NEIL PATRICK HARRIS AND DAVID BURTKA INVITE AD INSIDE THEIR NEW YORK CITY HOME.
This has been the year of everything,” actor David Burtka says of the past 12 months with his husband, actor Neil Patrick Harris. He’s not kidding: In 2014 Harris wrapped the ninth and final season of the CBS hit show How I Met Your Mother and earned a Tony Award for his Broadway star turn in the lead role of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. And the couple, their four-year-old twins, Gideon and Harper, and their two dogs moved from Los Angeles to New York City, settling into a townhouse they spent more than a year renovating. As if that weren’t enough, they also got married this past September in Italy, where the festivities included a performance by their pal Elton John. “Getting married, moving, new jobs—we did all the things they say can ruin a relationship,” jokes Burtka.
“The funny thing is, we’ve never gotten along better!” Harris adds, laughing. Things show no sign of slowing down either: A few weeks after Harris tackles Hollywood’s highest-profile one-night gig, hosting this year’s Oscars, Burtka starts previews of the Broadway musical It Shoulda Been You, a comedy directed by David Hyde Pierce. Oh, and Harris is busy developing a variety show he’ll host on NBC, expected to debut later in the year.
Harris and Burtka first met in New York more than a decade ago, and they moved to L.A. together when Harris landed the role of wisecracking ladies’ man Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother. “I assumed the show would be a short chapter,” Harris says. The sitcom was a smash, though, and they stayed in California for nearly ten years. “But the plan was always to come back to New York when the show ended and raise our family.”
Once the series entered its final season in fall 2013, the couple’s search for a New York home began in earnest. They had kept a pied-à-terre near Columbia University, in Harlem, while living on the West Coast, and though they explored options all across the city, they ended up staying in that neighborhood. Burtka says he “just had that feeling” when he first entered the five-story, late-19th-century townhouse, which needed a bit of structural work but had tons of character and featured sufficient street-level space for Harris’s production-company offices and a screening room.