Design lessons from Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale are selling their Beverly Hills mansion. Of course they are, they're divorcing. It's just like any other divorce except that their house (which was once owned by J. Lo) is listed for a cool 35 mil. 

The spectacular home was designed by Kelly Wearstler, an absolute superstar designer.

This home is not for everyone. It is big and bold and frankly I think would be hard for most people to live in comfortably. But it had a lot of really great lessons that we can all use to create our own supremely comfortable homes. 

WHAT GWEN + GAVIN GOT RIGHT : DO THIS

  • They use a consistent style through out the house.

The style might not be YOUR style, but it is a CONSISTENT style. This is so key to having a home that works. Think of your wardrobe - you want pieces that work together but aren't too matchy-matchy. If you know your style it's easy to know what to buy - you might see something you love, but if it doesn't coordinate with anything you already own (or doesn't flatter you), you wouldn't buy it, would you?

MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU: Define your style. Creating a style guide is a useful exercise that can help you through the most difficult of decisions. Bin pulls or bar pulls? White trim or cream trim?  Shaker cabinet doors or raised panel? There are so many beautiful options out there, it can be paralyzing. It's worth taking some time to work out a plan at the start. You can start with this shoppable Mood Board I created to help you.

  • The space fits their lifestyle.

These are two rock / punk / pop legends and their home truly reflects that. Their lifestyle might not be the same as yours and mine, but their home certainly fits my idea of a rock star home. It has 7 bedrooms plus a guest house. It has a huge pool and outdoor bar. It has incredible views of the Hollywood hills.

This is a home for entertaining but also for collaborating and working at home. You know that these two incredibly successful people didn't get that way by lounging around their gorgeous pool all day. I love that they turned their home into a place they could enjoy working from while still being close to each other and their three children. 

MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU: Write down the things that are most important to you. Is it TV, movie, or game time with your family? Cooking? Entertaining friends and relatives? Relaxing outdoors? What spaces do you use for these activities? How large should they be? What should they be next to? What properties should they have? 

I made a worksheet to help you list your priorities. You can download it right here.

  • They use the full height of the walls.

YES the ceilings in this house have some serious height to them. We can't all be so lucky, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't maximize what you have. 

MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU: Three piece cove or crown molding and transom windows above doors are my two favorite tricks for elevating a space. If these are too traditional for you, you can still take your kitchen cabinets and shower tile all the way up to the ceiling. Hanging curtains properly and using large art pieces and vertical mirrors are also great ways to fill the space from floor to ceiling. 

WHAT THEY GOT WRONG : DON'T DO THIS

  • The kitchen is a dead end.

Their kitchen is certainly very cool with those striped cabinets that blend into the walls, but do you want to stare at a solid striped wall when you walk into a kitchen? No.

MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU: The best case scenario is for a kitchen to not dead-end at all, but if it has to you want to put a focal point on that wall to take take some strain off of your eyes.

  • Their bedroom focuses on the wrong thing.

I have to assume that this is a guest room and not the master suite, and as such maybe it's OK - but the emphasis is on the seating area (notice that the light is above the couch, not the bed). The bed almost seems to be an afterthought to the gorgeous fireplace and seating area. 

MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU: The bedroom should focus on the main activities happening there : sleep and romance. So few of us seem to be getting enough sleep these days, and it is so important for our optimal health.