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Celeb Side Gigs: Pretty Faces Making Pretty Spaces

From interior design to home accents, celebrities are in the game strong.

Christine Book
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Ellen DeGeneres brown rug
Ellen DeGeneres Huntington indoor/outdoor rug from Loloi, www.loloirugs.com

It’s no secret that professionals in the home furnishings industry wear many hats. So, too, do Hollywood celebrities, who are adding to their roles. More than ever, celebs are casting themselves as furniture and home accent designers. 

Ellen DeGeneres, Joanna Gaines and More

Perhaps the most broadly appealing entertainer-turned-designer is Ellen DeGeneres. Her star status in the design space is as noteworthy as her success as a television icon. After releasing a home decor collection in 2015, she expanded to three new home lines in early 2017. She partners with Thomasville Furniture for the ED Collection, which includes baby furniture with animal prints, a nod to her wildlife fund. She’s also collaborated with Loloi for pillows, throws and rugs.

DeGeneres’ “HGTV Design Challenge” brought viewers and visibility to furniture and cable. Chip and Joanna Gaines and Drew and Jonathan Scott have become household names. Among her licenses, Gaines has a furniture collection with Standard Furniture called Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines, plus rugs and pillows with Loloi. The Property Brothers have created outdoor furniture for QVC and offer a line of fabrics available on fabric.com.

Bravo has brought a number of its cast members into the furnishings space: Real Housewives "Ladies of London’s" Caroline Stanbury, now living in Dubai, incorporated her wardrobe into a furniture line. "Project Runway’s" Isaac Mizrah has a line of bedding; Jeff Lewis, star of "Flipping Out," offers barn doors and tiles at Home Depot; Nigel Barker, fashion photographer and "America’s Next Top Model" judge, has designed a furniture collection with Art Van Furniture.

Turning their passion for interiors into a business has many Hollywood celebs enjoying their side gigs. Blake Lively, who has yet to charge her friends for designing their homes, recently told her Instagram followers interior design is “the most fun bad decision she’s ever made.”

For others, it’s more than a new hobby. From home flipping to home accents, stars are building brands. 

More Celebrities With Design Brands

• Diane Keaton’s in. She launched a tabletop collection, owns architectural history, and has published three design-focused coffee table books. She discussed her latest book, "The House that Pinterest Built," at Dallas Market in January. 

• Mandy Moore, of “This is Us,’ crafted a line of art prints, monogrammed glasses, throw blankets for Shutterfly, where Drew Barrymore offers pillows, artwork and shower curtains.

• Catherine Zeta-Jones unveiled a lifestyle brand of bedding, bath towels, table linens and rugs in 2017.

• Reese Witherspoon’s Southern-inspired brand, Draper James, offers tableware, pillows, throws, candles. Crate & Barrel, for whom she is a brand ambassador, is co-designing a collection in partnership with her line.

• Eva Longoria has a bedding collection and bath products at JC Penney, which also carries a home accessories line of throw pillows, dessert dishes and hi-ball glasses by "Black-ish" star Tracie Ellis Ross.

• Minnie Driver has a Home Collection of bedding on HSN, said to be inspired by her mom.

Not to be overlooked is Iris Apfel, a widely recognized “nonagenarian influencer.” At 96, she has teamed up with a Chicago-based customizable furniture company, Cloth & Company, to create a line of home furnishings, inspired by the fast fashion business model, for the Home Shopping Network. The furnishings feature colorful bold prints and graphic lines, reflecting Apfel’s distinct personal style.

Whether on the Hollywood Walk of Fame or in a showroom, there is always room for beautiful people and products on the home furnishings stage.

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