Real Housewives Star Carole Radziwill Tours Her NYC Apartment | Open Door | Architectural Digest

On this episode of Open Door, Carole Radziwill from The Real Housewives of New York City has given her downtown sanctuary a full face-lift, including that famous sofa from her mother-in-law, Lee.

Carole Radziwill is a best-selling author and Real Housewives of New York star. At her two-bedroom SoHo apartment, there is only one picture of her late husband, Anthony Radziwill, and only one overt reference to the Bravo show—a bronze apple that nods to the RHONY opening credits. Her extensive childhood collection of Swarovski animals has been pared down to just a few keepsakes, reminders of her humble all-American upbringing in Suffern, New York.

Over the years, special attention has been paid to one item of furniture: the vintage sofa that once belonged to her mother-in-law, tastemaker and sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Lee Radziwill. Custom-made in the late 1960s, with tiger-stripe upholstery of Brunschwig & Fils silk velvet, the sofa has appeared in the pages of Vogue and Elle Decor, traveling from her mother-in-law’s Park Avenue penthouse to Anthony’s bachelor pad, which he and Carole shared before moving into their own Park Avenue apartment. When Carole relocated downtown to SoHo after Anthony’s death, the sofa came too—ultimately serving as a recurring character of sorts on RHONY, the status of its exterior woven into the show’s plotlines at times.

Time, of course, is no friend to fabric. A decade ago, when the original upholstery began to show serious signs of wear, Carole performed emergency sofa surgery, salvaging the backs of the cushions and the couch’s untouched bottom.

With the help of interior decorator John Bossard, whom she met at a party in Aspen, Colorado, Carole sifted through the hundreds of fabric samples she had gathered. She finally settled on a Lee Jofa velvet in muted French blue.

Carole collaborated with Bossard to replace the living room’s existing gold-and-brown palette with an updated scheme of silvers and blues. Her other sofa—this one curved—received its own fabric face-lift, as did a pair of Dunbar club chairs. Walls were refinished or repainted, and new pieces were mixed with old ones Radziwill felt were worth keeping during the overhaul, including twin Brutalist table lamps, a shagreen-top console, and a button-tufted banquette that Carole modeled after the booths inside New York nightclub Bungalow 8.

Upstairs, meanwhile, the small second bedroom, which Carole had previously used as a multipurpose space (part office, part closet, part glam room), was transformed into the dressing den of her dreams, with meticulously organized shelving, a bespoke wall covering, and perfectly separated hangers. That created a need to move her vanity to her master bedroom, which in turn demanded its own update.

Gray Ultrasuede walls now serve as a sumptuous backdrop to an antique-mirrored dressing table and a chest of drawers with floral mosaic fronts. Ceramic petals by artisan Bradley Sabin flower above the headboard.

Bossard likens the space to a French bordello, a comparison that Carole readily embraces.

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Real Housewives Star Carole Radziwill Tours Her NYC Apartment | Open Door | Architectural Digest


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