They say you should never bring work home with you — so Bethenny Frankel brought it next door instead.
The Real Housewives of New York City star wasn’t necessarily house hunting when she came across a 4,000-square-foot loft in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. But with an undervalued $4.2 million price tag and a can’t-be-beat location next to her Skinnygirl offices, she was sold.
“This was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” she tells archdigest.com. “All of a sudden, I was in it.”
As an experienced renovator (thanks to her house flipping show that she starred in alongside friend Fredrik Eklund), she was ready to work her magic on the awkward layout and dated features to make a home for her and her 7-year-old daughter, Bryn, who she shares with ex Jason Hoppy.
But as she’s “very economical,” Frankel was careful to keep the cost down wherever she could. “I don’t like waste,” she says.
Implementing those budget-friendly tricks was the responsibility of Cheryl Eisen and Vian Abreu of the design firm IMG. They chose to spruce up the existing cabinets with new lacquer doors, and refresh the wood floors with a pale gray stain.
“People think it was a gut job, but the bones of the kitchen, the bathrooms, the plumbing—it’s all intact,” she reveals.
These savvy workarounds also allowed her to build in some extra luxurious features, like a walk-in closet, spa-like master bathroom, glam room and library with a neon side reading, “I know it all.” Although she’s seen major success, most recently with her foundation B Strong, she’s still in awe of her own abode.
“I feel humbled,” she says. “It took my three days to feel like this is my apartment. Wow, I can’t believe I live here.”
The new home has had a big effect on Bryn, too.
“Moving changed her,” Frankel says. “She likes to sleep in bed with me, but the morning after our first night here she said, ‘I’m gonna sleep in my own bed.’ Now she wakes up at 7 A.M. She’s fully dressed—picking her outfits, brushing her teeth, brushing her hair. She feels like a big girl.”
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