My 1,760sqft: Real estate mogul and jetsetter Emir Bahadir shows off his custom West Village loft

October 31, 2017

6sqft’s series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the West Village apartment of real estate mogul, entrepreneur, and professional jetsetter Emir Bahadir. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!

Growing up as an heir to a generations-old Turkish real estate empire, Emir Bahadir divided his time among London, Switzerland, Istanbul, and New York, and while being “exposed to all different types of fashion and arts from a very young age” got him hooked on design and art, it was the “energy” of NYC that ultimately got him. After moving here eight years ago to study at NYU, 25-year-old Emir has now founded his own brokerage and development firm, BHDR, and amassed an Instagram following of more than 600,000. Part of this media success stems from his personal brand Bahadiring, where he’s able to “share his top-of-the-line lifestyle with the world… featuring everything from a clothing line to cosmetics.”

One representation of his luxurious taste is his West Village loft, which he describes as masculine, sleek, and bold. Emir embarked on a 14-month renovation with architect Mark Stumer after purchasing the home three years ago, and he’s now opened the doors to give 6sqft a special look at his contemporary art collection, custom-made furniture including a library with leather shelves and drop-down movie theater, and family heirlooms.

Growing up you spent a lot of time in London, Switzerland, Istanbul, and New York. What was it about NYC that made you choose this city as your adult home?

Well, from the first time I set foot in Manhattan, I was fascinated by the city vibes and the energy it had to offer. I knew that one day NYC was going to be my home and ever since I made it my mission. Also, studying in Switzerland at an American school, I had to prepare myself for the SATs, in which I had one of the highest scores at my high school and that quickly got me accepted to NYU.

The art above the bar is by Greg Haberny. The bar itself is a travertine round-cut piece from 1920s Italy (top). The coffee table is Emir’s own design (bottom).

And how did you land in the West Village?

When I got accepted to NYU, I found my first apartment, which was in Chelsea, and then I moved to the Meatpacking. As you live here, you appreciate the neighborhoods more and you realize what actually fits you. I have a very social business and calendar, so I wanted to remove myself from the whole busy-city vibe, and I realized that the West Village is its own neighborhood. You say hi to people; it’s very homey. And being Turkish, I have this obsession with the water. The view makes me feel more energized, and it’s relaxing. So when I found out about this apartment it was its first day on the market. I had to increase the purchase price, and I ended up closing within only a few weeks.

The art in the middle of the shelves is the first piece Emir purchased when he moved to NYC; it’s called “Dazzling New Look” by Robert Mars. The dining table is actually two rectangular tables from Ikea. And the neon “real estate” sign is an antique shipped in from Palm Springs and repaired at All About Neon in NYC (top). The plate on the dining table, as well as the two pieces on the side dining room walls, are by Damien Hirst (middle). The ostrich eggs feature Arabic prayers (bottom). 

Why did you decide to work with Mark Stumer on the renovation?

I am interested in architectural design and have come across Mark’s work in several magazines and occasions. That being said, once I met Mark, we were on the same page automatically and we shared the same vision on my space. I knew that working with him was going to be an easy process with great results since I had great feedback from others. I also was able to share my ideas, and be a part of the process of building my home.

The wall behind the bed is leather (top and middle). The movie screen comes down from the ebony wrap-around panel (bottom).

What’s your favorite architectural detail of the space?

I always wanted to build this movie theatre in my bedroom, and even though my audio visual company was trying to convince me otherwise, Mark and I came up with an architectural design that brought my vision to reality. The Macassar ebony wood ceiling soffit was designed to hold the projector screen with Lutron lights, which also runs through the floor. When my bedroom door is open, my guests see a flawless architectural work of art when they get out of the elevator into my home.

A close-up of the custom lacquer walls. They’re so sleek that they disguise the closet and bathroom doors. 

You mentioned that you very consciously stayed away from using white. Tell us about this.

Living in New York and going to my friends’ apartments, especially in college, I would see a lot of rental buildings and condos where everything was in white. So I wanted my first apartment in New York to represent me. Even though I have a lot of sunlight, I wanted to make a bold move and make it a darker apartment. That’s why I used a lot of custom lacquer (I converted the color of my favorite Hermes tote to a lacquer color), Macassar wood, matte walnut floors, and leather finishes.

If you could only take three items with you from your apartment what would they be?

I would definitely take the antique clock that was given to me by my grandmother. I had always admired this piece from a very young age, and it’s something very dear to me. I would like to carry it along through my journey in life. The second would be a book on my family’s heritage, which was written and published by my grandfather. Since I have chosen to take items that are only meaningful to me and left anything of monetary value behind, my third and final item would be a glass skull-shaped bottle of vodka. The reason being it must be very dire times, so I will need that drink.

The abstract paintings near the television are by Héctor Slim, Carlos Slim’s nephew. The boot is an antique from Paris (top). The pumpkin is by Yayoi Kusama; the Warhol-printed skateboards are from a MoMA auction; the prints are Matisse (bottom).

Your collection of contemporary art is amazing. How did you get into collecting?

My family has always been passionate about collecting art and my mother being involved in various foundations and museums planted the seed at a young age. My family collection of contemporary art has been exhibited at the Contemporary Istanbul. My love of collecting lead me to become a junior associate at the MoMA and founding patron at The Whitney, where I’m able to connect with artists and fellow collectors.

You don’t live from the galleries in Chelsea. Any favorites?

I like the Paul Kasmin Gallery, the Lisson Gallery, which just opened recently, and the C24 Gallery.

With a family so deeply rooted in contracting and development, what have you brought with you and made your own?

Coming from a family background such as mine, I feel that I bring a strong understanding of the development process and an investor’s needs. As with all things, I am making it my own by combining new technology available to assist in project development and marketing. I come from a generation that grew up surrounded by constantly evolving technology. The possibilities and opportunities of the digital world are an integral part of my life, unlike the previous generations of my family. As a result, I recognized the opportunity to apply new platforms to a traditional real estate business and develop an innovative virtual business model. Using online platforms to forge connections with others or to pursue new ideas is as routine to me as breathing.

Emir says he has at least 350 pairs of shoes.

Can you tell us about any other projects you’re working on? 

I am very excited about launching my brand, BAHADIRING. The inspiration was to create products for men who are always busy and on the go, but need good quality and results. For my skincare line, I am collaborating with a prestigious French brand to launch a men’s line. My clothing line is all about comfort and versatility. Launching this fall, the collection will provide all busy, stylish men the perfect pieces to look good, no matter what.

Emir’s dog Lord in his custom dog bed, made from a vintage Louis Vuitton trunk.



© All images taken by James and Karla Murray exclusively for 6sqft

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  1. S

    I have to say this has to be one of the most interesting apartments I’ve say in a very long time. While the design isn’t something I would go for, I really do appreciate Emir’s sense of style. Well done!