DANCING ON THE CEILING: “I’m in love right now. There’s no music, no band, and I’m drinking Champagne in the middle of the day,” said Lionel Richie, at the launch event for his new home collection at the Gramercy Park Hotel Friday.
Lionel Richie Home, which includes dinnerware, crystal barware, vases and frames, is currently being launched at lionelrichiehome.com. The company is also in discussions with Gracious Home to carry the collection this spring, said Robert Berman, chief executive officer of Impulse International, Richie’s partner in the company. The home collection retails from $15 to $1,300. Richie is also launching fragrant candles in April inspired by his songs “Endless Love,” “Forever,” and “Truly.” If that’s not enough, he’s also designed a more accessible line for a younger demographic called LR Loft, which will launch in May.
What inspired Richie to design a home furnishings collection was all the time that he’s spent in hotel rooms. When he travels around the world, he’s always looking at things and wondering, “Why didn’t they do this like this?” Once he met Berman, whose Boca Raton-based company specializes in home decor for luxury hotels, bars and restaurants, they talked for hours about home furnishings and struck up a partnership immediately.
Richie said one of his tabletop designs was inspired by a beautiful antique clock he has in his home. “My worst enemy is time, and that clock is so important as a staple of my life and my commitments. It’s what I see in my mind.” Richie said he sketches, but also has “a fabulous design team.”
Ever since he was a kid growing up in Tuskegee, Ala., his grandmother would make him set the table for her numerous dinner parties, said Richie. Although he hated the task, he developed an appreciation for fine china and other home furnishings. So much so, that a few years ago, when he would go shopping with his kids, he’d tell them, “‘Dad’s a girl,'” said Richie, noting that he could probably be called a metrosexual. Asked what he’d eventually like to design, Richie ticked off a few ideas: Furniture, cutlery and eventually hotel design. “I’m in love with the luxury side of life, spas and hotels,” he said.
Looking at all the products on display, Richie said he was in awe of how it all came out. “I’m playing the Grande Dame with this,” said Richie, noting that people don’t expect this from him. “I’m going in a direction you didn’t expect me to go in.”
Meantime, Richie said he replaced everything in his home with his new collection, and his lawyer, accountant and estate people are happy that he’s finally stopped spending money on home decor.
“Not only do I love entertaining, but my house is now a showroom,” he said.