Before she was flipping multi-million dollar estates and living in glamorous New York City apartments, reality television star and entrepreneur Bethenny Frankel was renting a cramped studio that had zero style.
“My first apartment was on 28th and Park in Manhattan and it was a studio apartment, so everything was in one room,” Frankel tells CNBC Make It, adding that at the time, she was going to New York University.
And then there was the rent: “It was $1,200 a month, which is criminal because that was like 26 years ago,” she says.
While she might be the queen of high-end real estate now — having renovated and designed multimillion-dollar Manhattan homes ranging from a two-bedroom condo in the Flatiron district to a swanky Soho space to a Tribeca penthouse — her first apartment, she says, “looked like whatever the building made it look like.
“Back then, who knew that you could have your own faucets and handles, and any choices, carpets, flooring?” Frankel says. “It didn’t even occur to me. I didn’t realize you could customize anything until five years ago. It just never occurred to me that the color of a counter-top was your choice.”
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