For over thirty years I have been helping people find their dream homes but it was my daughter who helped me find mine. She convinced me to jump into a hole on 80th and East End Avenue and purchase an apartment from a floor plan. People usually think I’m joking when I tell them I don’t know how to read a floor plan but I explain its like looking at a sonogram and not being able to see the baby’s head.
My real estate mantra has always been “Location, Location, Location” so investing my life’s savings in something I couldn’t see in a neighborhood I never liked forced me to question my real estate sanity. My fiancé and I fought for months about our legal agreement (you’re dead and I’m demented-what happens to the apartment?) and we mistakenly hired an attorney who builds spec houses in the Hamptons to be our decorator. When our remote decorator tried to convince me that Stonington grey was white I tried to see the light but instead feared I had fallen down a deep hole and would have to serve a life sentence in a grey apartment that is so far east I refer to it as Queens.
I’m not sure if we gave our deposit four or five years ago but we spent this New Year’s Eve in our new home and I have never been happier. I feel like I’m living in a five star hotel and the Eloise in me is having fun fun fun. This morning as I was leaving the building to go to Starbucks (I haven’t figured out how to use our state of the art cappuccino machine) the doorman offered me a large umbrella like they do at The Four Seasons in Beverly Hills and I didn’t even have to ask for one.
I now realize how important it is to love your home. I didn’t trust my own expertise and when I hired the wrong person to execute my vision I thought I had stomach cancer because I had abdominal pain from the stress of making a mistake. After finally convincing my fiancé that it was better to cut our losses than to settle we interviewed at least a dozen designers before the universe sent us the right one.
I believe in serendipity so when a close friend said she thought she’d seen an apartment that was what I wanted and the owner turned out to be a casting director I knew from my acting days and the designer’s favorite number is also three I knew that the stars had aligned and I was able to regain my trust and let go of the results.
Our new home is better than I could ever have imagined. Heated bathroom floors, shades that go up and down when I press a button and Alexa who will play whatever song I request surpass my childhood fantasy of who I wanted to be when I grew up.
I trusted my daughter more than myself. Every time I told her I’d made an enormous mistake she’d calm me down and remind me to have faith and that it was going to be great. She’d joke that the Hearse could come get me in the porte-cochère. My biggest concern now is how I’m going to memorize the names of all the attentive doormen.