Photo Credit: Andrea Chu
On Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City, Alex McCord is right in the center of the drama. But when it comes to her life at home, in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighborhood, Alex keeps it refreshingly real. On a recent morning she and her husband, Simon van Kempen, looked like any other busy parents, getting kids François, 6, and Johan, 4, dressed, fed, and off to school.
The couple moved into their five-story townhouse in 2005, and immediately embarked on a gut renovation of the c. 1850 structure. They completed the project in just nine weeks. "We let it take over our whole lives," Alex recalls. She finds the finished product—with its mix of rock 'n' roll edge, bold color, and quirky touches—to be a good litmus test for people. "You don’t have to like it," she says. "But you have to appreciate the work and the love that went into it."