The entrepreneurial Real Housewives of New York star shows us how she took turned her estate into a dream house.
Bethenny Frankel was having an anxiety attack. When we left her at the conclusion of season nine on the Real Housewives of New York, in August 2017, she had impulsively purchased what could pass for the largest two-bedroom apartment in all of Manhattan: a 4,000-square-foot SoHo artist’s loft. Updating would require a major renovation. Bethenny, ever entrepreneurial, loves a project—and the Skinnygirl founder immediately saw potential in the apartment’s original details and undervalued (for the neighborhood) $4.2 million price tag. And perhaps best of all, the property was next door to her office. “I wasn’t even looking to move but this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” recalls Frankel, who returned to television last month with the premiere of RHONY’s tenth season. “All of a sudden I was in it.”
She, of course, is no stranger to renovations, having transformed multiple properties in the city and the Hamptons—most recently flipping a Flatiron condo with real-estate agent Frederik Eklund on their Bravo spinoff, Bethenny and Fredrik. “You have to know what to look for,” she notes of her budget-conscious approach.
In the case of her new SoHo loft, she could do a lot with what she already had. With the help of her longtime designers Cheryl Eisen and Vian Abreu of Interior Marketing Group, Frankel updated the kitchen cabinetry with new lacquer doors, marble countertops, and glass backsplashes. The same trickery was used for the three bathrooms, where she deployed splashes of glitz and glamour (an oversize mirror, a statement chandelier, graphic tile) to the existing schemes. And throughout the loft, she refinished the existing wood floors a pale gray while repainting the original radiators, pipes, window frames, and columns all black.
“People think it was a gut job, but the bones of the kitchen, the bathrooms, the plumbing—it’s all intact,” she explains, noting that new custom touches such as the stained-oak millwork and two added fireplaces (one in the master suite and one in the family room) elevate the overall scheme. “It’s like taking plain hummus and adding lemon zest and herbs. Now it’s yours.” The furniture, similarly, is a mix of new purchases and cherished pieces.
Functionally, the apartment remains a two bedroom—with minimal changes to the open layout—though walls were moved to make way for her dressing and glam rooms.
Source: Architectural Digest*
You might also like: THE STORY OF VINCENT DARRÉ: VOCATION AND LOVE FOR INTERIOR DESIGN