Kim Kardashian & Kanye’s minimalist prison-house covers Architectural Digest

61st Annual Grammy Awards

Granted, I’m totally middle-class/sensible, but I don’t really “get” most high-minded minimalist architecture or minimalist interior design. I find it unrealistic and impractical, and I don’t even think most of that stuff is even very “pretty” or something I want to live in. I was recently watching Pain and Glory, and Antonio Banderas’ character had my dream apartment, basically: some modern/contemporary pieces, but an apartment full of rich colors and beautiful artwork and a million books and comfortable beds, chairs and sofas. That’s the dream. My dream is not to live in a modernist white prison. I feel like that would get on my nerves in about a day. But obviously, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West feel differently. We’ve already gotten a glimpse of their bonkers home via Kim’s Vogue shoot last year, but they decided to show off even more to Architectural Digest. You can see the photoshoot and interview here. Some highlights:

Kanye on his interest in design & architecture: “When I was growing up in Chicago, before the internet, I’d go to my local Barnes & Noble to check out Architectural Digest and other design magazines, along with the fashion and rap titles. My father encouraged me. He always had graph paper around for me to scribble on.”

He sold his Maybach to get a sofa: As his career took off, and as his fortunes grew, Kanye was able to indulge his design jones in a serious way, becoming a habitué of the Paris flea markets and international design fairs, and diving into the deep end of the pool with major acquisitions like an original Jean Royère Polar Bear sofa. “I sold my Maybach to get the Royère. People told me I was crazy for what I paid for it, but I had to have it,” Kanye says of the design trophy. One of those people was his wife. “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.”

Convincing Belgian designer Axel Vervoordt to help them remake the house: “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.”

Raising four kids in that cream prison: One might wonder about the challenges of raising four small children in such a pristine, cream-colored environment, but Kim and Kanye are quick to point out that the house is eminently kid-friendly—and not just in the more traditionally cluttered play spaces and children’s bedrooms tucked away beyond the primary social zones. “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 insists. Kim seconds the notion: “In the end, we don’t take it too seriously. We’re not going to be fanatics,” she says.

[From AD]

As I said last year, when we really got our first look at the house, it feels like Kim and Kanye have edited out all of the visual stimuli their kids might need, you know? I wonder if there have been studies done about kids raised in colorless homes versus kids raised in vibrantly-decorated homes. Imagine growing up, staring at blank, cream walls all day and all night. It might f–k with your head. Anyway, I could not live like this. I spill stuff all the time, I have two cats who are a–holes and I just wouldn’t WANT to live this way. I have too many books.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, cover & IG courtesy of AD.

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107 Responses to “Kim Kardashian & Kanye’s minimalist prison-house covers Architectural Digest”

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  1. Elisa says:

    looks like a psych ward.

  2. boobra says:

    looks like squidward’s dildo is trying to make a break for it from that corner

  3. Char says:

    We all know that was Kanye vision and Kim just went with it, exactly like her “style”.

  4. I'm that person says:

    Bland.

  5. Bryn says:

    To each their own. I find it strange that they have no family portraits or pictures of their kids up. I would go nuts living in a house like that, nothing wrong with a bit of color and decoration.

  6. ItReallyIsYou,NotMe says:

    I usually have gone for a more “curated cluttered” feel in my home, but I have been subscribing to AD for a couple of years now and am starting to appreciate the minimalist vibe. There is something very relaxing walking into an uncluttered space (but I haven’t pulled the trigger on going all-minimalist or all-white in my own home).

    • Erinn says:

      I agree. My home is a chaotic mis-mash of stuff we’ve acquired over the years, and I’m starting to like the idea of wiping it out and just adding some pops of color here and there through wall art and stuff like that.

    • mash says:

      thats me….the curated clutter looks like someone actual lives and loves their house…. this who minimalist looks like YOURE NEVER HOME or you dont like dwelling and are out all the time.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I feel like there is a difference between minimalism and stark. This is such extreme minimalism that it doesn’t seem livable. It’s cold and institutional.

      • Lady D says:

        I’m a big fan of minimalism, (hate clutter) but this is going too far. Institutional is the perfect word to describe this place. It looks like a hospital where horrible experiments are carried out.

