Kanye and Kim Kardashian West are no ordinary home owners.
Though the superstar couple have shared bits and pieces of their minimalistic California mansion on social media, they’ve now officially opened the doors to their other-worldly — and often perplexing — oasis for the first time.
In the cover story of Architectural Digest‘s March “Star Power” issue, the rapper-fashion designer and beauty mogul share how the $60 million mansion became their home after an extensive renovation that left them living with Kim’s mom, Kris Jenner, for nearly three years.
“We passed by this incredibly extravagant house while strolling through the neighborhood. I’d just had North, and we were doing a lot of walking so I could work off some of the baby fat,” Kim told AD of first spotting the home in 2013. “I didn’t really know Kanye’s style at that point, but I thought the house was perfection. Kanye was less enthusiastic. He said, ‘It’s workable.’”
For Kanye, who Kim says is typically subdued, the lukewarm reception actually meant he was all in, she explains in an accompanying video interview.
The couple decided to purchase the house as a major overhaul project, turning the suburban “McMansion” — as they describe its pre-renovation state — into a space in which they could raise their growing family and feel at ease.
Now, Kanye describes the intentionally spare property as a “futuristic Belgian monastery.”
The couple worked closely with Belgian architect Axel Vervoordt to completely remodel the home, creating a stark, almost church-like aesthetic. The home is decorated entirely in muted shades of white, brown and grey — a color scheme which the pair says relaxes them and makes them happy to be home amid the chaos of the outside world.
“Kanye and Kim wanted something totally new,” Vervoordt says of designing the home. “We didn’t talk about decoration, but a kind of philosophy about how we live now and how we will live in the future. We changed the house by purifying it, and we kept pushing to make it purer and purer.”
The home is free of all clutter, and is shockingly spotless for a family with four kids: North, 6½, Saint, 4, Chicago, 2, and Psalm, 8 months.
As pristine as it may be, Kim and Kanye both insist that the home was both inspired by and designed for their children — from the wide shallow steps of the heated pool to the limited number of stairs throughout.
“The kids ride their scooters down the hallways and jump around on top of the low Axel tables, which they use as a kind of stage,” Kanye says. “This house may be a case study, but our vision for it was built around our family.”
Flexing his creativity often through both his Yeezy fashion line and his music, Kanye says he has also been fascinated with design for quite some time, and began focusing on it more when his career — and budget — began to grow.
“When I was growing up in Chicago, before the internet, I’d go to my local Barnes & Noble to check out Architectural Digest and other design magazines, along with the fashion and rap titles,” he says. “My father encouraged me. He always had graph paper around for me to scribble on.” Later, the star would visit European flea markets and international design fairs to explore his tastes further.
Kanye admits that early in his career, he sold his Maybach car for an original Jean Royère Polar Bear sofa. Now, their home is filled with Royère pieces. And he passed his passion and learnings on to his wife.
“I really didn’t know anything about furniture before I met Kanye,” Kim says, “but being with him has been an extraordinary education. I take real pride now in knowing what we have and why it’s important.”
Still, the couple makes sure not to take anything too seriously, especially with the kids in mind. “We’re not going to be fanatics,” Kim says.
Kanye agrees: “Everything we do is an art installation and a playroom.”
See more of Kim and Kanye’s family home at archdigest.com, or in Architectural Digest‘s March issue.
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