Despite moving to Los Angeles six years ago, dancer Val Chmerkovskiy occasionally pines for his longtime Brooklyn home.
So when the “Dancing With the Stars” pro bought his two-bedroom, 1,600-square-foot condo in West Hollywood this year, he asked designer Nicole Volynets to bring in some “great New York vibe.”
“For me to have stayed here so long is blasphemous for a New Yorker,” said the Ukrainian dancer who, with his older brother, Maksim — also a “DWTS” pro — owns several dance studios in Las Vegas, New York and Texas. “We immigrated to Brooklyn when I was 8. I wanted to have some sense of my previous home around me.”
His living space features black and white prints of New York scenes, a faux brick wall and an open-plan, light-filled space intended to be reminiscent of a Manhattan loft. The room is anchored by a large, L-shaped sea-blue couch.
Chmerkovskiy, 31, currently stars on Season 25 of “Dancing With the Stars,” partnered with Paralympic athlete Victoria Arlen.
Why is this your favorite room?
This is where a lot of my creativity comes from. I sit on this couch and play songs and come up with ideas for the show. I’ve choreographed many sequences on this floor. The mission statement for the place was to have an art gallery with a couch and bed in it.
How does Brooklyn factor in here?
This location reminds me of New York. I open the window, and it sounds like a New York intersection. I need the sirens to fall asleep.
Can you point out some of the New York design references?
I have shots of the early 1900s, when Eastern Europeans immigrated to the Lower East Side. There is also a photo of the “Imagine” mosaic in Central Park, which is a testament to the life of John Lennon, and another of the New York City skyline, which defines the American dream for me.
What’s with the oversized Ronald McDonald statue?
[It’s] a play on American enterprise and the politics behind it.
What about dance paraphernalia?
I’ve won so many trophies and titles over the years, and [I’d] never flaunted them — until I turned 30, and I thought, “What am I going to show my kids? They will never believe me.” It was time to start organizing my life and accomplishments by, for example, putting up these posters of tours with my brother that sold 500,000 tickets. It’s not out of vanity, but out of nostalgia.
Do you entertain a lot?
My brother lives 30 seconds away. We are very close. We shared a bunk bed all our lives and were roommates when we moved to Los Angeles. He got married and became a father, and I knew it was time to go our separate ways, but we see each other all the time.
What are your parties like?
If you come to my house, you are a No. 1 priority. I am at your service. There is always food and good conversation. I want it to be like a mix of Bob Marley and Aristotle.
That’s a good philosophy.
Growing up, my parents loved to host. My friends may have lived in mansions, but they stayed overnight at our modest home because of the warmth we created. That has stayed with me.
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