Bravo's Long Island 'Princesses' dish on their homes
A princess needs a tiara for sure. But bottom line? She's nothing without a castle. And according to Bravo TV, Long Island has its fair share of princesses, as evidenced by the cable network's buzzy new reality series "Princesses: Long Island." The show follows six mostly pampered, college-educated Jewish women in their late 20s and early 30s still living at least part time in their parents' homes on Long Island. Their exit strategies? Find a prince capable of creating a lifestyle comparable to the one each has enjoyed since she was a wee little princess.
But back to the castles -- a visit to the homes of three members of the cast from the North Shore proved that all palaces are not created equal. How does the royal set live? There's Erica Gimbel's '90s contemporary in Old Westbury, complete with a pool and a tennis court; Chanel "Coco" Omari's big, custom expanded stucco farm ranch in Saddle Rock Village of Great Neck; and Ashlee White's Roslyn development Colonial that boasts a swimming pool shaped like an Absolut vodka bottle.
Despite the differences in the home's styles and neighborhoods, there are common threads besides their parents' granite kitchen countertops. They all have an interest in decorating, though they neither own nor rent their own homes.
"I'm obsessed with beds, couches and living room sets," says Omari. "I love everything from fabrics to furniture to knobs," says Gimbel. And White adds, "I'm always picking out things that I love and saying, 'I want this in my home.' "
Have a look at the lifestyles of the princesses.
CHANEL 'COCO' OMARI
Saddle Rock Village, Great Neck
THE "CASTLE" A 1990s seven-bedroom, three-bathroom stucco expanded farm ranch on a bit over a quarter of an acre with a sparkling view of Little Neck Bay and the Throgs Neck Bridge. It's currently on the market for $2.88 million.
PRINCESS CHAMBERS "I love purple," says Omari, 28. (Deep purple walls support the claim.) Standouts in the room include an iron bed, a feminine, country French armoire painted with flowers, and that water view. "My window overlooks the city and I think of it as an escape," she says. She says she also loves her couch. "It's maroonish, and I got it from Ikea for $100. It was totally worth it."
CLOSET CASE "As a kid, I used to go into my closet when I was having a bad day, and it was like 'Alice in Wonderland' ... a magical place for me." Today, she says it's "too full" of clothes, jewelry, bags and shoes.
ROYAL TREASURE "On my 16th birthday, my grandmother, who was Jewish Colombian, gave me a glass shoe ," she says. "It was her version of a quinceañera gift. She passed away last summer, and I always have it on my night table. She said, 'This glass slipper is the end to your fairy tale.' "
CELEBRITY DECORATING CRUSH "Jay-Z and Beyoncé's house. I saw it in a magazine. They both have impeccable taste, and everything is so soulful."
THE "CASTLE" A vinyl- and brick-fronted development Colonial built in 1978 with eight rooms and 2 1/2 baths. A white picket fence surrounds the .18-acre lot, which has a pool.
PRINCESS CHAMBERS "My room was purplish," but we are doing it over in black and grays," says White, 30, whose room was under construction. "It's very modern, very chic and something like you've never seen. My parents are really the decorators. They know my style and -- poof -- it's amazing."
CLOSET CASE "I'm very big on color coordinating, and I display all my shoes here," she says. For the record, White's motto is, "If I can't wear stilettos, I can't go," which she says includes golfing and bowling. "I'll stay on the sidelines and cheer."
HOME IS WHERE THE PARTY IS "My beautiful backyard pool is shaped like an Absolut [vodka] bottle," she says. "My parents don't drink, but they're very trendy. It's really fun to have parties there, but also very relaxing. We have a big couch setup and a big screen. People walk away saying it was a memorable party."
LIVING THE DREAM "I'd live in Old Westbury, Old Brookville, Roslyn, Jericho or Sands Point," she says. "It would be a mansion with an indoor and outdoor pool, a meditation relaxing room, a his-and-hers bathroom and closet, chandeliers and a big winding staircase, but that's where the elevator comes in'' (see aforementioned stilettos).
THE "CASTLE' A '90s contemporary five-bedroom, 4 1/ 2-bath sprawl, designed by Locust Valley-based, high-end architect Brian Shore, features glass brick and soaring ceilings set on more than two acres with a tennis court and a swimming pool.
PRINCESS CHAMBERS "At one point . . . my mother and I re-amped my room with a lot of dark woods and warm florals. I love the Ralph Lauren aesthetic," says Gimbel, 29. Her favorite piece? "My four-poster bed. When I was younger, it made me feel like a queen, like I was royalty." The room features several similar, ornate, dark pieces of furniture, creamy faux peau de soie wallpaper, elaborate swag window treatments, loads of throw pillows and blingy accessories.
ROYAL TREASURE "I have an antique brush set that I will take wherever I go."
THE ROYAL VESSEL "I've rented rooms with friends in the Hamptons, but now my parents have a 65-foot yacht at the Montauk Yacht club. It has three bedrooms, and it's my summer home away from home." Her father, Roger, is an avid fisherman, and a whole room in the house is dedicated to displaying fishing trophies . . . as in aquatic taxidermy.
CELEBRITY DECORATING CRUSH "I love Lisa Vanderpump's home . She has a lot of pink accents and the dream closet."
RENTING A PLACE OF HER OWN "It would be really nice if there were nice, affordable rentals here, but there aren't a lot of options for younger people. Every time I start to look, I'm, like, 'Ucccchhhh,' there's nothing, and then I save it for another day."