Kendall Jenner’s design team—the mother-and-son duo Kathleen and Tommy Clements, plus the inimitable Waldo Fernandez—didn’t know quite what to expect from their 24-year-old superstar client. “Her taste was surprising, more bohemian and funky than the rest of her family. The mood she described was totally understated and down-to-earth,” Tommy recalls of the team’s initial meetings with Jenner, reportedly the highest-paid model in the world. “Being who she is, we thought Kendall might gravitate toward something more flashy, more va-va-voom. I think we were all thrilled to discover that she has taste beyond her years,” adds Kathleen. Fernandez punctuates the sentiment: “There are plenty of people we know who have traveled extensively and been exposed to so much but don’t absorb anything. Kendall is different. She takes everything in and is confident about the things that resonate with her,” he says.
“I like a house that has character. When I walked into this place, I was immediately drawn to the peaceful Spanish-y, farmhouse-y vibe,” Jenner notes, nicely summing up the hybridized, pan-Mediterranean architecture that proliferates in Los Angeles. “My life involves a lot of chaos and travel and high energy, so I wanted a home that feels serene, a place where I can simply zone out and relax,” she continues.
Jenner made few structural changes to the existing architecture, instead repurposing two of the five bedrooms into a pair of proper glam and fitting rooms. The living room perhaps best epitomizes the young model’s predilection for warm, organic textures, earthy tones, and eminently comfortable furnishings. With a cozy fireplace anchoring one end of the space, two broad sofas, stocked with a range of pillows in vintage textiles, offer ample room for visiting friends and family. “I’m not a huge party person. There aren’t a lot of ragers going on here,” Jenner says of her entertaining style. “I like turning on music, lighting the fireplace and candles, and watching NBA games with my friends.”
Cooking, too, is an essential part of the Jenner hosting program. “This house has prompted me to spend more time in the kitchen. I’m always in there trying to up my chef game. At this point, I’m a pretty good cook,” she avows. “Kylie and I were super-lucky to have guidance from our older sisters and a mom who really has her s**t together. They all gave me solid advice on how to set up my kitchen and bath for maximum efficiency. They also taught me that a house is always a work in progress,” she adds, referring to her siblings Kim, Kourtney, and Khloé Kardashian, as well as her high-powered mother, Kris Jenner, the matriarch of the clan.
In contrast to the subdued palette of the furniture and finishes, Jenner’s collection of contemporary art—which includes works by Barbara Kruger, Richard Prince, Raymond Pettibon, and Sterling Ruby—adds some serious jolts of color to the mix. Just off the entry, a signature James Turrell ovoid wall sculpture, animated by shifting, computer-programmed LED lights, greets visitors with a dreamy chromatic display. “I’ve always been a huge Turrell fan. I was introduced to his work by [my brother-in-law] Kanye [West], who collaborates with him,” Jenner explains. “I wanted this piece to be a focal point of the house, and I’m so hyped to have it here.”
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Although Jenner confesses that she’s still new to the contemporary-art world, Fernandez emphasizes that her interest is far from superficial. “Kendall wasn’t just checking off names on a list or blindly following the advice of an adviser. She picked things that meant something to her, things she had a gut reaction to,” the designer notes.
In the sitting area of her bedroom, a Tracey Emin neon sculpture faces off unexpectedly with a pair of 18th-century Italian painted door panels. “I grew up with those panels in the various homes we lived in. I asked for them when my mom was cleaning out one of her storage spaces. They bring me back to my childhood,” Jenner says. Nostalgia notwithstanding, the designers weren’t immediately convinced about the suitability of the doors. “We all gave each other this ‘I don’t know’ look because they didn’t seem to fit in. But when the room finally came together, we loved how it turned out. It’s really a testament to Kendall’s eye,” Tommy insists.
For Jenner, who has spoken publicly about her battle with anxiety and panic attacks, the panels, like the arts-and-crafts room she installed in the home’s erstwhile home theater, are simply one more facet of her efforts to fashion a soothing refuge from the hurly-burly of her professional life under the harsh spotlight of runway shows and paparazzi. “I’m really proud of what we accomplished here. This is the first home I’ve done completely, and I think it’s a genuine reflection of who I am and what I like,” she says. “In the end, I’m still a young female in L.A., just trying to have some fun.”
Kendall Jenner Design Notes
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest