Barbara Bush’s NYC Apartment + Her Artist Boyfriend (He’s Good!)

Obviously my blog has nothing to do with politics (unless it’s related to Scandal or House of Cards, of course) but when I saw the cute NYC apartment of Barbara Bush via I wanted to share. To me her place feels like a great example of a personal home.  The items in her space all seem to have a story behind them- from a blanket found with her mom on an antiquing trip to a painting done of her cat by her former president father (which is kinda cute, right?) to African masks from her work on that continent.  This is a wonderful example of a space reflecting your life story, and the best bonus? She shares this townhouse with two other friends, each with their very own take on personal decor- check out all three apartments in the article!


I am loving this giant cactus! It’s like a piece of sculpture and also reminds her of her home state of Texas.


I die over that mantle, original to the apartment.  Also, let’s talk about how the grey violet wall color is kind of perfect for a modern yet feminine backdrop- for this look try Farrow & Ball’s Callaluna or Brassica!  The cross was bought on a trip to Peru and the photographs are of her favorite artists bought in New Orleans.


The skull on the mantle was picked up in Austin, Texas and the portrait behind is of her cat Eleanor done by the former president. This unique armoire is topped with African masks from her travels in Africa working for her organization Global Health Corps.

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Barbara picked up this suzani blanket on a shopping trip with her mother Laura.


This table was the kitchen table that Barbara grew up eating dinners on.  I love that it’s beaten up with so many memories! And I really love how she paired it with that mirror and so many personal pictures.  Perfection is not important, personality is!!!


I loved the painting above the mantle in this picture and turns out the artist is Barbara’s boyfriend Miky Fabrega, a Panamanian artist and entrepreneur.


Here are a few more examples of his work- I especially love the pale ones and the coral one!

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What about your home?  Are some of your favorite touches those items that also carry a story with them? I know mine are- from the vintage buffet I snagged for $75 at an estate sale to a couple paintings I’ve done myself over the years.  I want to make a point to buy more home items when I travel to add to my personal collection!


  1. Totally lovely…it has a “graciousness” look about it, too, not trying to elicit a statement..just lovely! franki

  2. I love that she has so many traditional pieces and what appear to be antiques, and didn’t try too hard to be “cool” with her decor. I have some more contemporary pieces in my own home, but a lot of antiques and other classic items I inherited from my mother or grandmother, and I think the latter make for such a warm, welcoming, timeless feel. Barbara Bush’s apartment is a great mix that comes across, as you said, as a true reflection of her taste, style and life, not something she put together hoping it would end up in a shelter magazine some day… Just lovely.

  3. This is a perfect example of how you should fill your home with pieces that you absolutely love. I love how there’s a story or trip behind each of those items.

  4. You totally nailed what makes this space so appealing. Of course big spaces are luxurious, but one of the luxuries of a small space is there is no need to buy things for the sole purpose of filling it. You don’t need four couches, you need one, and if that couch is Grandma’s all the better. NYC is a city of transplants, I lived there over a decade and the vast majority of friends, colleague, and neighbors weren’t born and raised there. Everyone has a story and many fill their spaces with objects that are part of that story. Thanks so much for featuring this terrific apartment.

  5. Such a great point. I hate when I see homes that have utterly nothing to do with the person who lives in them. I’m just thinking of a certain reality show that I watched where the person moved into this incredible, huge apartment, had it filled by a designer with entirely brand new items, then moved in after the designer had completely styled it and unpacked all of her stuff for her. It felt totally ridiculous, like the homeowner was moving into a hotel or a place that had no connection to her. As you pointed out, because Barbara’s home is filled with so many things that have personal meaning to her, it’s entirely unique, not too perfect, and still totally stylish.

  6. Love Barbara’s apartment and personal style! I love that her home is so reflective of her and her life and not just a Pinterest or home decor blog copycat. I love the pieces in my home that are personal to my husband and me: the South African bride doll my husband bought for me on our honeymoon, the Shinto bride and groom figures we bought after crashing a Shinto temple wedding in Japan, the beautiful scroll cherry blossom from Japan during the cherry blossom festival, the Native American artwork and baskets I’ve collected on work travels, the silver soup tureen my husband picked up in Peru. I’m still kicking myself for not buying a statue and artwork in Bali because I was being so cost conscious.

  7. I absolutely love that purple/grey living room color! And the skulls bring in a little edge and masculinity to balance out the somewhat feminine paint color.

  8. I found a lovely vintage pink velvet sofa in great condition at an estate sale for $150! I’m absolutely obsessed!! When we were engaged, my in-laws hosted a garden soiree at their house and hired an artist to come paint scenes. We now have two paintings from that party, and she’s done a painting from our wedding day as well. I love how personal the art is! :)

  9. Being a Texas gal, too, it makes my heart happy to see the Latin touches in her place – the Peruvian cross, the Mexican sugar skull – that are part of Texas culture. This apartment speaks of a woman who is confident and classy.
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. I rarely comment but this apartment is just too lovely. Between Dubya’s paintings and this creative space, it seems the Bush’s are more right-brained than I would have thought!

  11. Thank you for such a relevant post. The places we inhabit should tell the stories of our lives. For me, that is what makes design so challenging and inspiring. I would much rather have someone walk into my home and wonder the story behind a piece (regardless of whether it was thrifted, sourced by a designer or given to me) than be trendy or ubiquitous. I think her apartment proves you can achieve a cohesive and beautiful space that is also thoughtful and unique. Thanks Erin!

  12. Hi Erin, Love this apartment. So personal yet fresh and chic. Who knew that President Bush was an artist? Love it! Also, her boyfriends work looks amazing. I’m with you….the mantel is perfection. Also love that blanket on the bed. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  13. Beautiful. Completely agree that personality and imperfections are what makes a space. There is nothing worse than a room that is completely “done” with zero interest.

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