No psychedelic drugs were ingested in the construction of model-slash-realtor Trish Goff’s Greenwich Village interiors—at least to her knowledge. “They kind of blow your mind,” says Goff of her turn-of-the-century townhouse’s trippy taped—yes, that’s vinyl tape—kitchen and dining room floors. “There have been a lot of jokes, like ‘Was the guy who did this on acid?’ ” In actuality, the stripy surface is the work of Glaswegian visual artist Jim Lambie, whose installations have appeared at galleries and museums worldwide, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Certainly the floors, especially when complemented by cool mint Boffi kitchen cabinets, make a bold statement. But that’s just how Goff (who shares the space with her boyfriend, David Bonnouvrier, the founder of DNA Model Management, two Labradors and a one-eyed rescue cat) likes it. “It’s refreshing in today’s world, where everything is the same, to have something a little different and special,” she says. She describes her decor style as midcentury with a feminine flair. “Our home is modern, but it’s still warm,” says Goff. Indeed, there’s not a stark corner in sight: The fireplace mantel is adorned with various objets d’art, and a mix of notable contemporary art and black-and-white photographs from legends like Astrid Kirchherr and Richard Avedon lines the walls.
Goff attributes her passion for interiors to her modeling years (career highlights include campaigns for Chanel and Chloé and international Vogue covers). “I started traveling the world at 15,” she recalls. “I had the pleasure of being in the Versace mansion and visiting Karl Lagerfeld’s house, just seeing a multitude of amazing homes and showrooms and spaces—even having dinner at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. It all got absorbed.”
By 19, Goff had already bought, fixed up and flipped her first place, a Lower East Side loft, for a considerable profit. She also discovered she had a knack for scouting valuable pieces. At 24, she relentlessly pursued a Phillip Lloyd Powell credenza she found in a Lower East Side antiques store until the owner caved in and sold it to her for $4,500 (the price tag was $8,000). “That was the most money I’d ever paid for anything,” Goff says, letting out a little gasp at the memory. “They knew what they had, but after months and months, they said, ‘Okay, you’re the only person who really loves it.’ ” Today, the credenza is valued at well over $75,000 and sits in her dining room.
So years (and countless runway appearances) later, when Goff decided to scale back on modeling, it made sense that she would zero in on real estate. She enrolled in an accelerated program at New York University in 2012 and got a license in short order. “Your home is an extension of who you are,” she says. “To me, being a broker is like being a matchmaker. Sometimes I’ll find the home first, and I’ll search for the right buyer.”
Goff’s background has proved useful in her career transition. Not only have her fashion industry contacts provided her with a steady flow of clients, but her modeling experience has given her the discerning eye she needs to gauge the value of a property. “It’s like knowing the difference between a couture dress and a prêt-à-porter,” she says.
Since Goff made the switch from walking the runways to pounding the pavement in search of clients’ dream homes, her personal style has evolved. Though she’ll always have a fashion insider’s tastes (Marni and Comme des Garçons are favorites), her outfits these days are picked for practicality. “I tend to be more utilitarian, more tomboy now,” she says. The most critical part of her work outfits, she says, is her shoes—generally Gucci loafers. “Kudos to all those women who wear high heels,” she says. “I wore them for 20 years. I ran in them; I jumped in them. My feet are like ‘Please, give me a break.’ I’ve earned my flats.”