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The Hilton Hotels heiress and her aristocratic husband show off their Manhattan penthouse

By Mackenzie Schmidt
February 09, 2018 01:45 PM
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Nicky Hilton may be an international fashion designer, but in her New York City penthouse, she handed over complete creative control to another member of the family.

Her husband, aristocratic banker James Rothschild, took the lead in outfitting their home in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood, which the couple share with their two children — 19-month-old Lily-Grace and 8-week-old Teddy Marilyn — and two cats, Mac and Cheese.

“James did the vast majority,” Nicky, 34, tells Architectural Digest of the sophisticated decor in the magazine’s March issue. “But I added my little feminine touches, my little accessories.”

The heir to a European banking family, James notes his knack for decorating came naturally. “I don’t know where I got it from, I just quite enjoy doing it,” he says, before humbly adding, “I mean, look, I’m not that into the decorating. I do enjoy it, but I would never do it as a job.”

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Though the apartment is filled with family heirlooms from the Rothschilds and important antiques, Nicky notes nothing is too precious for her children to touch.

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“I grew up in a house full of antiques and fancy fabrics and certain rooms you weren’t allowed to go in,” she tells AD. “And as a child I always told myself that I will never have that when I’m grown up; I would have a house where no room is off-limits.”

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Credit: Stephen Kent Johnson

Nicky, the younger sister of Paris and great-granddaughter of Hilton Hotels chain founder Conrad Hilton, reveals she took the decorating lead in one special space: her daughters’ nursery. (Lily Grace’s crib is pictured above.)

“I had so much fun doing this room,” she says. “You just get to relive your childhood again with all the things you loved: kitties and bunnies and princesses.”

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Credit: Alexi Lubomirski, courtesy Architectural Digest

Nicky and James met at a wedding near Rome in 2011 and got engaged in August 2014 during a romantic boating trip on Italy’s Lake Como. They agreed to make their home in New York City — halfway between Los Angeles and London, where each was living — after they married at Kensington Palace in July 2015.