Creating Homes For the Kardashians

Jeff Andrews is perfectly happy discussing the many homes he’s designed for titans of entertainment and sports. His celebrity clients include a fistful of Kardashians and Jenners, a beloved television serial killer, and one of the NBA’s most dapper Goliaths. Yet Andrews never seems blinded by the superhigh wattage of the luminaries on his roster—he’s not particularly interested in the orgy of fabulousness that permeates pop culture. He’s all about the collaboration between himself and the client—whoever that client may be—and the process of bringing a home to life. The rest, he says, is “just noise.” I recently caught up with the globetrotting designer in his lofty new office on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles. Freshly returned from some foreign port of call, he sat down for a wide-ranging chat that skipped from his background in dance to his present thoughts on Dubai.

Jeff Andrews: I grew up in and around San Bernardino, in California’s Inland Empire. I started dancing when I was 15, and I got a scholarship to study dance in Los Angeles. After that, I danced professionally for a while, then I started choreographing and staging live industrial shows.

MR: What are live industrial shows?

JA: Basically trade shows, but also commercials and videos. I had a contract with Reebok and also worked for different surf and ski companies. I’d study whatever apparel collections they were launching, then I’d turn that concept into theatrical scenes and dance numbers.

MR: I’m picturing a phalanx of high-kicking, leotard-clad aerobics fanatics.

JA: It was actually much more artsy than that. I designed the costumes, the sets, the whole look of the shows.

MR: And that segued into interiors?

JA: I started getting antsy and I’d always had an interest in design, so it was a natural progression.

MR: Who was your first client?

JA: Eleanor Mondale.

MR: Ooh, the fun Mondale! I remember seeing her on television. She cohosted a memorable special about Madonna with the divine Robin Leach.

JA: I met her through an ex of mine. I started doing a single room and ended up doing her whole house. She became a fan of mine, and she gave me the courage to pursue interior design seriously. She was an amazing woman, and she introduced me to a lot of people.

MR: Who was your next high-profile client?

JA: Ryan Seacrest. A good friend of mine was his stylist at E!, and she connected us when Ryan bought a house in Nichols Canyon. We clicked. He was a fantastic client, and that house was a real turning point in my career.

MR: Is that how you met Les Kardashians?

JA: I was in New York when I got a phone call from Khloé. I of course knew who the Kardashians were, but I wasn’t a big follower. I didn’t watch their show. But I met her, I loved her, and I ended doing a house for her and Lamar. In the process, I met Kourtney and Kris, and I started working for them as well. It was a family lovefest.

MR: At what point in the Kardashians’ trajectory of world domination did you meet them?

JA: They were already super-popular, but it wasn’t as crazy as it is now.