Space of the Week: Away From the Hustle and Bustle

When Ben Towill (pictured here)”who co-owns the popular farm-to-table Lower East Side restaurant Fat Radish, the new oyster bar Leadbelly, and Silkstone catering and events with his partner Phil Winser”is not preparing food for members of the fashion and art worlds, he is at home in the one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn Heights. Ben lives with his girlfriend, Kate Dougherty, a set and interior designer. I found him on a rare quiet morning, preparing coffee. Photo: Wendy Goodman

“Lots of dinners happen here in apartment 2A,” Ben says. “It’s a great time to get friends together not in the restaurant. Sunday lunches and a walk on the Brooklyn Promenade are about as good as it gets in New York for me.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

Ben and Kate’s dining table from Organic Modernism transforms into a worktable when dinners and lunches finish. Photo: Wendy Goodman

“This record player is an old friend,” Ben says. “Kate is passionate about music and collects all sorts of old vinyls. Our favorites are Sam Cooke, Cat Stevens, George Harrison, Bruce Springsteen, and of course, Lead Belly.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

Ben found an old mantel at a thrift store in the Brooklyn Navy Yard to add some Old World charm to the space. The wooden chair by the window is from Cosmo Modern in Williamsburg. Ben picked up the area rug in Cornwall, England. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Ben, a British transplant, attributes his minimalist aesthetic to his childhood. “We moved a great deal when I was growing up,” he says. “My Mum would do up houses and sell them. I left home at 16 and started to train as a chef so that meant lots of moving as well.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

“I lived in a fishing town called Cornwall before moving to New York,” Ben says. “I worked for a wonderful chef called Rick Stein. All the chefs would work both lunch and dinner service but then we would all go surfing in the afternoon, so I learned to surf. The Cornish coast in my eyes is heaven.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

Here in the bedroom hang some of Ben and Kate’s photos from their travels. Ben says that if he didn’t display them, “these memories would just live on my phone until I’d lose the thing.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

Ben and Kate’s headboard might hold a glass of water. Two glass vases, mounted on the wall, hold dried flowers. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Space of the Week: Away From the Hustle and Bustle