When it came time to renovate her cozy NYC apartment, Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer enlisted a big-name designer to create a space that’s perfect for her petite 4-foot-7 frame.
“Nate Berkus recently designed my living and dining rooms, putting in furniture that was custom-made for my size,” Dr. Ruth, 87, shares with Closer. “But he understood that I did not want to part with anything, because everything here is so special to me.
Dr. Ruth posing with books that she's written in August 2013.
That’s because the legendary sex therapist has lived with her large collection of turtles, dollhouses, career mementos and family photos in this upper Manhattan apartment for more than 50 years. Each item evokes cherished thoughts of her late husband, Fred, her daughter, Miriam, her son, Joel, and her four grandkids.
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“What I wanted this room to reflect was memories,” she says of the tchotchke-filled living room. “All of the keepsakes were gifts from people who are part of my life. I love to play with things in here, because they remind me of people from my past, all the Jewish holidays I hosted and having my family together here.”
Dr. Ruth on TODAY with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.
While she’s not sure of its exact square footage, this three-bedroom, two-bath high-rise provided enough room for her family to live comfortably. And with large windows offering stunning views of the Hudson River and “all of this beautiful, natural sunlight,” she felt no need to move to a fancier neighborhood downtown — even after rising to fame with her hit 80s radio talk show Sexually Speaking. “I live right near a great park and the apartment has a very European look, which was another reason I was attracted to this space.”
Yet, with more room since her kids moved out and Fred passed away 18 years ago, Dr. Ruth still “couldn’t find anything” amid an ever-expanding collection of books, awards and knickknacks. “I was on Nate’s show to give advice and said, ‘Now I’m the one who needs advice, because my apartment is so stuffed!’ In just three days, Nate got me organized and gave it a different look.”
For the full story on Dr. Ruth, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!
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