Interior design: Would you hire a celebrity?
Hands up if you knew Peter Andre was an interior designer. You didn’t? Well, get ready to be amazed because the ever-pleasant ex pop star is not just the presenter of 60 Minute Makeover; away from the cameras he’s also been following his passion for interior design and has brought out his very own range: A by Andre. With his professional singing days long behind him, Andre has made a surprise career move into interior design and has started off by focusing on luxury beds.
Of course, velvet is a feature of some of the furniture. The material is an important part of conveying luxury when it comes to the design of bedroom furniture. It’s refined and elegant and, in bright colours, infuses the room with a real pop; in dark colours, it brings a sense of drama or moodiness to the room. Dark or light — the result will always be the same: sophisticated.
Not for one second does the use of velvet in his collection suggest any lack of creativity or gap in design knowledge. Nor is Peter Andre the only person from Planet Showbiz who has ventured into interior design, either as a side project or gone the whole hog and made a career move into it.
Below is a look at other celebrities who have dipped their toe into the interior design trade or taken the full plunge and brought out their own furniture. But should they have bothered?
She might have stolen few movie-goers’ hearts as an investigator in the big screen version of Charlie’s Angels or earned our sympathies as she fled for her life at the start of slasher movie Scream, but what about her flair for design? Well, she did perform the impressive feat of designing her home and she continues to refurbish it in her spare time and make it truly her castle.
In fact, Drew Barrymore loves interior design so much that even when staying in hotels, she’ll “redesign” the room. How? By making herself right at home. She’ll place various items in different parts of the room to achieve a better effect and, generally, do a little Feng Shui. Fair play to her.
The actress already has her own makeup line, but the media have warmed to her furniture range and interior décor as well. Elle Décor has referred to her pieces as “daring” and “free-spirit”. The line itself is considered “boho-chic”.
When the Hollywood heartthrob isn’t inciting people into decadent behaviour (Fight Club), partaking in it himself (Snatch) and, all in all, chalking up big-screen hits, Brad Pitt likes a bit of interior design. More than just a bit, actually. Brad fell in love with a desk he’d bought in 2008. He realised he had a similar passion for design as his business partner, Frank Pollaro, who came across a sketchbook full of designs by Brad put together in the 10 years leading up to that meeting.
The two of them began to work together and developed a range of furniture over the following four years, which premiered in 2012. The furniture takes its inspiration from the Art Deco period. What’s it like, though? Well, some reviewers don’t seem to think it much good and have described it as “ungainly” (The Guardian) and “stifled” (according to an expert interviewed by the New York Times). Others, again in interviews with the New York Times, have described it instinctively as “timeless” and “modern”.
She’s made a name for herself as everyone’s favourite chat show host — although a certain Oprah might have something to say about that — but Ellen DeGeneres is big on design. The host has her own line of furniture and has even written her own book Home about interior design. Not stopping there, she’s also hosted the programme Ellen’s Design Challenge on the TV channel HGTV. The industrious Ellen loves houses, too, and has bought and resold numerous houses. One home went on the market for $45 million dollars after her handiwork.
Does she design well? It won’t come as a surprise to hear that HGTV say so, of course. Her furniture collection has two main styles: mid-century, a blend of Danish and Italian elements, and rustic modern, which reflects Ellen’s love for Scandinavian antiques. HGTV isn’t the only advocate of Ellen’s furniture. Commentators on the internet also seem quite taken with it. The website Apartment Therapy described her furniture “as likeable as Ellen herself“. The praise doesn’t get higher than that!
Rock god Lenny Kravitz has an eclectic style and when he’s not furnishing his own home with Grammy awards for, he could be furnishing your home with anything from a rug through to his 1970s-glam-inspired furniture. Kravitz started up his own interior design company in 2003 and, in 2017, homes that have interiors designed by him (or his company) were placed on the market at values between $1.7 and $5.9 million. That’s small change compared to the LA home that went on the market with Lenny Kravitz interior design and a price tag of $38 million the same year.
Does he have a talent for design? The price tags would suggest so and the company has acquired something of a reputation for being choosy about the projects they take on, which could indicate a real wish to provide a quality service. Past projects have included a chandelier for Swarovski, no less. Forbes magazine has also gotten behind him, referring to his interiors on the $38 million dollars as “emotive”, “robust”, “addictive” and “uninhibited”. If Forbes says it’s good, that’s a strong vote in favour.
Supermodel Cindy Crawford doesn’t just know how to look good herself; she knows how to make homes look good, too, and has been fond of interior design for over a decade. Fashion inspires her style of design and, she told Architectural Digest she just picked up naturally on décor during her modelling days. Cindy, however, has her own set of design rules for stylish living. These include seeking to combine durability and luxury, respecting the historic design of a home and considering all the different senses.
The media see Cindy as a bit of a design darling, with coverage of her work conveying a real sense of expertise. Online reviews tell a different story of furniture that isn’t durable and which breaks easily, however, permitting the deduction that despite all the knowledge behind the furniture, the execution of the designs is poor. That may or may not be Cindy’s fault, but as a brand ambassador she should surely investigate.
Would you hire a celebrity interior designer?
Whether a celebrity should give up their day job is a matter of opinion, but it seems people like Lenny Kravitz, Ellen Degeneres and maybe even Drew Barrymore could hand in their notice tomorrow. Brad Pitt gets some bad reviews and the company website, which looks a little dated, to say the least, doesn’t really help the cause. And if Cindy Crawford is reading the reviews of her furniture line, she might wish to either address them or, if not, form a plan B.
Would you let a celebrity interior designer loose on your home? Either with their products or by working on the home itself. That’s your decision. Some of them have been in the game for a long time and you may well be over the moon with their work. In the case of others, however, you might find yourself shouting, “They’re a celebrity. Get them outta here.” When it comes to stumping up your cash, though, the expertise and not the celebrity status will seal the deal.
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Photos: Celebrity Watch (header), David Shankbone (1), Georges Biard (2)