NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The city’s First Family has finally moved into Gracie Mansion and has already made a mark with a makeover.
Gracie Mansion’s classic, historic look has received an update, at least in the de Blasios’ private rooms, CBS 2’s Sonia Rincon reported.
The home furnishings chain West Elm, which got its start in Brooklyn, donated $65,000 worth of furniture and accessories to help the de Blasios redecorate.
After all, the mayor did run his election campaign as not being the type of guy who lives in a mansion.
“How to make a mansion not look like a mansion? I think West Elm is a pretty good partner in that because the furniture is, again, very accessible and is relatable to people,” said designer Noa Santos.
CBS 2 asked Santos of Homepolish, which promises elegant New York interior design on a budget, to take a look at what West Elm’s designers did with a den in Gracie Mansion.
“You have to be careful when you work with a larger brand. And West Elm, I think even in their best interests, should be careful about not making it look exactly like a West Elm catalog,” Santos said.
But the sitting room still looks a like it’s in the historic mansion, Rincon reported. The furniture, accents and rug were replaced by West Elm pieces, but the artwork, chandelier and wallpaper weren’t changed.
“This to me is a little bit better of a collaboration,” Santos said.
The designer added that the old fixtures and brand new furniture actually compliment each other, preserving the history while being a home for a family in 2014.
“The mayor and his family should be very happy in their home, so they can perform as a family and in their work,” Santos said.
Gracie Mansion’s last makeover 12 years ago transformed it into what was known as “The People’s House.” And the public was welcomed for tours, though then-Mayor Bloomberg never lived there.
A spokeswoman for Mayor de Blasio said “The de Blasio family is turning a museum back into a home.”
First Lady Chirlane McCray, who worked with a West Elm designer, said it will always be The People’s House, but now it’s also a home with a little bit of flavor from Brooklyn, Rincon reported.
Gracie Mansion will continue to keep public spaces open for tours, and those will look about the same, with a few historic pieces moved in from the family’s private rooms.
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