Habit + Habitat: David Bowen
Ever wonder what the folks at terrain do when we're not in the garden? In our monthly series, Habit + Habitat, we're finding out by asking one person to share a favorite habit and a beloved habitat. This month, we’re chatting with Director of Foodservice David Bowen about settling into a brand-new home with his family, and how they're making the space their own.
terrain: What is your role at terrain? Can you describe your typical day?
David: I’m the Director of Foodservice for URBN Inc., so I oversee everything food-related happening at Urban Outfitters, including terrain's restaurants as well as our 543 café and catering services, and new initiatives. There’s no typical day, but right now I’m spending most of my time getting our new café ready to open in NYC. It’s a coffee shop we’re opening in collaboration with Intelligentsia Coffee, and it will open this Saturday as part of the Urban Outfitters store in Herald Square— our biggest store ever.
terrain: What’s the one word that describes your habitat--the new home you recently moved to, and your habit—settling into that home with your family?
David: For both, hectic! My wife, Kirsten, and I have three young sons—Oskar, Oakley, and Oliver— so our house is always busy with the boys, their au pair, friends, etc. Our typical day starts at 5:30 in the morning and continues until the boys go to sleep at 8:15, when Kirsten and I have some time to ourselves in the evening.
terrain: What are some of your favorite things about your new house?
David: We recently moved to a new house in Villanova, outside of Philadelphia. The best thing about the house is that it’s a much larger space—there’s room for everyone to breathe. It’s a Cape Cod style, so the rooms are farther apart and there are opportunities to find some peace and quiet, even when there’s a lot going on. One of the family’s favorite spaces is the backyard and pool. There’s some work to be done still, but we all spent our first summer afternoon there over the weekend and it was really wonderful. It will definitely be the kids’ favorite space!
terrain: Before coming to URBN, you owned a home and garden store. Has that experience carried over into making your new house feel like home?
David: It’s funny—my aesthetic sensibilities haven’t changed too much over the years. I still like the same kind of look that I’ve always enjoyed. In the store, I had lots of boxwoods and grasses, and that style has really carried over to the landscape around the new house. Inside, some of my favorite things are a collection of Nandi dolls that I brought back from a trip to Rajasthan in northern India. I’ve had them for a long time and they’ll always have a place in my home. I also love having photos of family around the house.
terrain: Moving outside, you designed the gardens for your new house—can you tell us a bit about them?
David: I picked out plants from terrain for the garden, then laid out every one myself. Overall, I like landscapes that feel balanced and contained, with plants in quantity; I prefer everything to be even or squared if possible. One of my favorite areas at the new house is a rose garden, with larger boxwoods in the back and a perimeter of boxwood hedge. I often choose hydrangea for color, and grasses for a touch of softness. I like to to juxtapose the hard, clean shapes of the boxwood with something more free like grass.
terrain: With Father’s Day around the corner, do you have any fun plans with your boys?
David: Since we're all enjoying the new space so much, we’ll probably spend part of the day at the pool. Later, we'll head to Rolling Hills park with our French bulldog, Lexie, to enjoy the river. We like to keep it simple.
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I love Intelligentsia Coffee and gardens...I will have to check out the new place when I visit the Big Apple. I envision a circular garden of vegetables in my nest one day when I get a patch of land and of course collections from Terrain to create vignettes in my yard...Happy Nesting.