Community-Centered Ethos of NYC Showroom Love House

The eccentric vision putting a fresh take on contemporary design

On the second floor of an unassuming building in New York City’s Greenwich Village, the sun-drenched, open-concept showroom Love House presents an array of seemingly mismatched contemporary designs. Marrying muted tones, tiled tête-à-têtes, handblown lightbulbs, elegant bouclé sofas and cubed chairs of perforated steel and more, Love House boasts an aesthetic that’s neither aggressive nor wacky; instead, the room is cohesive and elicits a sense of wonder that bounces from one distinct piece to the next.

Courtesy of John Daniel Powers

Jared Heinrich and Aric Yeakey are the founders of the showroom and the brains behind this pleasing ambiance. As longtime friends, the duo initially launched Love House in 2019 as a vintage store in Brooklyn. After Yeakey’s friend and NYC-based spatial designer Eny Lee Parker approached the founders to do a solo show in their space, Love House pivoted to the contemporary market. Now the showroom collates pieces by established and emerging designers, creating an eclectic collection of modern items—from Mark Malecki’s Hairy Side Table (made out of more than 900 little pieces of metal that are welded individually per each leg) to the elevated, fragmented Bast Table by Swell Studio.

Courtesy of John Daniel Powers

Love House’s keen and unique vision is partly owed to Heinrich and Yeakey’s backgrounds in photography, which is how the pair met—studying the craft in Santa Barbara. As they pursued careers in photography, they avidly collected vintage pieces and decorated interiors. “I think that was actually why we started so strongly, because this was always a hobby. Scrolling through auctions and finding stuff was always a hobby for us,” Heinrich says. Odes to their former profession can be found on the showroom’s walls where carefully selected photographs hang.

Courtesy of John Daniel Powers

As they followed what they love, the founders were eventually led into the world of contemporary design, where a sense of community made this new direction feel right. “In vintage, there’s not really community in auction houses or estate sales. But now we’re in this community, inspiring people who are always creating,” explains Yeakey.

Courtesy of John Daniel Powers

Through Love House, the duo can foster relationships with artists and designers. “It’s nice working with up-and-coming designers who we think have a lot of promise,” continues Heinrich. “They’re all over the place and since we opened here, they’ve all become friends and more of a community that’s much more involved.” That sense of a collective helped inspire Heinrich and Yeakey to expand Love House to feature artist exhibitions and other programming. In May during NYC’s Design Week, the showroom will host a show with creative Sunshine Thacker to present Thacker’s musings on interplanetary, technology-focused design. In fact, Love House will invite a new artist each month to exhibit in their space, as part of a program that sees the room transform into whichever atmosphere best fits.

By Kelly Pau

When it comes to staging and selecting pieces to feature, Heinrich and Yeakey’s collaborative process plays an integral role in their vast, style-defying showroom. As Heinrich explains, “We give people a lot of freedom to start developing their collections however they want and then supporting that. We give insight into what we think will work, but we usually let them do whatever they want.” Rather than setting out to cultivate a singular aesthetic or concept, the founders let the design guide the showing. In doing so, Love House isn’t limited to any particular genre, as evidenced by their explorative, mismatched pairings.

Courtesy of John Daniel Powers

“I think there’s something to be said about the fact that there are all of these pieces that are so different, but they work really well together,” Heinrich says. “We represent over 40 different artists and designers from all over the world. There’s not really a specific style. We have every type of material, every color, things from all over the world. I think for us, it’s about seeing stuff that gives us a strong reaction rather than looking for specific things,” continues Yeakey.

Courtesy of John Daniel Powers

An ethos guided by exploration and openness carries over to the layout of the space itself. To truly cultivate a place that feels like home, the founders set up the showroom in small vignettes reminiscent of different parts of a house to give clients a sense of how pieces can look and feel in their own home. Further, as most of the furnishings are made to order, Love House offers a more hands-on approach for clients, who can often customize aspects to their preference.

Love House’s dedication to following creativity wherever it leads them is a refreshing take on contemporary design showrooms. It also means the founders are never done expanding and evolving. Right now, the pair is working on creating an in-house line, which will undoubtedly be as freeing and unconventional as the brand itself.

Hero image by John Daniel Powers, courtesy of Love House