    • tiredTreaded says:

      I’m resigned to our home looking like the set of Roseanne. That takes a lot of zen for this anti-roseanne barr liberal. Minimalism calm vibe achieved.

    • Justwastingtime says:

      I love a minimalist look… but would have more art on the walls.. that bring said it’s beautifully done.. I find that clutter makes me anxious on some level

  7. Sarah says:

    We have two kids and light coloured walls and it’s nothing but dirt and gear smears from 3 feet down lol. Then again, I don’t have a staff to wipe them down everyday.

  8. Inas says:

    I think its great design. Was very impressed by how fine the lines are and space design.

  9. Roro says:

    All the kids are soo cute but little Chicago is just too adorable!! Also, that house = BO-RING! It depresses me.

  10. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    Having seen other images, I want to know who thought it a good idea to line the hallways with giant Tampax

  11. lemonylips says:

    If we’re talking about minimalistic interior design I’d have to say I absolutely love it. It is hard to imagine anyone actually living in any of those rooms apart from the kitchen that to me looks amazing. But yeah, doesn’t seem like a home for many, but I do admire the aesthetic because I love clean, minimal decluttered spaces.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      As someone who feels a cluttered environment lends to an internal feeling of chaos, i get it.

      That said, it would be fantastic for a long weekend getaway, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

    • tiredTreaded says:

      I’ve realized late in life that I’ve accumulated too much clutter- that said, I’ve realized the error of my ways but what am I going to do- throw it in the landfill to look trendy?? I have what I have, we dust & care for it.

    • lara (the other) says:

      I must admit, I love it.
      Clutter or to many colours make me irritabe and nervous.
      People are diffent, some pople need external stimuli, I am perfectly happy in my almost complete white workspace. I am quickly overwhelmed by too many stimuli.

  12. Lucy says:

    I kinda like it, actually?

  13. Momo says:

    This reminds me of the episode of absolutely fabulous when edies old friends come by and she has a flashback to when she visited their new apartment and it was just a blank white space and everyone kept being like oh it’s amazing lol

  14. OriginalLala says:

    It’s like, beautiful and relaxing for a spa..but for my home? no thanks. I like colour, visual stimuli and personal items that have stories attached to them.

  15. Kate says:

    The kid’s rooms don’t look like this. North’s has ALOT of pink in it with toys and such. Looks like a regular kids room. Their second kitchen also isn’t like this waiter from her insta stories.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Yes, I remember seeing a picture of North’s (?) room full of colorful toys.

    • Swack says:

      So they play in their rooms all day? Just asking because I can’t imagine my grandchildren doing that. Of course I kick them all outside whenever possible and my house is a place where kids can be kids which they can’t do with an all white house if you expect it to be clean 100% of the time.

      • Bunny says:

        Its Southern California, so no. The kids don’t play indoors much at all usually. I remember playing indoors only very occasionally growing up just a few miles away (in a much more modest middle class home). We had a playhouse, or we played on the patio or screened in porch year round.

      • Kate says:

        All the sisters have stuff in their yards for kids. Play houses and trampolines and such. I’m sure those kids aren’t just sitting around LOL. They all play instruments and are always on social media playing with friends. I’m sure they are fine LOL

      • Erinn says:

        Oh they can – they pay people to do all the work for them, so it doesn’t matter to them if the all-white everything gets dirty – Kim’s not cleaning it.

      • Kate says:

        You can BET if I had their bank accounts, I’m not cleaning anything, ever, for the rest of my life!!! LOL

  16. lucy2 says:

    There’s some nice design elements, but it doesn’t feel like a home. At all. I don’t believe they actually live there, or at least don’t spend much time there.
    If they do, I feel bad for the kids in such a sterile and hard environment.

  17. grabbyhands says:

    Still looks like an asylum.

    And North’s room looks like a Pepto Bismol nightmare – there is no way a child picked that room or actually plays in it.

  18. Spikey says:

    I’m utterly shocked but – I actually like it a lot. Very peaceful. I could live there, naturally it would be a mess in about five minutes. But I could live there.

