Can you picture Vanilla Ice behind a desk? The pop icon, motocross racer, real estate entrepreneur and remodeling expert spends precious few moments actually sitting at his desk. He’s either scouring the world for the latest and greatest technology and design trends or hard at work renovating one of his many properties in Palm Beach.
While some may be comfortable in an office with four walls, Vanilla Ice finds his creativity in wide open spaces. And the 10,000-square foot Florida home featured on Season 2 of DIY Network’s The Vanilla Ice Project. “I fell in love with this house and didn’t want to sell this house after I built it, so I use the entire property as my work space. Everything from this office, to the chickee hut in the backyard. I take my laptop with me everywhere.”
Family pictures cover his desk — photos of a vacation to the Bahamas, the kids swimming with the dolphins and even one of the whole family with Miley Cyrus from back in her Disney days. “My family inspires me. I build these homes because I want families to live in them. I don’t build bachelor pads.”
He’s still making music, but this room is a place he and his daughters like to use to jam out and get inspired. There’s a drum set, guitar, keyboard and even an old-school digital sampler — all reminders of a record-setting music career he built, when no one thought he could do it. “People used to tell me that a white guy couldn’t rap. Now they tell me you can’t do this or that when it comes to my designs. But I love a challenge.”
He draws his creative design inspiration from the idea of the American Dream. “It used to be that people thought they would only live in a house for a few years, then sell it and make money. But that was before the crash. I’m talking about showing people how to invest in the house they have and make it a place they want to stay for 30 years.”
“When I’m designing a home, the theme is key. This house is inspired by the Gilded Age of Palm Beach when people like Henry Flagler built up the area. And it’s all about the discovery of Florida, Ponce de Leon and the Treasure Coast.” Visiting places like The Breakers Hotel and the Flagler Museum inspired him to install intricate ceiling applications, detailed crown molding and deep, rich color palettes in each room.
His phone rings off the hook with famous friends asking for remodeling advice. One of his new projects includes helping NBA super star LeBron James design a pool for his Lighthouse Point home. Now he’s wrapping up the final touches on a house for Season 4 of DIY Network’s The Vanilla Ice Project. “I don’t want to give it all away, but let’s just say there’s a James Bond-inspired design element in the master bedroom. You’ll have to watch to find out more.”
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