November 5, 2014
David A. Keeps – Los Angeles Times
As a performer with multi-generational appeal, 1970s pop star and 2009 “Dancing With the Stars” champion Donny Osmond needs no introduction. Earlier this year, however, the 56-year-old father of five (and grandfather of six), and Debbie, his wife of 36 years, partnered with decor manufacturers to launch Donny Osmond Home. Priced to compete with offerings from popular catalogs and flash sale websites, the furniture and accessories collection also includes rugs, wall art (including the 3D-patterned wall tiles shown in the photo above) and tabletop items in a wide range of contemporary styles. There are modern geometric rugs (from $250) and Belgian-style velveteen settees (from $600) as well as a nature-inspired gilt branch chandelier that retails for under $500 and a set of five industrial-style reclaimed-wood-and-steel nesting tables priced at $699. For a list of retailers, visit Donny Osmond Home.
We teleconferenced with Osmond, who will release his 60th recording, “Soundtrack of My Life,” in January 2015, and his wife for a chat about his new family business.
A lot of entertainers put their names on bedding or accessories. You’re selling everything from furniture and lamps to electric fans. What made you want to do this?
Donny: You’d think that being in show business, we’d have a palatial home, but it’s more of a family-oriented casual, comfortable space. And that’s what we want to offer people. Debbie really has a way of making a house feel like a home and now that we’re almost empty nesters, it’s something that we can do together for the rest of our lives. (Laughs) And I’ve always loved my fans and now I am selling them.
Debbie: A lot of electric fans tend to be awful-looking, but we had a company called DecoBreeze show us ones that looked really cool and don’t have to be hidden in the corner of a room.
Is Donny Osmond handy around the house?
Debbie: I am going to be honest: He is not a great plumber, but he is my total lighting guy. He can wire a whole house. If you need an electrician, call Mr. Osmond.
Donny: I started by wiring recording studios for myself. And we’ve taught all our kids woodworking and painting.
How did you become interested in home decor?
Donny: When I was 14 or 15 and I was one of the big teenyboppers of the time, we lived in the San Fernando Valley and my room was a tiny cracker box. I was really into electronics, so I had a workbench and I put my bed on a motorized lift that would go up into the ceiling. I’d push a button and the bed would come halfway down, just above the workbench. So I built myself a little chrome platform elevator that took me up to my bed. When I woke up in the morning, I’d push another button and my closet would come out of the ceiling. It was my James Bond room. Everything was dark brown with shiny chrome; red, white and blue furniture because of the bicentennial, and purple shag carpeting. Then I married my wife and she changed my evil ways. And I still drive Debbie crazy because I rearrange the furniture just to change things up.
Debbie: When we first got married he loved modern stuff, and then we lived in Irvine in the 1980s in a home that was very open with lots of windows. We live in Utah now, but still love that clean California laid-back look, light fabrics in neutrals with splashes of color.
OK, it has to be asked: What Donny Osmond Home items are “a little bit country?”
Debbie: There’s a beautiful set of white table wear and tufted chairs and settees that have a country house feeling. And the raw and reclaimed wood shelves and tables looks like they could come from a barn.
Donny: I love things that bring nature into the home. We have a lamp shaped like an artichoke that’s one of my favorites. (Laughing) Put a little butter on it and it’s great.
And what in the collection is “a little bit rock ‘n’ roll?”
Donny: There are light fixtures with shades made out of chain link, a silver drum table and these patterned 3D wall tiles made out of recycled plant fibers with a sticky back that can change the feeling of a room in a matter of minutes.
Debbie: There are five patterns and one box of tiles is around $60 and covers 27 square feet. If you wanted to create a headboard on your bedroom wall, it couldn’t be easier, and you can even paint them.
Donny: And talk about rock ‘n’ roll: You could put them in a recording studio and acoustically, they’d be great.