There are those who say less is more. And then there is Ivana Trump, for whom more is, well, a way of life. Back in the ’80s when she was married to New York tycoon Donald, she filled the mogul’s Trump Tower with enough gold and marble to make Louis XIV blush. And in the years since, she’s put her stamp of opulence on pastel power suits, jewelry and perfume. So it’s no surprise the Czech-born socialite adores the sitting room in her townhouse that is wall-to-wall leopard print. “In each of my homes I have a leopard room,” says Ivana, 60, who teamed with her daughter Ivanka, 27, to show PEOPLE her not-so-humble abode on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “It’s sort of like a lounge, where I relax before I go to [the] office.”
Her commute is easy: Two flights down the curved staircase—one of the few original details that remain in the seven-story home, which also has a working elevator. “I walk the stairs. My maid takes the elevator,” says the fitness-obsessed Ivana. The 1924 townhouse sat unoccupied for 12 years before she bought it following her 1991 divorce from The Donald. In 2008 she wed Italian actor-model Rossano Rubicondi, 37. She dismisses rumors of trouble. “We are separated but not divorcing,” she says. “He is working [in Italy] and I am here. It’s not a 24-7 marriage, but we’re both enjoying it!”
Her relationship with her mansion is equally complicated. There was no electricity in the townhouse when she bought it, and “the plumbing was all rotten. I put, like, a bulldozer through the rooms and totally redid it.” The home now has a top-floor gym and a garden where “my secretaries go have lunch.” Trump isn’t sure how many bedrooms there are—”maybe 12, 15?” she says—but there’s plenty of room for visits from Ivanka—a vice president in her father’s real estate empire who has her own jewelry line—and her siblings Donald Jr., 31, and Eric, 25, plus grandchildren Kai, 23 months, and Donald III, 10 weeks.
For a change of scenery, Ivana need only head to one of her other homes: a Palm Beach mansion, a stately London flat, a modern Miami condo, a breezy St. Tropez farmhouse or her yacht Iva, done up in calming cream and white. “Some people, they have a yacht with Chinese antique furniture,” she says. “I don’t get it!”