  19. Slowsnow says:

    An artist I know who works with colour wrote a book about it and there is a whole passage about how he visited this pristine white house and how he felt it was the ultimate rich person’s FU to peasants (it’s beautifully written not like this lol). He describes how there were no visible doors, no objects, no functions. Like being inside an egg. And of course only a very wealthy person can live like this – I don’t think this is a question of taste but of class differentiation. There are many beautiful things and minimalism can be beautiful but the discussion is elsewhere.
    We are living in a very Marie Antoinette time.

    • Veronica S. says:

      The fact that they use design items from Anish Kapoor should say everything. Kapoor is notorious in the art community for being an elitist jackass and has a very specific design aesthetic that is VERY popular among the ultra-rich.

      (For reference: He’s the guy who did Chicago’s “Cloud Gate,” which essentially looks like a giant silver bean, which he proceeded to be mad about for years because shockingly enough, locals call it The Bean. The biggest reason he’s disliked, though, is that he used his wealth to purchase Vanta Black, a material that had tremendous artistic and scientific potential, with exclusive license, blocking anybody else from using it. What art did he make with it? A hole in the floor.)

      • Slowsnow says:

        I didn’t know he had bought Vanta Black and blocked it for his own use? Wow. But I do know he used it to paint a 3 meter hole on the ground of the Serralves Museum that looked obviously unreal (Vanta Black absorbs light and is the blackest of blacks). A total idiot jumped into it to prove it was not a real hole although it was stated how deep it was (and although it apparently was cordonned off) and broke half his bones…

      • Veronica S. says:

        Yeah, it’s kind of a shame because I actually like a lot of his art aesthetic, but he’s just such a prick. His ongoing fight with Stuart Semple (who is NOT a wealthy artist) says a lot about how much he enjoys throwing his economic superiority around – and none of it good.

    • Madi says:

      Thank you guys for your comments on the Kapoor! Very interesting.

      And I absolutely loathe this home.

    • Thinking says:

      Yes. This !

  20. Flamingo says:

    Speaking of books, where do you all think she’s keeping all of her law text books? I have a feeling she gave up on “reading the law”.

  21. Goldengirlslover34 says:

    It feels cold. I shuddered and felt a chill as soon as I saw the pic. I almost felt like I was being held captive in a psych ward. But i don’t have to live there. If they like it ok.

  22. janet says:

    I really loved it. I love open spaces and hate clutter, so i get it. I personally would throw in some soft colors, but the space is very calming. Also, they both say that with Kanye’s condition, the house makes a lot of sense for them. And hearing them talk and the thought that went to everything, makes you aprreciate it more as much as it might not be to your taste.

    • Elaine Stritch says:

      I love it! I hate “stuff” and I’ve grown to appreciate that homes like this are to highlight the architecture of the actual home, not the stuff inside. We’re only seeing a few rooms of what is a massive mansion. I’m sure there are rooms FILLED with kids stuff that we’re not seeing. Growing up, we weren’t allowed to leave out stuff in the living room or kitchen, etc. There were definitely “kid spaces”.

  23. Laidbackmoneyonmymind says:

    LOL the rich are different dahlings, don’t you know? When you have money for anything you crave nothing. The simple fact here is you people still have no taste or style. An absence of color does not make you ground breaking. Form and play of light is stimulating to a degree but it’s also boring and lacks diversity. This house truly represents everything they are. Empty

  24. Vava says:

    NO. Couldn’t live in that at all.

  25. Sarah says:

    Also from a design perspective, either nestle the cover text in that little alcove or don’t, but the slight bleed over is driving me nuts!

  26. Veronica S. says:

    For me, these pictures kind of highlights one of the big issues of minimalism – the proportions have to be very well balanced. The problem with this house is that the furniture doesn’t fill the room. That’s what gives it such a cold, empty feeling, something sterile rather than clean and structured. It’s bad interior design not because of the aesthetic but because it doesn’t use the space properly.

    Compare it to these two blog articles with photos -
    https://www.mydomaine.com/minimalist-interior-design
    https://gharpedia.com/blog/minimalist-interior-design-style/

    You see how that space is utilized ? It’s clean, it’s minimalist, but it still looks like a home. Plenty of decluttered space, but arranged in a way that says people are expected to be in it. Their home just looks unfinished to me, like an attempt at minimalism by somebody who finds the idea interesting for its popular appeal but doesn’t really get the purpose.

