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Three-storey penthouse that Trump family calls home

REAL ESTATE
By Mkala Mwaghesha | July 28th 2016

Last week, Meredith McIver, an employee of the Trump Organisation, apologised for her role in the bungled Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention that was partly picked from Michelle Obama’s earlier speech. Who could blame Meredith for a speech that might have been penned under the shining and overwhelming aura of gold, bronze and statures that is the three-storey penthouse of the Trump Tower? This is the elaborately decorated house that the Trump family calls home.

See, Melania has an office in the house. Large, polished windows that overlook Central Park and the Manhattan skyline are part of the furniture. Louis Vuitton cases, including one with her expensive jewelry, pile up around the couch when she is around.

Besides a traditional desk that is not so traditional with its conspicuous bronze carvings and golden top and edges, there is a Renior painting, not the original La loge, but a reproduction. All the paintings and portraits in the room are gold-rimmed.

Meredith could have been confused with all that affluence. But what is synonymous with the house is the full exhibition of an array of gold decorations. To borrow lines from American flashy rapper Trinidad James, the house is “All Gold Everything!” “Gold all in my chain, gold all in my ring, Gold all in my watch, don’t believe me just watch,” Trinidad raps, and he would be at home in Donald Trump’s New York home.

Costing $100 million (Sh10 billion), the gold and bronze theme for the interior was conceptualised by Angelo Donghia, an American interior designer who passed on in 1985. According to the MailOnline, which published colourful photos of the house the firebrand entrepreneur and presidential candidate in the November election owns, Donghia chose the flamboyance of the French ruler Louis XIV as inspiration.

Donghia, who was referred to as “the Saint Laurent of Sofas”, was known for his exuberance when it came to use of fabrics and décor. Working on the house’s interiors after the completion of the Trump Towers in 1983, he probably convinced Trump that the house should be attractive and exude extravagance.

Living like a king

If one was to wake up from the 66th floor where the house sits, they would be served a cup of tea or fresh juice in gold rimmed glasses. The platters are also gold-plaited, in what can simply be described as a kingly breakfast. Waiters would probably have white gloves on, like Michael Jackson.

If they were to spend the day indoors, they would easily be overwhelmed by the shiny presence of gold in almost everything in the living room. From seats to portraits, chandeliers and vases to the walls and the ceiling, the rooms are a work of grandiose art.

In short, the house is what the cave the 40 thieves hid their lot in Ali Baba’s tales would look like.

Even Louis XIV would be impressed in his grave. His classical age monarchy from 1643 to 1715 saw him create the iconic Versailles from what was his father’s hunting lodge. Like Trump, he believed he was destined to rule, and he made France the European superpower during his reign.

Besides the shouting bronze and gold, the house is also classical in its paintings and statues. Other than the Renior in Melania’s office, there is a statue of Cupid and Psyche, Greek vases, and some risqué bronze statues — some quite racy.

Greek mythology

In the living room, there is a painting of Greek figures in a fight scene, illuminated by crystal chandeliers. Above the fire place sits Apollo, in a painting that has the mythical hero being led in his chariot by Aurora.

Just like the Versailles hall of mirrors, Trump tried his best to make his house glitter. Shiny marble walls and surfaces are complemented by glasses, platters, vases and lamps of gold.

But unlike in the era of Louis XIV, where decorating a house meant adding a touch of gilt and silver on existing wooden furniture and expecting candlelight to add the shine, Trump has the ability and money to order for anything he wants custom-made. The shine, in this case, is provided by the crystal chandeliers and lamps.

The house is a statement of the real estate and entertainment mogul. It is a reflection of what he owns and aspires for. It is his American dream, and he used the house as the perfect setting for penning his signature on his latest book. He also held a press conference in the house, where he confirmed he won’t run an independent campaign were he to miss out the Republican vote, which he got.

But this is not Trump’s only home, the Mogul owns a mansion in Florida. This massive property boasts 58 bedrooms and 33 bathrooms.

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