The Daniel/Daniel Project: Daniel Vosovic’s Studio

As a general rule, I’m not in the habit of approaching people I recognize from television or the movies when I see them on the street. Mostly, this is because I’m the sort of idiot who tends to confuse my television friends and my real friends, and before I realize what an ass I’m making of myself, Anderson Cooper gets an enthusiastic wave on 6th Avenue. Adrian Grenier once received a friendly “how are you?” at Ray’s Pizza at 3 a.m., and I may or may not have smiled broadly at the eldest Jonas Brother before I remembered that I did not know him and if I did, I never would have smiled.

So when I spotted one of my favorite Project Runway contestants, Daniel Vosovic, walking through the High Line Park, I knew to keep my distance. I would not embarrass myself. I would neither speak nor gesture. I had seen him, and that was enough to make my sister sufficiently jealous.

Photo from Terrific Magazine

At the end of the High Line was an odd parking lot estate sale, evidently the result of a wealthy nightclub owner’s passing and some young, annoying entrepreneurs trying to make a buck off of his crazy-ass furniture. Prices were outrageous, but I found myself drawn in because it never hurts to look. Suddenly Daniel and I were inspecting the same piece of furniture and “areyouDanielVosovicfromProjectRunway?” just kind of slipped out. Almost as if I were an anxious creep.

Daniel asked if I was “in design.” By this, I gleaned, he did not mean the Adobe computer program, but instead whether I worked in the design field.  I immediately responded “no,” but sheepishly added: “well, I have this…blog.” When it turned out Daniel had actually read my blog, I might have let out a little whimper of excitement. I might not have. I don’t know.

As per his suggestion, I went home and hopped on the internet  to catch up on what he’d been up to in the years since Runway. Turns out, he’s been one busy bee—writing a book, staring his own line, and putting out gorgeous collections for the past several seasons. So I did what any nerd would do and sent him an email praising his work. Then he sent one back praising mine and asked if I might be interested in coming over to his new work studio to bounce around ideas.

So that’s how I ended up standing around in Daniel Vosovic’s sweet studio, droning on about painting walls and building things and pushing his desk back ten feet. Some of which we’ve spent a lot of time doing in the time since. I’m blogging a bit on delay with this whole business, but I’m psyched to show you guys some stuff we’ve been up to. For now, check out these before pictures of the space. Note: these pictures were taken for my own reference and were not intended for blog use. That’s why they are so terrible and at night. Sorry.

This is the main work area in the studio, where Daniel and his staff design and cut and sew and all that jazz. The windows are awesomely huge, and Daniel painted the window trim black before I got there. Black paint, I like him already. One of the big problems in here we need to address is lighting over the worktables. The wiring and lighting situation is one insane crazy hot mess up in this place.

Across from the window is this corner. Sweet inspiration board and sewing machines and stuff.

On the opposite side is this wall, which is huge. One of the big challenges in this space is a lack of usable or attractive storage and no nice place for the interns to work. We’re going to change that, I swear.

Walking from the front of the studio to the back, you pass Daniel’s workspace. Part of the fun and the challenge of this space is the need to create different “zones” within a very open floor plan while still keeping things flexible and uncrowded. Not only does the apartment need to accommodate Daniel and his staff, it also needs to be a place where he can do model fittings and hold meetings and events. All that fun stuff.

Daniel had painted the front door and doorframe black before I came over, and I liked the idea of continuing the black to the adjacent walls, which were a weird architectural eyesore before. We have plans for this area, too, but I think painting it all black was a good start.

This is from the back of the studio, looking towards the front. Those bookshelves have since collapsed in what sounds like a terrifying and chaotic episode, so imagine that big black wall blank. Eventually this area will hold more permanent and substantial seating and new book storage.

Here’s the entrance to the bathroom, which is what’s inside those black walls. It’s a weird renovation with 7.5′ ceilings and general strangeness. It needs some storage and some beautification.