    • Slowsnow says:

      I agree. Also how very gauche to buy art to match the colour of your chair. Even if it is a high design chair. I think this is a particularly ill-advisedm late capitalist interpretation of minimalism as decluttering and emptiness. Of course minimalism is a research of the right line and right balance, the presence of materials and their shapes, but it wasn’t a refusal of colour or stuff. Needless to say, to see stuff you need emptier spaces, which does not mean completely void spaces.
      Here you have a lot of minimalist artists who use colour.
      https://theartling.com/en/artzine/famous-minimalist-art/

  27. MellyMel says:

    I love a home being somewhat modern & minimalistic and I don’t mind all the white (if you google Swedish or Scandinavian home interiors, that’s my style), but this looks more like a modern art museum (without the art) or some really cool cafe in Seoul. Like I like it, but I wouldn’t want to live in it.

  28. Lady Keller says:

    It reminds me of a something out of a futuristic space movie, all it needs is blinking red lights and a creepy android. I theoretically appreciate minimalism but I would go crazy living here. It’s so sterile and impersonal. I need books and colorful pillows and pictures of my kids and their artwork on every wall.

  29. KL says:

    It’s not the design which twigs me, it’s the sense — captured perfectly by the headline about a “minimalist masterpiece” — of living inside an art installation. That means upkeep. That means you’re surrounded by artistic vision, not a personal one. That means 24/7 performance of a persona or lifestyle or artistic sensibility.

    I think that’s why just looking at the pictures makes me tired. I’ve been inside the Pope-Leighey House, and that’s a masterpiece, too, but it’s still very much a HOME and designed to be one. This? Mm.

    • Shelley says:

      Thanks for sharing about the Pope-Leighey House. I’ve just spent the past half-hour falling in love with that house (and other FLW houses) via googling “Pope-Leighey House.” SO INSPIRING!

      • KL says:

        RIGHT? I am in awe. I don’t know if your googling shared how the children’s room literally OPENS UP into the backyard? Like, the actual wall unhinges to provide a sense of no barriers and an expanding playspace? My god. See, THAT is masterful minimalism.

  30. Ann says:

    Kim might not take their design choices too seriously but Kanye sure does. Kanye takes everything very seriously all the time. This bland, dumb pile of beige they call a home has Kanye’s dead serious self-importance written all over it.

    The other sisters all have nicer homes that you feel like you could live in. Personally I like Kourtney’s aesthetic best. Kylie’s house is nice too but way too much lucite.

  31. Allergy says:

    I wish Tutankhamun always-a-victor and her contoured airbrushed life would just go away. Just please go away already, please. I don’t want to see your soulless house, your embalmed sisters, your megalomaniac husband or your mega-moneyhungry mom.

  32. Louise177 says:

    I actually like a lot of the furniture. But without any color or art on the walls and same color flooring, it looks empty and incomplete.

  33. February Pisces says:

    It is so soulless. White interiors can look nice, but this is so cold and depressing. I always said Kim has no opinion of her own, or any sense of personal style. I wonder if Kim and Kanye even live together, I’m guessing probably not.

  34. Anne says:

    Oh please. What bothers me is the image of perfection. They have a crammed drawer full of baggies and condiment packets just like the rest of us.

  35. Summertime says:

    I know nothing of the Kardashians behind what this site covers, but I watched the video at the end and … it slightly improved my opinion of Kimye. They seemed like an actual couple / actual parents and North makes a cute appearance. I still think they’ve got an odd marriage and unhealthy partnership, and I’m sure nannies see the kids much more than they do. (And don’t get me started on her family’s negative impact on natural beauty.) BUT, maybe worth a watch.

    *runs away*

    • Summertime says:

      Also, I favor minimalist design — clutter stresses me — but this aesthetic is more suited for an industrial or commercial space, not a family home. Those four kids will grow up and be hoarders. Mark my words!

    • Slowsnow says:

      The bar is set very low when one is surprised to see them behave normally.

  36. jules says:

    Here for the comments, you guys are killing me. These two assholes just take themselves way too seriously, and to see them trolling around with that phallic monster thing on the floor is hilarious.

  37. ME says:

    Are they about to sell their house or something? She said she wants privacy (especially after her robbery), yet here she is showing us the inside of her house.

