Design: Penthouse Perfect
At home with San Diego Chargers All Pro linebacker Dwight Freeney
HIS STORY: After 11 years with the Indianapolis Colts, Dwight Freeney left the snowy plains of Indiana and headed west. On the field he’s known for his pass rush, lightning speed, and signature spin move, which earned him seven consecutive spots in the Pro Bowl and a Super Bowl ring in 2007. But at home, life is quiet and simple. The 33-year-old enjoys watching movies and playing video games and poker with his friends. He also likes trying new restaurants in his foodie ’hood. “It’s like Cheers over there,” he says of Italian hotspot Bencotto. “They know me!” After Dwight signed a two-year contract with the Chargers last year, his interior designer, Tammy Westgerdes of TJ West Designs, found this penthouse unit for him. It wasn’t even on the market. Designed by starchitect (and former occupant) Jonathan Segal, the space is characterized by its modern grayish tones, sweeping city views, and exposed cement beams. When Dwight injured his quad in the second game of the season, his new home turned out to be the perfect place to rest and recover. As for missing Indiana and getting used to SD, that seems to be on the mend, too. “It’s a nice city, very laid-back,” he says of San Diego, while reclining on a sofa overlooking the bay. Laid back, indeed.
Wispy olive trees frame a large patio, complete with a fire pit and West Elm sofas. Linear-patterned porcelain flooring blends with black lava rocks, adding contrast and texture to the courtyard, which connects the entry, main living area, and kitchen. (Midcentury modern patio chairs by Bertoia, available at Design Within Reach)
Dwight spends the majority of his time in the master suite. The Technogel bed is a favorite among pro athletes; the portable massage table at the foot of it stands as a reminder of his ongoing injury and rehab. A painting by local artist Kurt Stell is one of several pieces he acquired from Segal. In the background is Dwight’s 65-inch, 4K ultra-HD Sony TV. Imagine the grin on his face as he explains the details of this beauty, and how a relentless Best Buy salesman convinced him to purchase it. (“The guy is talking it up, and I know what he’s doing, but I can’t help myself!”) The screen is positioned just so, in front of his favorite Leathercraft recliner. “I’ve had this chair forever. I’ve been through a lot with it,” he says of the furniture item that’s seen him through five surgeries. “This is my favorite spot by far.”
Sleek and Modern
The custom metal and glass stairway leads to the guest rooms and master suite upstairs, without obstructing the view. The open layout on the lower level allows for six different seating areas, including a cozy alcove with a gas fireplace in the entry and a poker table.
Dwight sits in his home theater on a sofa designed by Westgerdes, with a special kind of foam that prevents the sitter from sinking too low. She also customizes the height and length of her cushions—a plus for Dwight, who weighs in at about 265 pounds and is 6’1”. The footballer loves popcorn, and Gladiator and Braveheart are two of his favorite movies.(Contempo popcorn machine made by Paragon, available on Amazon.com.)