Anne Hanavan’s ‘Freedom Pad’ Was Always Going to Be Painted Pink
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Anne Hanavan’s ‘Freedom Pad’ Was Always Going to Be Painted Pink

Anne Hanavan in her living room next to an artwork by her friend Tabboo!
Photo: Seth Caplan

Pink was always going to be the color of Anne Hanavan’s new apartment, the “freedom pad” she bought because she was getting a divorce. Pink is everywhere —­ Benjamin Moore’s 052 Conch Shell, to be precise, chosen after looking at lots of hues and ­finding that shade subtle and soothing.

“When I got this place, I knew I wanted a different vibe,” she says. “Relaxing, ­calming, and everyone is going to look great in the apartment.”

A part of the downtown art and fashion scene since moving here from her hometown of Buffalo in 1985, Hanavan has worked as a bartender, a shop owner, and an operations ­manager for a fashion ­company. She lived on East 9th Street for 15 years, until 2022, when she found this 350-square-foot place on East 3rd between Avenues C and D. It was the first apartment she saw, but after looking at one other, she knew it was for her.

“It was a wreck,” she says, “but I could see the potential.” She envisaged a few changes here and there in the effort to move in quickly, but she soon realized it would be easier to do a gut renovation. She took down the wall between the kitchen and the living room, removed another wall and a small doorway that enclosed the bedroom, and ­redid the bathroom.

“There was a gross vinyl brown floor,” she says. “The contractor said they put that floor down for a reason, so I just put my new floor on top of it.”

Hanavan, who is a sales representative for the fabric ­company Cowtan & Tout, was ­fortunate to have friends who could help realize her vision for the renovation, ­including interior designer Josh Greene and lighting designer Peter Staples of Blue Green Works. She had three contractors, though the first wasn’t great. But her second, she says, “was the ­incredible Rock Star Renovation, which swooped in to make it habitable.” The final polish, she adds, came from Arnie Rodriguez of NIC Lab. “The best of the best!” according to Hanavan. “He came in and not only finished it all but elevated the space with his dedication to fine craftsmanship and attention to detail.”

The apartment is filled with art by friends, including Tabboo!, Richard Hambleton, ­Spencer Sweeney, and Jack Pierson. Ryan McGinley gifted a large print of a ­photograph he took of Hanavan perched on a truck one evening after they left the NYC Drag March in 2022. It hangs over her bed.

The Living Room: “I had to think of it as a boat,” Anne Hanavan says of the custom-built banquettes that have storage beneath. The paintings are by Tabboo! The table lamp is by Blue Green Works.
Photo: Seth Caplan/Seth Caplan

The Kitchen: Hanavan took down the wall that separated the kitchen from the living area. The smaller-scale appliances are new.
Photo: Seth Caplan

The Bathroom: A shower replaced the old tub. The new tiles are from WOW.
Photo: Seth Caplan

The Bedroom: The built-in closets are new. The art on the night stand/shoe-storage unit is by Tabboo! The textile on the bed is by Manuel Canovas from Cowtan & Tout. The photograph of Hanavan over the bed is by Ryan McGinley.
Photo: Seth Caplan

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