Located in downtown White Plains, NY, this 2,500 square-foot penthouse has a panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline and the Hudson River. With three bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, an open concept living room and dining room, and a homeschooling room—not to mention 10-foot ceilings—it’s the perfect home base for Claudette Bailon and Gerd Alexander. The lifelong New Yorkers have a strong musical background and met while in contract with Sony records years back. Today, the pair are devout homeschoolers to their young kids, sharing their knowledge with their over 100K+ Instagram followers.

Interior designer Malka Helft of Think Chic Interiors met the couple as they first moved in, meaning the penthouse was a blank slate. “The clients had two goals,” she tells us. “The first was practical, when spending most of your days at home and together—homeschooling and sleeping in the same bed at night—defining spaces within the penthouse was key. The large space was divided into a dining room, living room, homeschooling space and a primary bedroom that would accommodate all family members.” 

The second goal? Create a calming space to set the tone for their busy lives. Malka tells us more. 

The couple prioritized homeschooling. How did you find the balance between work / school / life in the design?
Homeschooling is a bit different than Covid home schooling, and not all schooling happens at home, there are study groups with other homeschooled children, classes at various locations such as music studios as well as a constant stream of teachers coming through the home providing education on various subjects. It was crucial for the entire family to provide the girls with their own workspace and integrate it with the common areas of the house. Providing them with an entire room gives them the feeling that they are not only doing homework but are actually in school. This also enables the parents and caregivers to go about their busy schedules without interfering with the study schedule. 

How long did the project take?

The project lasted for almost a year, starting with the dining room, living room and study room, and ending with the primary bedroom. There were a few hiccups along the way but the biggest one was when the dining room table was delivered just to discover that this luxury building did not have a freight elevator, and the eight-foot table would not fit into the regular one. After trouble shooting for more than a week, we were able to hire a few people to take it on to the 22nd floor standing on the roof of the elevator. 

Needless to say that when it came time built the 9-foot bed frame and headboard it was brought up in pieces and assembled in the room. 

The family adores the space, they feel that we were able to combine their styles perfectly while providing more than they ever wished for.

See more in the slideshow.