Inside Sandra Lee's Sophisticated and Sentimental New York Home

At Lily Pond, the New Castle, N.Y., home Sandra Lee shares with her longtime partner Governor Andrew Cuomo, her beloved cockatoo, Phoenix, has free range and often keeps the chef, cookbook author and TV host company in her pristine home office. The area is framed by built-in bookcases filled with family photos Lee had printed in a vintage sepia tone and framed in gold to match.

Watch Sandra Lee give PEOPLE a tour of her home. 

The adjacent sitting room is Lee’s favorite in the house, which is about 6,000 square feet and has 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. “It’s taken me a decade to put this together,” Lee tells PEOPLE of the all-white space, which includes favorite antique finds and family heirlooms.

The dining room’s Restoration Hardware table and chairs are used for formal occasions. The space is dubbed the “Founding Fathers Dining Room” because it contains copies of letters written by George Washington, James Madison and others — just a few of the historical elements in the de facto first lady’s traditional house. 

Much of the china on display in the hutch belonged to her grandmother. “Everything in here is wonderful and sentimental,” she says of the cozy space, which also features the home’s original brick herringbone floor. 

“I am an avid antiquer. I antique every weekend and I know all the best shops all over the United States and most of the ones in Europe. That is my jam,” Lee says. Her collection of copper pots and pans can be found in one corner of the dining room.

Lee fell in love with a fabric and tracked down the last three yards in existence to make the powder room’s window shade. “Everything in that bathroom revolves around that window treatment. From the onyx basin and countertop to the cabinet that was custom built,” she says. “Every single thing in this house I’ve personally purchased.”

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