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Home Design 2002: Open House

At home and at work, restaurateur Jonathan Morr finds that less is, well, more.

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"I'm kind of a freak when it comes to being very neat and tidy. I like the pillows very straight, and I would never leave the house unless it is perfect."

Jonathan Morr likes to mix business with pleasure. His 1,200-square-foot apartment is right next door to his office, and just up the street from his successful noodle shop, Republic. (He also co-owns BondSt and the new boîte Theo.) Plus, the space was designed by India Mahdavi, who is responsible for the look of his South Beach hotel Townhouse. Filled with conversational nooks and crannies, Morr's apartment is ever-ready for an impromptu party. "I have all these casual corners. You can sit here or there, on the banquette or on the ottoman," he says. The only area in which he doesn't borrow from the business is in the kitchen: "I never, ever bring food from the restaurants to my house." Instead, surprisingly, Morr's cuisine is anything but fashion-forward: "I'm known for my very hearty chicken soup."

Morr's City Guide:
eating out: "My favorite restaurant is Balthazar 80 Spring St.; 212-965-1785. It has this incredible energy. I love Babbo 110 Waverly Place; 212-777-0303 -- it's the only place I really go to for the food."

eating in: "I never go to the supermarket. If I have time, I'll do a five-stop tour: The Greenmarket at Union Square, then Balducci's 424 Sixth Ave.; 212-673-2600. Next, Ecce Panis 434 Sixth Ave.; 212-460-5616 -- they have this amazing chocolate bread -- then Jefferson Market 450 Sixth Ave.; 212-533-3377 for meat. Finally, bagels at Murray's Bagels 500 Sixth Ave.; 212-462-2830."

for the apartment: "I love Wyeth 315 Spring St.; 212-243-3661; it's just across the street from Theo, so I go there a lot. I like eclectic stuff, but then I always like to have a couple of nice bowls from Calvin Klein 654 Madison Ave., at 60th St.; 212-292-9000."

personal styling: "I like Jeffrey for shoes 449 W. 14th St.; 212-206-1272 -- I don't buy a lot of clothes in New York because part of the fun of traveling is shopping. When I do, my favorite clothing store is Paul Smith 108 Fifth Ave., at 16th St.; 212-627-9770. Luckily for me, it's a few blocks from my apartment."

Entertaining: "I throw a lot of little parties, 15 to 30 people, staff and friends. I usually just cook big buffet-type things so that people can pick and nibble as they come. This Sunday, I am going to throw a brunch party. I'll just make a huge salad and have cheese and meat charcuterie and bagels and muffins. You just flip the eggs as people arrive."

Above: Morr on his restaurant-size leather banquette. The Saarinen table and chair are from Knoll (105 Wooster St.; 212-343-4000); the tiny table is a variant on the chrome-and-wood drink rests at Theo. Over his head, a photograph by Anthony Goicolea. "Elton John bought, like, six pieces from that collection," Morr confides.

Right: Morr had the floors stained dark brown, close in color to his wenge sofa and ottoman, designed by India Mahdavi. All have slipcovers he can change with the season. The photo (Morr prefers the impermanence of the lean) is by Ellen Von Unwerth.


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