    Also, I wonder how these kids react when they go to a friend’s house and see how normal people live. Don’t kids need some damn stimuli?

    • Slowsnow says:

      Methinks this was Kanye’s dream, to be asked about his amazing sense of style and be featured in the mags he bought as a kid.

  38. Bex says:

    So what happens to a child that grows up in an environment with no stimuli, with adults around them that are unable to show any facial expressions?

  39. LDub311 says:

    Call me crazy, but I don’t think these people worry about not having many books around.

  40. Allergy says:

    Tutankhamun and Megalomaniac live in a white tomb.

  41. enike says:

    its very strange when you have soo much space and you chose uncomfortable armchairs where they dont fit
    Kanye has a problem to fit in the chair in the video, so despite the space it looks cramped somehow

  42. Ms Petit says:

    I’ve never been of the mindset that kids need a lot of color for stimulus, my kids have been fine with light color spaces and minimal toys. I’m no fan of theirs but I can appreciate wanting an empty space to decompress from everything.

  43. Alexandria says:

    Isn’t showing your house on AD hinting about divorce?

    Anyway I don’t mind minimalism. I like it. But minimalist design is not necessarily clinical, cold and monotonous design.

  44. Pamspam says:

    Shoes inside. Ick.

  45. Dirk says:

    Some of the photos make it look beautiful, others are somewhat nightmarish, such as the kids playroom and it’s terrifying stuffed thing.

  46. Busyann says:

    I actually kind of like most of it? That sofa looks amazing.

  47. Nana says:

    Brings to mind Ferris Bueller attributing Cameron Frye’s problems to his upbringing in the family home: The place is like a museum. It’s very beautiful and very cold, and you’re not allowed to touch anything,”

  48. Anna says:

    Omg I love this

  49. mosi says:

    Unpopular opinion, I really like it, not all of it and the big mascot is a weir thing, especially because it’s black. The kitchen is amazing though, and the old wood furniture also, the view to the garden, the staircase it’s really beautiful. The photoshoots like this always are in the presence of stylist/set person, who removes unwanted objects ( toys), strategically places books, etc. The all-white goes a bit overboard but with the addition of natural woods and ceramics its very tactile space. If you go to such space then you realize that the cleanliness lets you feel more those material/ haptic elements.

  50. Annie says:

    I have four little kids. THIS ist totally not realistic. The other day we went to our new neighbors to pick something up. They are super friendly and love our gang. But as soon as i saw their very white sofa i knew that all further contact including kids will happen at our place. Its more relaxing for everyone. I love design, but i think there is a time and place for everything.

    • Sass says:

      We’ve had a white couch for 6 years. I just strip it once a month and douse it in bleach. The only thing I ask is no shoes or truly nasty clothes which I think is fair. 🤷🏼‍♀️

  51. Sass says:

    Lol even AD called it a cream prison 😂

    • enike says:

      well, I cant see anything cream there (prison-y yes, cream no)
      But obviously they (AD) saw it in person, so the shades are maybe cream in reality. In the pictures, its light grey mostly, or beige

      I cant see anything cream in the pictures, its white, grey and beige
      imho
      I can see a prison tho :)
      some things I like there, some things not (the too small and uncomfortable armchairs for example)

      I like the kitchen and the light everywhere
      the corridor looks like from a convent

  52. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Oh no no no. Life has too many colors. That futuristic dystopian environment doesn’t have enough personality to add the word chic. I have dream of grottos, hand-painted tiles, salvaged wood for furniture, farm doors, aproned sinks, stained concretes, coppers, archways, stone, basically tons of textures lol.

  53. MeghanNotMarkle says:

    There’s minimalist and then there’s institutional. This is institutional.

  54. Lisa says:

    Not my style at all.

  55. L4frimaire says:

    I like the clean lines of the house itself and the design overall but it needs some color. Throw in some squishy bright Roche Bobois sofas, or a space where the kids can make a mess. Interesting and different, but stark.

  56. Kate says:

    You don’t have to hate me for saying this, because I hate myself for saying this — but my life experience is SCREAMING out the fact that this guy is GAY. That is not a bad thing AT ALL. It’s just a truth.

  57. whybother says:

    it looks cold
    i like minimalist but this is too extreme