Step Inside Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West’s Boundary-Defying Home

Oct 22, 2020
With an assist from Axel Vervoordt and other international design luminaries, Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West transform a suburban California estate into an otherworldly oasis of purity and light

When Kanye and Kim Kardashian West first encountered the house that would become their wildly idiosyncratic family refuge in suburban Los Angeles, the two had decidedly different reactions. “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 recalls of their first sighting in the summer of 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.’”

Almost seven years—and three more children—later, the Wests have transformed that real estate into one of the most fascinating, otherworldly, and, yes, strange pieces of domestic architecture on the planet. The metamorphosis of the house from suburban McMansion to futuristic Belgian monastery, as Kanye himself blithely describes it, is a story of probing and passion—a testament to the iconoclastic mind of the boundary-defying musician and the fearlessness of the zeitgeist-defining reality star and entrepreneur.

“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.
The couple’s peregrinations through the international design world eventually put them in the path of the illustrious Belgian designer and tastemaker Axel Vervoordt, whom Kanye met at antiques fairs and exhibitions in Maastricht and Venice. The initial attraction for the musician centered on a signature Vervoordt design—a Floating Stone table with rounded edges that seemed to encapsulate the seductive simplicity and wabi-sabi aesthetics that pervade the designer’s oeuvre. “When I saw the kind of work he was doing, I thought, This man could design Batman’s house. I had to work with him,” Kanye says, adding, “It was a coup to get Axel to come to Calabasas to redo a McMansion, which is essentially what the house was.”

Those conversations naturally informed their plans to reimagine the house, a process Vervoordt describes in terms of distillation. “Kanye and Kim wanted something totally new. 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 designer explains.

“The one thing Kanye and I had in common was our preference for a neutral palette. I love the simplicity of the design. Everything in the outside world is so chaotic. I like to come into a place and immediately feel the calmness,” Kim says. As for the uncompromising minimalism of the scheme, she offers a different perspective: “Kanye would come up with the most far-out ideas, and I’d say, ‘This is not normal. We need drawers!’ I was the voice of functionality.”
Minimalist architect Claudio Silvestrin—who worked on Kanye’s pre-Kim Manhattan loft and continues to collaborate with him on ambitious building projects still under wraps—designed the voluminous master bath. Vincent Van Duysen helped furnish the living room as well as the children’s bedrooms. Wirtz International Landscape Architects, under the direction of Peter Wirtz, oversaw the design of the burgeoning, purposely all-green gardens. And Family New York, led by Dong-Ping Wong and Oana Stanescu, were architectural designers on the project.


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