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Celebrity Designers Weigh In on Designing the Perfect Home Gym

The home gym has “become a necessity rather than a luxury for most celebrities, especially now when everything is being done from home,” explains designer Lonni Paul, who counts Bill and Giuliana Rancic, William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman, and Melissa Joan Hart as clients. “They are looking for their gyms to be a destination, a place they want to spend time, because physical fitness is integral to the success of their career.” 

Paul also notices a refreshing trend of people selecting bold colors for their gyms. “The black, gray, and steel have given way to bright colors or alternatively serene, zen styling,” she notes. “They all are looking for a place that makes working out a pleasure instead of a chore.”

Designers can find a nice little niche for themselves if they are adept at providing all the high-tech features and lavish amenities required of a celebrity home gym. AD100 designer Amy Lau says it’s essential to “make it an inviting space that encourages clients to spend time there regularly. This can mean making the most of a view, implementing a fabulous sound system, or creating more of a spa-like environment.” Paul also notices celebrities asking for a combination gym/spa experience. “I’m doing gyms complete with a sauna, a steam room, a relaxation area with a water feature, cold and hot plunge pools, couples massage rooms, video walls, mirrors for stretching, plus a kitchen,” she says.

AD100 designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard—whose clients include Cher and the Kardashians—also sees wellness components and top-of-the-line workout equipment as essentials. “Our most-requested element for the celebrity gym involves not just the equipment itself but also the health-beneficial items,” he notes. “The Peloton Ultimate Cardio bike has been extremely popular, followed by the classical must-have Precor Adaptive Motion Trainer, and, lastly, the Peak Pilates reformer for core strength and body flexibility.”

Bullard says that to incorporate top-of-the-line wellness components, he’s often challenged by space constraints. “We like to make home gyms feel spa-like with an infrared sauna and steam room attached, a yoga area, stretch studio, and state-of-the-art well-being lighting that follows circadian rhythms, as well as fragrance infusers that feed the space with aromatherapy,” he explains. “Due to these requirements, most of our home gyms are custom-built or become a takeover of a bedroom suite that has plumbing for the spa area and refreshment bar. Pool houses are also a great spot to install the home gym, giving space for both indoor and outdoor training.”

Paul echoes the space issue as the greatest challenge when trying to carve out a home gym—even for celebrities with multimillion-dollar properties. “When it’s a ground-up build, the options are limitless, but oftentimes the wish list is much grander than an existing room can hold,” Paul offers. “There is no formula.… It’s so important to understand your client’s personality and what their fitness goals are. Each person will have different needs. A gym for an action star will look different than a gym for a prima ballerina.”

“My clients love their spaces to be customized,” says Lau. “This means we spend a lot of time considering the features that maintain the utility of a gym, while also what can be modified to make it more special. Art is one of the most common requests, as well as incorporating art mirrors and mirrored televisions,” she says, adding that spatial considerations include “allowing enough room for at least two people to work out at the same time, area for a personal trainer, as well as adequate space for yoga and stretching.”

Bullard says that consulting with a wellness professional is another critical consideration that some interior designers might not think of off the bat. “A home gym, no matter the scale or client, should always be done in conjunction with the client’s trainer or a workout professional. That way you understand their needs fully and what equipment they use, rather than buying obsolete items or things that are too advanced or too beginner for that person’s needs,” he says. “The home gym needs to be very much designed with all the client’s requirements known and executed with the same floor-plan precision as a living room.”

Source: Celebrity Designers Weigh In on Designing the Perfect Home Gym

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