The supermodel may best be known for her long-standing career, but Cindy Crawford’s eye for interior design deserves some attention, too.
Spending the majority of your life working with some of the most creative talents in the world naturally has a lot of perks. Aside from enhancing your CV, scoring invites to cool events and earning some permissible bragging rights/selfie opportunities, you can catch a glimpse into the artists’ minds—what intrigues them, what inspires them and how they apply such stimuli to their everyday lives.
And that’s the case for Cindy Crawford. From modeling designs by the greats to travelling with them and visiting their homes, the supermodel learned how to identify her style—not only for her personal look, but also for her home.
But that’s not to say all her homes look the same. Crawford’s beachfront Malibu home, now on the market, has a traditional California feel (as we see from her Vogue video interview), with its cream-coloured carpets, wood accents and striking view of the ocean—which might be just as covetable as her walk-in closet, as seen, again, on Vogue. Crawford’s Cabo oasis, featured in Architectural Digest, was an oceanfront hideaway that looked like a piece of art with its neutral colour palette and sunset-hued accents. And her Muskoka cottage resembles an All-American escape (as seen in Vogue), which she describes to me as “if Ralph Lauren had a house in Muskoka.” It has a dark wood envelope, classic blue and white fabrics and lakeside location (not to mention, a couple of fashion darlings—her kids, Presley and Kaia—lounging around on off-duty days). All three homes may have a completely different aesthetic to reflect their location, but they have one thing in common: Each home is impeccably chic yet welcoming—just like Crawford.
I sat down with the legend to learn her tips for designing a home that reflects who you are and creating a stylish, fuss-free sanctuary for family and friends to retreat to.
Here, Crawford’s home décor tips:
1. Don’t be afraid to combine design styles.
She’s traditional and husband Rande Gerber is more on the modern side, so their homes are “a merge of the two,” says Crawford. She tells me she hates too many hard surfaces as she likes her homes to be comfortable, so she'll mix in some more relaxed pieces. “Our house in Cabo had hard floors, but we did a raffia on the ceiling so there’s texture and warmth.”
2. Submerge yourself in different settings—and mingle with the creative set—to find your personal style.
“When you work with Donatella Versace, you also go to her villa, and you kind of see how her vision is her vision,” says Crawford. “It’s not just for her clothes, it’s her entire lifestyle.” And she had the same experience with Armani. “His clothes are an extension of the way he lives and vice versa.” Working so closely with such creative talents, you can’t help but get inspired. “You get ideas, you see what you like, and sometimes what you don’t like,” says Crawford. “It helps you hone your own identity.”
3. Design rooms that serve a purpose.
Crawford advises before the decorating begins, ask yourself, “What am I doing I this room?” That’s your starting point—identifying the purpose of the space so the room is functional. “So if you’re watching TV, you want a comfortable couch that you can lounge in,” she explains. “But if it’s a more formal room where you’d have company, you might want to sit up a little more.”
4. Create a warm and welcoming environment (and not have guests worried about messing something up).
Crawford is a big fan of homes with a casual feel—a stylish space where she and her family can retreat to, even when they’re barefoot and in a swimsuit on their way to or from the water. “In our house in Cabo we had all stone floors because we wanted that indoor-outdoor vibe,” says Crawford. She likes her homes to be relaxing—not a place where guests have to be on alert. “I always say I want to be in a no-coaster household,” she says. "I don’t want ‘precious things’ that cause people to feel like ‘can I set my glass down?’ or ‘can I put my feet up?’” To create a more carefree environment, Crawford relies on plenty of leather, suede and stone that only look better with wear over time.
5. Have a statement design element.
Crawford and Gerber are building a house in Palm Springs, which she already has big plans. Her eye is on Silestone by Cosentino's Eternal Marquina stone with black and white veins for a striking addition to their kitchen. “I want to use that in the kitchen, but just on the island, with a waterfall edge,” she says. Crawford appreciates a practical surface that also happens to be a design statement.
6. Ensure the space is practical.
Along with being laidback and comfortable Crawford’s homes were designed around her family’s needs. At her Muskoka cottage, she has a shuffleboard table, bunkbeds in the kids’ rooms so they can have their friends stay over and enough seating for the many guests they have at the cottage at the same time. Crawford loves the kitchen in her Muskoka home because it can fit so many people. “I have a huge island,” says Crawford, “eight people can sit around one end of it, so my kids and their cousins can all sit there.” And she made sure it’s a practical space for cooking, too. “The space between the island and the sink is wide enough so people can pass,” says Crawford. “My mom and sister can be in there with me, and everyone can be cooking, and you’re not getting underfoot.”
7. Your home should feel like you.
Crawford explains that her homes all look different—her Cabo home was “very Riccardo Beretta-contemporary and Mexican Art Dec,” her place in Malibu was inspired by an Aman resort and her Muskoka cottage is like a Ralph Lauren log cabin—and yet her visitors tell her they all have the same feel. “Each one of them feels like home but in a different way,” says Crawford She assumes it’s because they have a similar floorplan—one with “good flow” that works for her family, and she always has candles or incense going for ambiance and warmth. “We always want guests to be comfortable,” she says.