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Design star

By JANET RAASCH

Supermodel Cindy Crawford launched Cindy Crawford Home in 2005


When supermodel Cindy Crawford launched Cindy Crawford Home, her signature furniture line, in 2005, she relied on more than two decades of experiences around the world for her inspiration. The DeKalb, Ill., native says she hasnít lost her Midwestern practicality even though she has lived a jet-set lifestyle. She says each dwelling has had a different design sensibility, from her New York apartment to her Malibu beach house where she now lives with her husband, hotelier Rande Gerber, and their two children. Crawford and Gerber are currently working with Mexican modernist architect Ricardo Legorreta to build a vacation house in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Describe your home design style.

I donít just have just one style. I have the overall concept. I want it to be comfortable for me and my family ó and for entertaining. For example, I donít have coasters at my house. (There are) lots of slipcovers and leather that we can live on and clean easily. I tend to gravitate toward an updated look at traditional.

How has your style evolved in your adult life?

I learned to trust it more. I learned if I like something I can find a place for it in my house. If you love something, itís going to work somewhere in your home. Some people have that knack. For me, it was much more learned.

What or who are your inspirations for your furniture and accessories?

My first inspiration is my family. Itís so important in this busy world of ours to create a sanctuary for me and my family. Iíve worked with my designer, Michael Smith, for 15 years. Heís taken me to a flea market in Paris to museums. We travel together. He helped me to develop an eye and look at things from that point of view. Iíll take digital pictures of a chair in Florence or a carving on a piece of wood or a texture and send them to the designers.

What was your biggest design mistake?

My very first sofa. I just started making money as a model and went to a store in Chicago called Expressions, where you picked the frame and fabric. It felt very luxurious to me. I had to wait six weeks. When they delivered it, it didnít fit through the opening of my apartment. They had to cut the arm off to get it in. I had that sofa for like 10 years.

What was your biggest design accomplishment?

Building a house with my husband. Getting through that is one of the hardest things on a marriage. It was a five-year process. My husband has a very strong point of view, as do I. But we worked together as a team and the house is better because of that.

What are your design likes?

I would want a blind person to feel just as comfortable in my home. I want the fabrics to have a nice hand. I want it to smell good. I want (a sofa) to look great, but most of the time Iím sitting on it, so I want it to feel great. I would never sacrifice use and comfort for style.

Dislikes?

I donít like it when it is too perfect, too designed. I remember staying in a hotel room in Miami. It was beautiful, but the minute I opened my suitcase it was ruined. It didnít allow room for life.

What are your favorite design magazines?

Architectural Digest. Domino. Elle Decor.