And the other part of the bathroom. Next time you see this, it will look better.

And here’s the kitchen. We have some plans, but they aren’t the highest priority right now. But we’re working on it.

If you watched the show, you’ll know what I mean when I say Daniel is really just like you’d expect him to be. Super hardworking, really creative, and a genuinely nice person. He also gives me a lot of creative freedom with the space and is great at picturing what I mean when I try to sketch ideas, a skill I perform with all the advanced technique of a drunken toddler. I like that. He’s been a great person to work with and is now a good friend, too.

I’m excited to show you what we’ve been up to! Hooray for fun new projects!

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 4.20.11

    I’m so proud of you!

    Daniel, you’re a lucky guy.

    (I’m talking to both of you there!)

  2. 4.20.11
    John said:

    I’ve always maintained that season two of Project Runway was the absolute best and congrats on such an amazing turn of events! This is no doubt destined to be a collaboration made in design-god heaven. Can’t wait to see what you two have in store.

  3. 4.20.11
    Crystal said:

    What a great story! What makes it even funnier is that I did that whole “that guys my friend” thing to Daniel Vosivic himself. It took me 5 minutes to figure out who he was! Then I worked up the nerve to go over and say hi, and he was so lovely & couldn’t have been nicer. And now I have a great picture of the two of us and I’m smiling so big that I look like I’m going to eat his tiny adorable petite lil head and it’s my favorite thing ever. Congrats on the new gig, can’t wait to see the rest!

  4. 4.20.11
    kay* said:

    such a cool story! can’t wait to see what you come up with – looks like an extremely fun project!

    & so glad he’s genuinely nice in person. i hate when you meet someone you ‘thought’ would be nice and they’re a total cow.

  5. 4.20.11
    Mom said:

    You are such a cruel tease.

  6. 4.20.11
    Jael said:

    Nice job being frickin’ awesome and actually doing what most people daydream about–the ol’ **meet someone you admire, prove you’re frickin’ awesome, then (real life, not facebook) friend them** bit. Glad for you!!

  7. 4.20.11

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to see what this space becomes.

  8. 4.20.11
    Lena said:

    I am commentless!

  9. 4.20.11
    Kathleen said:

    Between Daniel and Santino I could never decide who I had a bigger crush on.

    I can’t wait to see what you come up with. And if you submit any of this to Apartment Therapy just make sure that toilet lid is down. ;)

  10. 4.20.11
    Sara said:

    Um….AWSOME! Some people have all the luck!

  11. 4.20.11
    Lena said:

    I refound my ability to comment: does that mean you might meet Tim Gunn one day? And I think you just made a leap forward to your (and Annas) own TV show!

  12. 4.20.11
    Sara said:

    Guh, I am beyond jealous … Daniel has always been my fave PR alum! I can’t WAIT to see the end result. Congrats on the sweet gig!

  13. 4.20.11
    dabney said:

    so much fun, and i’m so happy for you. we should all be so lucky as to have two daniels to hang out with.

  14. 4.20.11
    lisa said:

    ohmygodimsojealous. go you! this could be the awesome jumpstart to a career in design!

  15. 4.20.11

    Always pays to speak up and let your nerd-flag fly!

  16. 4.20.11
    Hana said:

    wow, daniel, this is such an amazing opportunity! cannot wait to see the process!

  17. 4.20.11
    jodi said:

    oh my god. that is the most awesome thing i have heard in a very long time!! wow. seriously. so cool.

  18. 4.20.11
    Anna said:

    Only in New York. :)

    For real, though, congrats on this great opportunity, Daniel! I can’t wait to see what you make of it. And what you do with the space.

  19. 4.20.11

    Wowza, congrats! He was by far my favorite in the show’s history, even getting an “aww, Daniel!” every time his face popped on the screen. Love that guy.

    Can’t wait to see what you do together!

