Like all many of us, Naomi Watts is a big fan of space but when she and her husband, Liev Schreiber decided on settling in New York she realised she was going to have to embrace living in small spaces.
And it seems the 47-year-old actress has become quite accustomed to making the most of living in the city.
As she tells the February issue of Architectural Digest though, she loved LA until Liev came along.
“I met Mr New York and everything changed,” said Watts. “We fell in love, so I moved here and we lived in his fantastic NoHo place for years. We started our family and were quite happy.”
But the Mulholland Drive actress said that as their family grew – she has two sons with Liev, eight-year-old Alexander and seven-year-old Samuel – so did their need for a bigger place. So, they found two bigger places; an apartment with an artist's loft which they turned into a roomy, by New York standards, Tribeca duplex.
Australian Naomi says she thought a lot about the kind of home she wanted for her family – having been burned before with previous purchase on a lifeless space in the city’s financial district.
“I had no idea deals here moved that fast,” Naomi said of the first New York property she bought 15 years ago. “After I closed on it, I showed it to my mother, who is a bit of a bohemian — and a super-talented decorator. She walked in and said, ‘This is horrible. No soul. No character. It’s a businessman’s apartment.’ I was crushed. But she was right.”
The family’s current home, a delicate mix of vintage décor, authentic New York style – think black and white tiles – and retro inspired art, was imagined with the help of renowned decorating duo, Ariel Ashe and Reinaldo Leandro of the firm Ashe + Leandro.
Taking a total of 10 months of renovations the 19th century inspired Manhattan abode came to life and according to Leandro, Watts “brought a great eye and taste to the project” and was “a terrific creative partner.”
But for Watts she took away one thing from the process.
“One thing I’ve learned,” Watts tells the magazine, “is when it comes to big renovations, no one gets an easy ride.”