Come Inside Hilary Swank’s NYC Pad

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When she was growing up in a trailer in Bellingham, Washington, I doubt actress Hilary Swank ever thought she'd have a 1,400-square-foot apartment overlooking downtown Manhattan -- much less as a second home! But it's true. In the latest issue of Elle Décor, the two-time Oscar winner recently opened the door of the NYC pad where she lives when she's not in the confines of her West Coast villa. What she revealed is a modern, elegant abode that's so sophisticated you could swear it was ripped from the pages of a catalog.

"I feel like I'm in a tree overlooking the city," the star of the upcoming movie "New Year's Eve" says of her view. "I have started collecting art, but there's no piece of art that can compete with the cityscape. I love New York."

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Of course, Swank, 37, didn't design the domain herself. She called on designer Mark Zeff, who helped her choose the look for her L.A. house, to make the new place feel like home. He went with lots of pieces from the Calvin Klein Home collection for its clean lines and serenity, then accessorized with touches meant to make the apartment feel more lived in, rather than sterile. For example, there's a wall in the living area featuring wood from a Pennsylvania barn, and the shelves in the study include custom-made, built-in cabinets with trinkets like Indian molds and African headrests. That last item is particularly special to Hilary because she once spent a month doing community service in Africa while on a break from Hollywood.

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Although she brought in Zeff, Hilary definitely had her own opinion of what the finished apartment should look like. The "Million Dollar Baby" star reveals she was very hands-on in the process. "I've worked with people who roll their eyes when you make a suggestion," she notes. "Mark doesn't do that. He knows that it's your living space, your home, and you need to have an energy in there that feels right to you."

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