  20. 4.20.11
    harlee cole said:

    Hooray. Good on you. I love P/R and Daniel, so I think it will be a perfect match. Your DIY spirit and building skills will be super awesome. Keep us posted.

  21. 4.20.11
    Melanie said:

    Man, this is nine levels of awesome. Can’t wait to see progress, if you’ll be posting it. Glad you got to meet him, he does seem like a nice guy!

  22. 4.20.11
    Kate said:

    Whoo, holler, awesome project! Can’t believe the turn of events that led to you doing design work for Daniel Vosovic. Super cool and like everyone else, can’t wait to see the end result. Congrats! The stars have aligned for you. =)

  23. 4.20.11
    Lucía said:

    you’re so lucky!!! daniel was my favourite PR contestant of all seasons… he truly seems like a really nice guy. I wish I could meet you both, looks like you daniels are special people :) then again, I’d probably be just like you and act weird. hope the studio makeover turns out great… keep us posted!

  24. 4.20.11

    How fun! Congratulations!

  25. 4.20.11
    ModFruGal said:

    Wow! Vosovic has always been one of my all time faves on P/R…I can’t wait to see what you two cook up…so much potential in that space!

  26. 4.20.11
    Annika said:

    I’m so happy for you, this is just such a fabulous thing to happen! I’m sure the result will be awesome!

  27. 4.20.11

    what a great space to work with. I know you’ll make it look awesome. can’t wait to see how it goes!

  28. 4.20.11

    Awesome! I’m so glad you decided to peruse that sale. This is going to be good!

  29. 4.20.11

    Don’t you just love reading something so well written in the stars!? WoW!!

  30. 4.20.11
    ilyana said:

    Holy crap that’s awesome. Can not wait to see what you do with the space, it’s going to be amazing I’m sure.

  31. 4.20.11
    Caitlin said:

    excellent news! my 2 favorite design daniels unite!

  32. 4.20.11
    Cammie said:

    So exciting!

  33. 4.20.11
    Michelle said:

    That is fanfreakintastic! Congratulations!

  34. 4.20.11

    Yay for you! What a great opportunity. Can’t wait to see what you do.

  35. 4.20.11
    purejuice said:

    i <3 NY. just reading the part of de kooning's autobiography where he sits down on a bench in washington square at 3 a.m. one morning at the other end of which was a stranger: his fellow insomniac genius painter, mark rothko. rothko thought de kooning was cruising him. but they straightened that all out and became friends.
    i am very very excited about this project. and the highline. excellent tale!!!!

  36. 4.20.11
    purejuice said:

    that would be biography, not auto.

  37. 4.20.11
    stef said:

    Whaaaaaat?! This just blew my mind. Huge congrats.

  38. 4.20.11

    Lucky you! He’s always been my favorite PR designer. Can’t wait to see what you come up with! :)

  39. 4.20.11

    You are amazing. Can’t wait to see the after.

  40. 4.20.11
    AnnW said:

    I can’t tell you how many times I typed in Manhattan-nest, blah, blah, blah. I am glad you are still blogging. Sounds like fun to work on someone else’s space. Can’t wait to see it. Ann

  41. 4.20.11
    Gaby said:

    I can´t believe my eyes. As we say here in my country: “Two Monsters meeting each other…”
    Congrats, Daniel! That studio deserves a little love, and I can´t wait to see the results.
    (and now I know that I was not the only one who had a crush on Daniel on season 2…)

  42. 4.21.11
    Sakker said:

    Oh man, what an awesome and exciting thing to have happen! Congratulations!

    I do have to ask though: is running into famous people really that common in NY, or are you a famous-person magnet?

  43. 4.21.11
    Vera said:

    Am so looking forward to seeing this transformation!

  44. 4.21.11
    Minna said:

    Hi Daniel,
    I just wanted to say that watching the unfolding of your blog (and your talent) has been a real pleasure. In the world of design blogs, which mostly have ads and all that distracting nonsense, I am so glad to see a purely personal blog enjoy such success. It’s the kind of blog I love to read, and it’s great to see good things happen to people who express themselves genuinely and joyfully.
    All the best from a faithful reader!

