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John Legend was no stranger to the East Village when he and his girlfriend, model Chrissy Teigen, moved into their pied-à-terre on the Bowery in late 2009. The now-32-year-old singer-songwriter first lived in the area a decade ago, sharing a Second Avenue walk-up with two college buddies from the University of Pennsylvania. But this time, with six Grammys on his shelves (plus five more on ice at the 2011 awards, to be held on February 13), Legend had some specific ideas about the space he would soon call his East Coast headquarters. (When in L.A., he crashes at his manse in the Hollywood Hills.) “Most of the places you look at are cookie-cutter boxes. They don’t have any cool shapes,” he says. “When I was drawing up my ideal thing in my head, it was a unique space in a newer building, with lots of light.” Once Legend found a 1,350-square-foot apartment with floor-to-ceiling windows and soaring downtown views, he tapped Winka Dubbeldam of Archi-Tectonics to do the rest. She had her team knock down walls to open up the living area for entertaining, consolidate a series of hallways to make a master suite with a walk-in closet for Teigen, and create a music room with a Yamaha piano that doubles as a guest room. “We wanted to make it feel homey,” Legend says. “And we’re getting there.”
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