Simply Fabulous: Zen Palace

A NoLibs townhouse living room is a study in subtle gay chic.

Thailand might not seem like the most immediate place one thinks of to shop for new fur niture, but when Alex Rosato and his partner, Keith Elsen, a realtor at Cityspace, went to decorate their new townhouse in Northern Liberties five years ago, that’s precisely where they found inspiration. “The open markets there are just incredible,” says Alex, 48, owner of the John Andrews hair salon in Wayne. “We took a trip to Chiang Mai after we moved in, and had a lot of the stuff shipped back.”

Much of the upholstered furniture is from the now-shuttered Bruges Home at Third and Race; the couple bought the spider’s nest coffee table, sourced to West Africa, off a truck in the Meatpacking District in New York City. Additional elements have been passed down from family members, or are pickups from other jaunts. “It’s not a prescribed style, per se,” Alex says, “but if you had to call it something, I would say it’s eclectic with a definite Asian influence.”

With its natural light and soothing earth tones, the couple’s living room has become their sanctuary. “I like the sense of tranquility, how calming it is,” Alex says. “When you’re looking at color all day, it’s soothing to be in something monochromatic. It’s a nice place to come home to.”

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