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In less than three months, the apartment had been renovated and decorated.Among other major alterations, the floors, whether painted parquetry or stone tile, were ripped up and replaced with white-oak boards, ensuring a seamless continuity between rooms; glass-and-metal planes were added in the form of double doors and interior partitions; and the upper level was reconfigured so that a skylit space (formerly a small gym) could become the dressing room of Berkus’s dreams.Mr Berkus, who tragically lost his partner, photographer Fernando Bengoechea, in the December 2004 tsunami while on vacation in Sri Lanka, was previously in a two-year relationship with BAlly creative director Brian Atwood, which ended in 2009.and later host of his own television program, he has mastered the art of creating elegant, welcoming rooms in seemingly no time at all.(Just consider, as evidence of his abilities, the uproarious audience applause, tears of joy, and effusive Winfrey whoops that greeted his projects upon their unveiling.) In the case of his Manhattan duplex, the designer—true to form—executed one of his hallmark speedy transformations, with chic results that are a thoughtful reflection of his past.Berkus bought the apartment, in a 19th-century Greenwich Village building, in 2011, after a period of renting a loftlike space in a mod Jean Nouvel–designed tower overlooking the Hudson River.
The apartment’s walls, meanwhile, were covered with either grass cloth or fresh coats of paint.
"Jake is a great guy," added the interior designer, 39, about Dr. And Berkus has no reason to be jealous — he's got a serious beau of his own.
"I am in another relationship as well and have been for two years," he says.
The majority came from his Chicago home, an expansive apartment done in the 1940s by architect Samuel Marx.
An enormous striped dhurrie by Madeline Weinrib, for instance, is now rolled out across the first-floor family room, where the designer hosts casual meals of takeout.