Kimberly found the apartment through some serendipity. A friend told her there was an open house at Mae’s former apartment, so Kimberly went. Although she wasn’t looking to purchase an apartment at that moment, she fell head over heels. “It had high ceilings, amazing views, and most importantly the Mae West connection,” she says. “The arch, the moldings, the tile, the windows—it was all frozen in time. Within 15 minutes I was plotting my move here.”
Mae had made the apartment famous in its own right because she was photographed there often. A feature published in Architectural Digest in 1994 looked back at her 48 years in the home and quoted her as saying, “There’s always been just one way—what’s right for me.” Kimberly has found a challenge in embracing that same edict. How does she make the place that was right for Mae West right for herself, while also paying homage to the star?
“I’ve tried to find the balance between honoring her memory and having my own design style,” Kimberly says. “Her fabulous place was all white and gold, which is not me.” Instead of making the apartment a museum to how Mae West wanted it, Kimberly has gone full-force into making it how she wants it. She also celebrates the star by holding salons in the space—at which a glass is always raised to her—introducing a younger generation to Mae as often as she can, and displaying some of her “wonderful treasures.”