DJ mixes up real estate, Brooklyn-style
- Last Updated: 8:34 AM, March 30, 2012
- Posted: 10:45 PM, March 28, 2012
As the combining of the apartments began, they carved up the smaller penthouse, turning part of it into a studio. “We lived in that tiny studio with our son during the construction,” recalls Athena. (They later sold the studio, in 2007, for $1.1 million.)
The massive renovation cost $200,000, but in the end the family ended up with their dream home. It had floor-to-ceiling views of the Manhattan skyline and the East River from every room — “even the bathroom had views,” says Victor — as well as a 700-square-foot terrace.
But where gentrification had once been good to the Calderones, it eventually turned against them. In early 2009, there were rumblings about a new project going up on Dock Street, one that would block their beloved vistas.
“The whole neighborhood fought [Dock Street] tooth and nail,” says Victor. But ultimately the project was approved, and the Calderones opted to unload their dream penthouse before the new building started rising. It sold in early 2010 for just under $4 million. (“I’m still kind of gutted about it,” Athena says wistfully.)
But when the couple heard from their longtime broker, Karen Heyman of Sotheby's International Realty, about One Brooklyn Bridge Park, a condo conversion near DUMBO with units that boasted fantastic (and unobstructed) views of the New York Harbor, they got excited.
They toured a sixth-floor corner apartment with 12-foot ceilings and oversized windows looking north toward Brooklyn Heights and west to lower Manhattan.
“The second we walked in, we knew it was right,” Victor says.
“But it did need work; the color of the floors and the colors in the kitchen were bland — we wanted it to have more punch,” says Athena, an interior designer at Rawlins Calderone Design (she also has a lifestyle blog, eyeswoon.tumblr.com).
They also opted to turn one bedroom into a soundproofed studio for Victor and another into a TV/media room.
In the open kitchen, they re-faced the cabinets, switched out the stainless-steel hardware for brass and changed the counter to Calacatta marble. The floors throughout were sanded and stained a darker color. A deep-gray Venetian plaster was applied on two walls, in the hall and in the master bedroom.
“I really like the contrast between modern and traditional,” explains Athena of her decision to add wainscoting to the TV room and separate it from the living room using French doors with beveled glass.
She warmed up the somewhat stark interior with organic woods — a Scandinavian dining table and chairs by Niels MÃ¸ller and vintage rosewood Arne Norell armchairs in the living room — and animal-hide rugs, including a zebra hide “from Africa that we had made and has traveled with us from apartment to apartment,” Athena says.
Another piece that they’ve owned for quite some time — a vintage chrome Sputnik chandelier — now hangs in their son’s bedroom above a foosball table. “We got it at Lost City Arts,” recalls Athena. “It felt so glamorous!”
One wall of Jivan’s room is given over to a striking mural in gray and yellow (“We let him pick out the colors,” says Victor); opposite is a white wall with bold blue lettering spelling out Jivan in Sanskrit (it means “to give life”).
Naturally, as the son of a famous DJ, Jivan, 9, has a mini-mixing station in one corner — “I just taught him how,” says Victor, beaming — as well as a skateboard and a full-size surfboard (two of his favorite hobbies). Jivan also is a model for the new H&M kids-clothing campaign.
Next to Jivan’s bedroom is Victor’s studio, where the DJ works on tracks, produces his own music and develops new artists when he’s not traveling all over the world for gigs in Ibiza, Portugal and Miami.
But in just a few months, the Calderones will be moving again — back to DUMBO, into the new 65-unit Toll Brothers condo building at 205 Water St.
“It’s a duplex, so it will be more vertical, stacked living than we’ve done before,” explains Athena of the $2.3 million, 2,187-square-foot, three-bedroom penthouse.
But they will have an extraordinary amount of outdoor space: two terraces, a balcony and a private roof deck that total 2,344 square feet.
And they’ll be back in a neighborhood that they love — and that has done well by them.