Miranda Kerr—street-style star, devoted mother, in-demand model, and Instagram phenom—prepares for a shoot at her lush and cozy retreat in Malibu in a most unusual way. Minutes before the hair and makeup team arrive to prep the gorgeous Aussie, 33, whose shiny brunette bob and radiant skin need almost no tending, she shuffles out on the veranda in a white terry robe and slippers, grabs an electric leaf blower, and gets to work, blasting every fallen petal and twig out of her perfect universe.
"Just a little last-minute cleanup," she says, over the noise of the machine in her hand, turning this mundane task into something endearing, and, yes, even a bit glamorous.
The house, which was built in 1960, has a modern beach-cottage feel, with exposed beams and large windows. Kerr remodeled the interior but kept the original footprint intact. The walls are covered with Flynn's drawings, family photos, and paintings Kerr has collected over the years.
Kerr and her five-year-old son, Flynn, live in this charming 1960s ranch home on the northern end of Malibu beach. She bought the property in 2014, when she and her former husband and Flynn's father, Orlando Bloom, were deciding how best to raise their son.
"Orlando and I were living in New York, and we loved it there," she says. "But we were considering what the best options were for our son. Orlando owned a place in Malibu, and he was saying that he wanted to move here. We thought it would be a better lifestyle for Flynn. He could be outside playing year-round, playing in the sand. We could have a garden. I started looking for houses because we wanted to be close as a family."
Kerr had Raindance Trading Co. install many large crystals throughout the property, including this ring of rose quartz around a tree. Carolina Herrera gown, $3,990, 212-249-6552; Chloé earrings, $655, 212-717-8220; Spinelli Kilcollin ring, $1,600, spinellikilcollin.com; Jennifer Zeuner Jewelry ring, $121, jenniferzeuner.com; Jimmy Choo sandals, $895, jimmychoo.com.
Despite the fact that they're no longer a couple and Kerr is in a relationship with Internet entrepreneur and Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, the two are very committed to raising Flynn together. So when Kerr found this property on a hillside overlooking the beach, she pounced.
"I knew that this house was it at first sight. It needed a lot of work, but it had a great view. It wasn't right on the water, so it was protected from the wind and very private. I could just see the potential. It felt so right. In some ways it feels like a tree house. That was another thing that I loved. It's all open, and the view of the ocean makes it feel more spacious."
"I knew this house was it at first sight. It felt so right. In some ways it feels like a tree house. That's another thing that I loved. It's all open, and the view of the ocean makes it feel more spacious."
Kerr's top priority for the house was to make it a "sacred space," a calm refuge from her hectic schedule that was filled with small reminders of a happy childhood in Australia. To achieve that, she started with a neutral background of pale grass-cloth wallpaper, white walls, and cream-colored upholstered pieces, then added layers and layers of textiles. ä
I like to experiment with texture and fabric more than color," she explains. "I'm a tactile person, so there are so many different types of fabrics around the house, like layered curtains and fluffy rugs, throws and pillows, and just a few pops of color."
Brightly patterned pillows, fashioned from Hermès scarves, offset the custom-made ivory velvet sofas. There may be a large-scale Damien Hirst painting of a heart in the living room, but the wall space is mostly occupied by photos and sketches by her son and her extended family. A baby grand piano cleverly made of clear acrylic by Crystal Music Company (Kerr has played since she was a girl) ensures that the main living space stays light and airy, and that the view of the cool blue Pacific from a wall of windows is the focal point.
"When I was a child, I spent a lot of time at my grandma's house," she says. "People were coming in and out. She was always in the kitchen making something. There was always food and snacks. She would play the piano, and we would sing and dance. So those were my two priorities. I wanted to have a piano and a great kitchen, which is always the heart of the home."
Reclining on the Crystal Music Company acrylic piano. Giorgio Armani gown, $price upon request, 212-988-9191; Bulgari earrings, $10,100, necklace, $51,000, ring, $8,500, and bracelet, $97,000, 800-BULGARI; Manolo Blahnik sandals, $725, 888-774-2424.
Kerr, who launched the organic skin-care line Kora Organics in 2009, is committed to a healthy, sustainable lifestyle, and her home reflects that. Her fridge is stocked with fresh produce, and she's an avid cook who entertains frequently. (Her favorite meal? Slow-roasted organic chicken and a big salad.) The hillside behind the house is terraced with garden beds, where Kerr grows her own kale, and Flynn helps her pick strawberries, blueberries, and lemons. She installed an infrared sauna in the one-bedroom guesthouse at the bottom of the hill, which doubles as a meditation room. A small gym in the pool house is stocked with state-of-the-art Pilates equipment. To create a peaceful sanctuary at night, Kerr had an electrician wire the property specifically so she can turn off devices that emit disruptive electromagnetic radiation (as well as the lights and Wi-Fi) with a flick of a switch by her nightstand. But the most impressive enviro upgrade was a gift from Spiegel, a machine made by Island Sky called the Skywater 300, which draws moisture from the humidity in the air and produces enough water for the entire house, including showers, drinking water, irrigation, and a waterfall that cascades into a koi pond.
"This property was a dust bowl when I bought it, and now it's so green. This [Skywater 300] system really just pulls water out of the sky. It was a very thoughtful present [from boyfriend Evan Spiegel] because he knows how much I love a garden."
"This property was a dust bowl when I bought it," Kerr says, "and now it's so green. Obviously I'm aware of the drought problem in California. This system really just pulls water out of the sky. It was a very thoughtful present because he knows how much I love a garden."
Even if it means an occasional leaf drifts into the picture.