  45. 4.21.11

    Wow! This is so exciting to read about. It must be even more fun to be working on such a big space! Congrats on such a great gig! Can’t wait to see what’s next!!!

  46. 4.21.11
    Ross Brown said:

    He’s lucky to have you on the scene, you’re terrific with space management

  47. 4.21.11
    Jessica said:

    Srsly!? How serendipitous! I’m in NYC this weekend and if I don’t at least find something fabulous on the curb to take back to Boston… then I’ll assume you’re two steps ahead :)

    This is very exciting! Congrats!

  48. 4.21.11

    Lordy, lordy! Daniel was my most favorite contestant, too…and his was certainly my favorite season. You are going to have sooo much fun with this! Congratulations.

  49. 4.21.11
    Alicia said:

    Wow, congrats on this! It’s really special to see you get noticed (and get “work”) from what you do on this blog. You totally deserve it. Can’t wait to see more. This is so exciting!

  50. 4.21.11
    Pamela said:

    I’m so jealous – you have no idea. You have the most amazing luck in the world – Bertoia side chair? Eames shell chair? Bertoia Diamond chair? saucer Bubble Lamp? And now Daniel V? I live vicariously through you.

  51. 4.22.11
    RebeccaNYC said:

    OMG!!! What a cute-meet story. I loved Daniel on PR too, and I’m really glad he is doing so well. And now that he has added you to his team, his space is going to be just beautiful. Have fun!

    ps. we have talked about this before, but you’re a guy and I know it takes longer for this one to sink in…when taking photos of the bathroom, toilet lid down, please. :-)

  52. 4.22.11
    bliss said:

    i enjoy your writing style so freakin’ much! and, of course, what you have to say. this seems like an amazingly cool project, congrats and enjoy

  53. 4.22.11
    Colleen said:

    Dude! How amazing for you, congratulations. Can’t wait to see what’s in store.

  54. 4.22.11
    Amanda said:

    You. Lucky. BITCH!

    God, would you please get rich already so you can fly to my house and HELP ME!? I am so glad you had this chance meeting! And glad you spoke up! What fun.


  55. 4.22.11
    Bernadette said:

    a post featuring Daniel Vosovic just made my night! Loved, loved, loved Daniel on Project Runway – so happy to see more of him :)

  56. 4.22.11
    Bernadette said:

    and after proclaiming my love, I went back and actually read your post — fantastic work by both of you. I cannot wait to see what you do with this space. You may have even given me the courage to paint my window frames black!

  57. 4.23.11
    Dino of Manila said:

    What an exciting project! I hope you continue to publish the work in progress. Can’t wait to see the finished product! Cheers!

  58. 4.24.11
    Care said:

    So jealous!! So exciting – can’t wait to see all your hard work!!

  59. 4.26.11
    Jessie said:

    ah, this is amazing! he is such a talented guy. looking forward to seeing the result!

  60. 4.27.11
    Laura said:

    OMG this is so cool. *squee*

  61. 4.27.11
    jbhat said:

    Amazing! That’s how I think it must BE in New York. All the creative types randomly meeting each other and then being creative together. And he was reading your blog! And was too shy to comment. Hmm!! Pretty cool how things work out. I’m glad you went up to him.


  62. 5.5.11
    CindyE said:

    How cool, you bumped into him. are friends, and now, this great project which seems right on for you – life works this way sometimes! I look forward to seeing this space evolve.

  63. 5.6.11
    gracie said:

    Oh wow that looks like a really great space to work with and I’m very excited to see what you do!

  64. 5.8.11
    Sezgi said:

    I bet you’re reading The Brick House, the rope wall solution for the warehouse space is genius.

  65. 1.13.12
    Seneca said:

    A wonderful, heart-warming tale.