Artwork doubling as a playground, cellulite-hiding bathroom lighting and a spotless white lounge — Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West have opened up their Calabasas, California, mansion, sharing the inspiration behind the home they are raising their four children in.
In a feature for Architectural Digest, the couple shares photos and insight into the house, which they worked on with Belgian architect Axel Vervoordt, who Kanye met at antique fairs and exhibitions in Europe.
“When I saw the kind of work he was doing, I thought, ‘This man could design Batman’s house,’ Kanye tells the magazine. “I had to work with him. It was a coup to get Axel to come to Calabasas to redo a McMansion, which is essentially what the house was.”
The transformation was inevitable given that Kim admits that Kanye wasn’t exactly sold on the home when the couple first discovered it in 2013.
“We passed by this incredibly extravagant house while strolling through the neighborhood,” she recalls. “I’d just had North, and we were doing a lot of walking so I could work off some of the baby fat. 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.’”
That work saw the Los Angeles abode transformed into a “futuristic Belgian monastery,” with a grand white hallway, curious artwork, a speckless white lounge with a fireplace and limestone cocktail table, and a bathroom with lighting so good that Kim says it “smooths out all cellulite.”
“Kanye and Kim wanted something totally new,” Vervoordt tells the publication. “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.”
In the kitchen, anyone washing dishes can gaze out to lush greenery, which also surrounds the sparkling pool outside.
Kim notes that the superstar couple wanted neutral colors and simplicity to help create a sanctuary of “calmness” to retreat to from the “chaotic” outside world. Furnishings have also been kept to a bare minimum.
“I really didn’t know anything about furniture before I met Kanye,” Kim admits. “But being with him has been an extraordinary education. I take real pride now in knowing what we have and why it’s important.”
And, while visitors may tread with caution in such pristine settings, the two insist that despite its grandeur, the home is child-friendly.
“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. This house may be a case study, but our vision for it was built around our family,” Kanye says.
“Everything we do is an art installation and a playroom,” he adds, when quizzed about a room featuring a sprawling soft sculpture by Isabel Rower.