The Gothic glory of the Dakota might be a tad intimidating, but there is nothing frightening about Bendet’s living room. “I wanted a place that felt grown-up and maintained all the elegance of the building but also was fun for friends and family,” Bendet says. “I didn’t want a big apartment that was made for adults and where you couldn’t jump on the sofa. My kids do cartwheels and flips in here. I wanted it to feel lived in.” Indeed, a glance at the sage green velvet sofa reveals a bold Blue traipsing along its back.
Originally this was two residences, crying out to be combined: One had an ’80s disco vibe; the other had what Bendet swears was “practically a dirt floor.” As much as possible, she has tried to recapture the original ambience of the place. “The fireplaces all had to be restored, and I wanted to re-create the beautiful mahogany woodwork.”
Bendet worked with her friend, the interior designer Louise Kugelberg, to bring the space back to life. “I guess it’s my own version of an international style,” Kugelberg says, explaining the home’s eclecticism. “There are Venetian chandeliers, Spanish carpets from the ’30s that came from the Ritz Hotel in Madrid, contemporary paintings by Francesco Clemente and Jorge Galindo—and some by my husband, Julian Schnabel—and a 12-foot-long dining table made out of hand-painted tiles by Lola Schnabel.”
That bronze table is stunning, but your eye can’t help traveling to other works of art: On a corner wall is a series of 12 color lithographs by Claes Oldenburg; the living room plays host to a monumental fresco by Francesco Clemente. Bendet laughs that unsuspecting friends sometimes mistake Princess’s scratching post for another work of art: “ ‘Is it by the Haas Brothers, maybe?’ they ask me. Nope, I tell them, it’s for the cat.”
A favorite room is meant to evoke a circus tent, and its blue-and-white-striped motif has multiple meanings: Eisner and his family own the Portsmouth Football Club in England, and these are the soccer team’s colors; Bendet’s first big hit as a fashion designer was bell-bottom striped trousers. This is where her daughters de ella hang out and watch TV, and it is accessible by one door that leads to that sumptuous living room, another to her husband’s study de ella. “This is his man cave,” Bendet says, walking into that space. “We convinced him to have some embossed leather on the walls, and a leather couch, but his aesthetic is a little more austere. It was really important for the rooms not to just reflect what I like—I wanted it to feel like it was all shared by our family.”
Her daughters’ bedrooms similarly display their own fierce individualism. Athena Belle hates pink, so her room is blue, with a loft bed and a ladder—to delight any six-year-old—and even a chair covered with teddy bears, a holdover from Nicky Hilton’s baby shower, which took place at the apartment a few weeks ago. “Scarlet wanted a canopy bed,” Bendet explains. “Eloise of course loved her block-printed wallpaper but then she told me she wanted her room from ella to be all white—it was a teen moment—and I was like, ‘Too bad! Your duvet matches your wallpaper!’ I trimmed the bed skirt to match the yellow flowers!”