Oddities' Ryan Cohn's apartment

 Articles Wp-Content Uploads 2011 09 Cohn Dining Room
I'm not surprised that Ryan Cohn, who co-hosts The Science Channel's "Oddities," and I have very similar taste in decor. Above is his dining room. Below, his living room mantel. The lovely photos are by Sergio Royzen. From Collector's Weekly:

Ryan Matthew Cohn, who co-hosts “Oddities” with Obscura owners Mike Zohn and Evan Michelson, says he’s never cared for the Modern look. “You will not find any IKEA furniture in my home,” Cohn says. “I never understood, besides the aesthetic value of clothing, why anyone would try to emulate the 1950s. People were really repressed, and the aesthetic was so cookie-cutter; I couldn’t get away with half my eccentricities back then. During the Victorian times, it was a little bit more wild, because so much was unknown.”

 Articles Wp-Content Uploads 2011 09 Cohn Mantel
“I never wanted a deer head,” Cohn says. “I’d go to these country flea markets and say, ‘Hey, do you have any monkeys?’”

Instead, Cohn — who also blogs on Tumblr — shared the childhood fantasy of many a New Yorker (including “New Yorker” magazine’s Adam Gopnik): He grew up wanting to live in the epic dioramas of the American Museum of Natural History. With the help of some antique bell jars and barrister cabinets, he’s managed to set up his Brooklyn apartment so it evokes the awe-inspiring atmosphere of a science museum.

“I’ve always liked the aesthetic,” says Cohn, who does not identify with the campy-Victorian steampunk movement, even though he employs early industrial electrical lighting in his decor. “Yes, I’m a little eccentric because I live in a place where besides my electronic devices, such as my TV and my computer, everything is Victorian period, down to my rug and my couch. That’s just how I like to live.”

"Taxidermy Comes Alive! On the Web, the Silver Screen, and in Your Living Room" (Collectors Weekly)

More of Royzen's photos of Cohn's digs here!


  1. Live it! For my money, this beats the heck out of post-modern, minimalist, industrial, whatever-the-heck, that we see so much of these days – except possibly when it comes to dusting, I suppose. Still, well worth it, imho.

      1. Heh. Yep. I have a studio full of old books, antique weapons, skulls, and various vintage pop culture knock-knacks so I figured from experience that might be the case. I only do a complete dusting/cleaning every Easter, whether it needs it or not (it does). We’re talking dust sheep by the time I get to it!

  2. It’s a tad ironic to refer to the 50s as ‘repressed’ and then contrast them with the ‘more wild[ly repressed]’ Victorian Era.

  3. The sneering at IKEA is a bit obnoxious given that I’m pretty sure any one of the cabinets in that room would pay for all six of my bookcases and indeed all the rest of the furniture in my apartment if bought brand-new from IKEA or equivalent. I don’t begrudge him his wealth, and I’ll thank him not to be so obtuse about my frugality.

    1. Warren, I don’t think he’s sneering at the low cost of Ikea furniture, but rather at the Danish Modern aesthetic. Presumably he’d sneer at expensive modernist furniture as well, but doesn’t have a handy word for it in his vocabulary. 

  4. Cluttered full of interesting things is still cluttered. I would be constantly uncomfortable sitting in that room.

  5. If those are actually real human skulls I think I’d rather not dine with the remains of the deceased.

    I mean one skull is Shakespearean…a table full of skulls is just a little disturbing.

    1. Look at it this way: there are (or have been) somewhere on the order of one hundred billion human skulls on the Earth.

      Must they all either reside underground, in ash-filled crockery, or atop living necks?  Can’t some of them adorn a few thrones or oaken sideboards without raising too many eyebrows?

      It’s not like they’re endangered or anything…

  6. It’s funny but I find his aesthetic much more conformist than fifties interiors.  It’s whole Addams Family style seems very cliched and predictable, trendy even. It needs a little Bloomsbury touch of color to amp it up.

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