Before Cindy Crawford was an international supermodel with a Malibu, Calif., beach house worthy of a spread in Elle Decor magazine, she was a fresh-faced teen scraping together money to redecorate her bedroom.
Crawford, who is 43 but looks 23, has come a long way since her childhood room in DeKalb, Ill. The mother of two and her husband, nightclub impresario Rande Gerber, own a waterfront mansion and are building a vacation house in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Now, she wants to help you style your home on less than a celebrity's budget. She has launched Cindy Crawford Style, a line of bedding and home accessories sold at JCPenney. And for the past five years, she's collaborated with Rooms to Go to create the Cindy Crawford Home Collection line.
A phone interview with Crawford, who was at the aforementioned beach house:
Q. What's your favorite room in your house?
A. We have a kitchen that's open to the family room, and I would say 70 percent of our life happens there. It's just the center of our home. So is it the most relaxing room? Probably not. Homework and all that stuff happens there. But it's just really where we live.
Q. How can you achieve the look you want and still have it be functional?
A. For my kids (ages 8 and 10), because they're running around, I try not to have a lot of sharp corners. In my kitchen we have chairs that have upholstery on them, but I chose a fabric that has red in it because I think that the two things that stain when you have kids are strawberries and spaghetti sauce.
Q. You mentioned decorating your room as a teenager. How old were you, and what did you do to it?
A. I was 16 and I did everything. I chose wallpaper and curtains and little mini-blinds and duvets because we had twin beds in there and pillows. My mom helped me wallpaper it myself. It was very empowering.
Q. How do you make yourself feel at home when you are traveling?
A. I try to travel with as little as possible, so it's more like I bring my nightgown that I want to sleep in. I always have some kind of a cashmere blanket that I use for the plane but I also can use in the hotel, and a good book.
Q. How is dressing your home different from dressing yourself?
A. When we dress, yes, it's for yourself, but it's for the impression you want to make in the world. The one person you should try to please in your home or if you were married ... is yourself. Eighty percent of the time, you are in your house by yourself, and I just think it's really important for it to be the place that when you walk in the door you can say, Yes. I live here. I'm happy I live here.