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Step Inside Kelly Bensimon's Downtown Pad

Who's got a stuffed shark mounted on her wall? This gal.

Kelly Bensimon's first assignment for her new gig at amNewYork hit close to home: the Real Housewives of New York City star invited the readers into her eclectic Manhattan apartment.

"I've lived in SoHo since I came to NYC when I was 19. I love the area for its artistic feeling and laid-back community," the mom of two writes. "My apartment, however, is far from laid back. While it does have an open loft-type feeling with sky-high ceilings, I work hard to bring the vibe of the space down to my level."

(Take a video tour of Kelly's eclectic SoHo spot.)

Kelly gave her home that personalized feeling with DIY projects, including sewing Hermés scarves together to give throw pillows a face lift. "You can take any two scarves — preferably two that are totally different, and they don't have to be Hermés — and sew them together. That way, if you have apartment ADD like I do, you can just flip them around," she says.

And then there's her purple velvet couch. "I got it at Restoration Hardware at the outlet mall in Riverhead for $600. And then I called Jill Zarin and I was like, 'Listen, I want to redo my couch, but I want it to be in a color that pops,'" she explains.

Mission accomplished, but the cream of Kelly's focal points goes to the mounted shark in her dining area. "It's a replica of one of the sharks that came out of Hampton Bays. I actually swam with the sharks off Montauk. Yeah, I always laugh – I swam with real sharks, so I'm not worried about the Housewives!"

Where else is Kelly popping up? You can follow the buzz on all your favorite Bravo stars with our Tweet Tracker.

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