Television personality Hal Sparks admits he has unusual taste when it comes to home decor. His Chinatown apartment is outfitted with a classic arcade game, a giant gold rooster — and a large bone from the nether regions of a blubbery marine mammal.
“I have a walrus penis that looks like an ivory bat,” the 47-year-old actor said. “With a zombie apocalypse, this will be my weapon of choice.”
Sparks, who plays Nelson Burkhard in Netflix's “Fuller House” and is known for roles in Showtime’s “Queer as Folk” and Disney’s “Lab Rats,” said his love of Chinese culture drew him to Chinatown, where he rents a two-bedroom unit.
“Choosing the area was a no-brainer. I started learning Chinese in earnest in 2001, and it took me about four years to get comfortable with the language,” he said. “The goal with this apartment was to experiment with all the stuff I want to do in my next house.”
What’s your favorite room?
The living room and kitchen area. I’m in the process of tuning and training the space to do what I say. I have [Apple’s] Siri and [Amazon’s] Alexa hooked up to do everything from the lights to the television. Essentially, I can speak to my apartment.
Why this room?
One of the reasons I got this apartment was because of the fluidity of the space between the living room and the kitchen. The space has all the tools of both comfort and work. I am vegan and do intermittent fasting. So when it comes to cooking, I want the transition to be immediate and smooth.
What’s your design aesthetic?
Punk feng shui. This is the Year of the Rooster, and it’s my year, so I have a giant gold rooster in my living room. There is a lot of metal and old and reclaimed wood in the space, too. It’s an eclectic mix.
Any special items in the room?
My Sinistar video game. It’s pretty rare. It was a gift to myself and took five years to find. When you’re a kid of the ’80s, you think having a stand-up arcade console in your house means you have made it.
What about art?
There is a huge Ironman foldout poster. It takes up one entire wall. And I love that. The man and technology mix fits well.
Form or function?
Function. Little of what I have is for decoration. There are no action figures in their original boxes.
Any reclaimed set pieces?
I have a lamp from the second season of “Lab Rats.” They said I could have it. It’s super industrial looking and worn-out. For me, it’s like the Emmy of that show.
Does your 5-year-old son, Camden, have fun with the voice-activation options in this room?
Camden is hilarious. He jumps right into Alexa’s metaphysical capabilities and asks deep and abiding questions like: “Where does the universe end, and do dinosaurs live there?”
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