When celebrities design and decorate

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I recently ran into this article that talked about celebrities that doubled down as interior decorators and designers. Needless to say, education really doesn’t mean as much nowadays, does it? People are paying for their education, studying hard and working two or three jobs to pay off their student loans. But what is the point if Cortney Kardashian is going to just dub herself the interior designer and start her own business? It seems that education is losing its power quickly, as quickly as some celebs are gaining their fame — overnight almost. The fact that you have some gorgeous Pierre Jeanneret chairs won’t suddenly make you an interior design expert.

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From the book Decorate Your Home With Ellen DeGeneres. Copyright © Ellen DeGeneres. Link to the book

However, there is something good in every bad I suppose, and this I-am-famous-so-I-can-do-anything situation is no different. School won’t make up for the lack of talent, and some celebrity interior designers just seem to be “naturals” when it comes to interior design.

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One of the interiors at Nolita’s 75 Kenmare designed by Lenny Kravitz. Copyright © Kravitz Design.

One of those celebrities that clearly has the talent for home interiors design and is making some proper moves to develop it and bring it out into the world is most definitely Ellen DeGeneres. Together with her partner Portia de Rossi, DeGeneres delved into the world of house-flipping. Ellen even published a book Home: The Art of Effortless Design, which features a variety of pictures of their estates.

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Ellen DeGeneres designed almost a dozen homes over the last 25 years. Copyright © Ellen DeGeneres.

Ellen also has a really simple approach to design, which is probably the reason why she is so successful. “If you think of your home as your canvas — regardless of its style of architecture — you can put anything in it,” she said in her interview for People magazine, “I tend to keep painting the painting until it’s done, there’s nothing left to do. That’s when I sell the canvas and buy a new one.”.

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From Ellen DeGeneres’ collection from Thomasville. Copyright © Ellen DeGeneres.
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From the book Decorate Your Home with Ellen DeGeneres. Copyright © Ellen DeGeneres.

One of the people who managed to make quite an imprint in the world of home interiors interior design is also the rom-com darling, Diane Keaton. She is a well-known design devotee, but unlike DeGeneres, Keaton is mostly focused on the interior design of historic properties. Like the majority of design fanatics, Keaton is also an enthusiastic Pinterest user. Her board shows off her love for the black and white combo, wood and stone materials and chic vintage industrial touches.

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Traditional living room with the industrial vibe by Dianne Keaton. Copyright © Dianne Keaton.

Keaton has also published several books, the latest one is called The House That Pinterest Built. Needless to say, in it, she explains how much Pinterest has influenced her home interiors design style and skill. She’s also known for her love of home-libraries, which I wholeheartedly support. Although, she wrote in her book, “books, those elegiac tokens of forgotten moments…”, yadda yadda yadda. I beg to differ, Diane Keaton, books are pretty much alive. However, she did call her library over at River Ranch Rd. a “living library”, so I suppose it’s all good. I’m a forgiving person…

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From Keaton’s book The House That Pinterest Built. Copyright © Dianne Keaton.
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Keaton’s “living library”. Copyright © Kravitz Design.

I saved the best for last. My personal favorite is most definitely Lenny Kravitz, and I’m not being biased cuz he’s an awesome musician. He is simply SO talented, you just can’t ignore it. His lengthy portfolio includes a variety of ventures around the world, luxury suites in prestigious hotels in Miami and Las Vegas, ceramic tiles for Lea Ceramiche, the Trousdale collection of architectural items for Rocky Mountain Hardware, and much more.

Lenny Kravitz in one of the apartments at 75 Kenmare. Copyright © Kravitz Design.

My favorite work of his, that pretty much incorporates everything he stands for as an interior designer is most definitely a Nolita’s 75 Kenmare in New York City. This glorious building was architecturally designed by the renowned architect Andre Kikoski, while the interiors were done by Kravitz. In one of his interviews, he stated that he was kind of selfish when he was designing it, “I thought about myself living there. Of course, you have to make it work so it’s appealing to a large group of eyeballs, but I thought, If I were to live here what would I do?”. Keeping that in mind, it is no wonder that every single part of the interior in 75 Kenmare exudes urban lushness and warmth.

Living room with a view in 75 Kenmare, by Kravitz Design. Copyright © Kravitz Design.
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Open-plan kitchen and dining room in 75 Kenmare, by Kravitz Design. Copyright © Kravitz Design.

I have huge respect for education in general, but especially accredited education. On one side, associate or bachelor’s degree is something that should be mandatory if you want to call yourself an interior designer. On the other, there is no degree in the world that can buy you good taste and talent, so if you feel that you have it in you — go for it. We live in a day and age of acceptance on all fronts, so if you think that you have the nose for house flipping, interior design, and decoration, don’t let anyone stop you from accomplishing your dreams.

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