The View co-host manages to create a homey feel in her historic mansion
By Ana Calderone
Heart of the Home
Sunny Hostin’s 10-bedroom, 10-bathroom house in Purchase, New York was what she calls a “labor of love.” The 1920s Tudor required six months of renovations before her family could even move in, and while they “stayed true to the home” in some aspects, Hostin completely changed the kitchen to satisfy her love of cooking.
“This is my favorite area of the house because it’s where we spend most of our time,” says The View co-host. “We sort of have a combo kitchen-family room and at any given time we either have our entire family here, plus my mom, plus the dogs, plus the neighbors and kids’ friends. It’s either four people, five people or like 35 people.”
“A lot of people see the house from the outside, and they’re like, ‘Nobody can really live here comfortably,’” the Emmy Award-winning journalist and lawyer says of her historic mansion, which was previously owned by the Lehman family. “But I would say 100 percent of the folks then say, ‘Oh my gosh, I forget how big it is once I’m inside.’ Our house is always filled with people, and for a big house, it’s really important.”
Hostin (with, from left, her daughter Paloma, 11, husband Emmanuel, son Gabriel, 15, and dogs Rex and Marley) kept the kiddie feel to her den even after her children got older. “They love it just the way it is. They don’t want to change it,” she says. The only item she’s been forced to switch out is the rug because Paloma is often crafting in the sun drenched room and “stains everything” with her creations, like homemade slime. “We’re on our fifth or sixth carpet at this point, but I think when kids are making their memories it’s really important to let them do that,” adds Hostin.
When Hostin got started renovating her home, her own private walk-in closet was at the top of the list. “Joy Behar says the secret to a happy marriage is separate bathrooms. I don’t mind sharing the bathroom, but I don’t want to share a closet,” she says of her View co-host.
This vintage sculpture is a flea-market find she uses to display her jewelry. “My mom used to run an antique shop—she’s a teacher but she had an antique shop,” says Hostin. “So I grew up with a love for vintage and antiques.”
“This is just a wonderful place to sit and think, have a cup of tea and look out of the window,” she says. The “peaceful place,” which was original to the home, now features a fitting painting of a little girl and boy reading by one of Hostin’s favorite artists Leroy Campbell.
Art is a “real passion” for Hostin, who has decorated her home with her impressive collection of Latin, Caribbean and African pieces around the home, like here in her entryway. “As soon as I could afford anything, even just a print, a signed print, I started buying art,” she says. “I’ve never bought because it was supposedly important work, I don’t buy like that, I just buy what I like.”
Hostin has a flock of six chickens in her backyard. “There’s something so magical about walking out of your home at 5:30 in the morning, opening up the coop, and there are eggs inside,” she says. “Anyone who raises chickens knows what I’m talking about.”