5 Questions: Donny and Debbie Osmond unveil new home furnishings line

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.

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Donny Osmond Home Furnishing Line- New Removable Wall Tiles

August 12, 2014
Splash Magazines / LASplash.com

Description: The new Donny Osmond Wall Tiles are a really exciting part of his new home furnishing line, made by Achim Importing exclusively for Donny Osmond Home. They are easily placed on any wall with no damage to the wall or paint. Perfect for rental apartments, offices, kids rooms, anywhere you want to make an affordable change to any room. The possibilities are endless with these paintable wall tiles. Making a bold statement covering all the walls in your space or creating an eye-catching accent wall. Since there is a tile for every style, these can work in any home, adding immediate interest to your space. William Staubitzer, of Achim Importing, said of the Wall Tiles, “Our wall tiles add character to a room and completely change its feel to a place you want to be. And in doing so, they bring the family together.” Hanging the Donny Osmond Wall Tiles couldn’t be more simple. The back of each tile has 4 pieces of adhesive that require you to peel back the paper and stick to your wall. Peel…and stick! If you need to remove your tiles, carefully pull them away from the wall while using a blow dryer to warm the adhesive. These tiles make quite the statement. You can purchase a set of Donny Osmond Home Wall Tiles at HomeDepot.com and Wayfair.com now! Donny Osmond Home 19.6 in. x 19.6 in. Self-Stick3D White Decorative Wall Tile (10-Pack)

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Price: $51.00 to $69.97

Donny’s Day Job: Always An Osmond? Yes, But…

August 6, 2014
David J. Spatz – Atlantic City Weekly

Donny Osmond is a realist. The pop star and former teen singing idol has no 
intention of being one of those cradle-to-grave entertainers. And that, he says, is why he’s already preparing for life after show business.

Earlier this year, Osmond and his wife Debbie launched Donny Osmond Home, an ever-expanding line of affordable home furnishings and décor items. Which, if you think about it, is really just another form of “show” business.

“We’ve been working on it for four years, and it’s something my wife and I can do together for the rest of our lives,” Osmond said during a recent phone call from Las Vegas, where he and his sister Marie were wrapping up another stint of their six-year residency gig at the Flamingo Hotel before bringing it to the Boardwalk for a two-week run.

“There will be a day when the curtain comes down and I’m not going to perform any more,” he added. “We just celebrated 36 years of marriage. She’s got a wonderful eye for interior decorating, and we just love doing this together.”

Osmond seems to be bringing to the retail world the same well-calculated approach he’s brought to the art of entertaining an audience since he broke into the business in the early 1960s. He mentioned, several times, the importance of protecting the brand — both his own name brand and the one he and his wife are creating for their home products line.

Rolling out Donny Osmond Home last January wasn’t a sprint, he indicated. It’s a marathon, something the couple intends to be in for the long haul. But he acknowledged the brand took off faster than they imagined.

“We’re already in more than 1,000 stores and Home Depot is already carrying some of our stuff,” he said. “The brand message is try to make home and family number one, because your home is so important, especially in my world of show business. I’m out on the road touring and working hard at what I do. But when I come home, I come home to a nice atmosphere that my wife has been able to create.”

One of the Osmonds’ goals was to make the products affordable to the masses without sacrifice quality, he explained. “It’s not extremely high-end stuff, because we want it to be moderately priced, so a lot of people can afford it,” he said. “But it’s not cheap stuff, either, because that stuff breaks down, and over time your reputation follows the breaking point of your product. It’s good quality stuff.”

Osmond, 56, may be looking to the future by creating the home furnishings line, but he’s not giving up his night job any time soon. The Donny & Marie Las Vegas residency gig that began at the Flamingo six years ago as a six-day trial balloon — it was the siblings’ first time working together in about 20 years — keeps getting renewed.

Although some have labeled their variety show a corny piece of throwback entertainment for a Strip audience that feeds on Britney Spears, Elton John and Celine Dion, the Donny & Marie show has been named “show of the year” several times. Two years ago, Donny Osmond actually beat out Dion for “best singer” honors in the Best of Las Vegas awards.

“I’ve been rubbing it in (Dion’s) face ever since,” Osmond laughed.

Donny and Marie Osmond return to Caesars Atlantic City for their third consecutive summer Aug. 8-21. Technically, it’s Marie’s third summer but her brother’s second.

Last year, right before they left Las Vegas for Atlantic City, Donny literally broke his butt — he tore his gluteus maximus — leaping from the stage onto a piano. His sister scrambled at the last minute and replaced her brother with several guest stars, including actor John Schneider.

“See? She had to bring at least three or four people to cover me,” Donny joked. “That just goes to show she just can’t work without me, right?”

The show they’re bringing to the Boardwalk is very different from the last time they performed together at Caesars in 2012. Sure, they’ll each do the hits they were associated with as teenagers; Donny will sing “Puppy Love” and “Go Away Little Girl,” and Marie will perform “Paper Roses.”

But most of the other material will be different. Osmond said it’s important to mix things up for the loyal Donny & Marie fans who show up every time their names are on a marquee.

“We’re getting three-peat and four-peat business. People keep coming back, it’s become their annual pilgrimage to come to the Donny & Marie show in Vegas and Atlantic City,” he said. “So it behooves us to constantly change it because they don’t want to see the same show over and over again. So we have to keep it fresh. Plus it’s good for us. It doesn’t get old, it doesn’t get tired. And the band loves it because there’s new material.”

One thing that doesn’t change is the sibling rivalry element they bring to the stage. That’s not an act; Donny and Marie, 54, are constantly playing a game of can-you-top-this. “It’s that competitive thing that we have. It’s so real, it’s so organic, it’s that Donny and Marie sibling rivalry that we have,” he said. “I rub it into her face every night that I won Dancing With the Stars (in 2009) and she got kicked off (in 2007). I have so much fun with that and the audience eats it up.”

 

Hot Stuff Celebrities Love

July 28, 2014
MADELEINE MARR – Miami Herald

Donny Osmond is on a hot streak. The child star turned teen heartthrob turned Vegas entertainer just came out with a rustic-chic interiors line with wife Debbie. The couple picked up ideas for Donny Osmond Home through their travels. Want music? There’s that too. His 60th album, “Soundtrack of My Life,” is set to drop in January. The real-life American Idol, 56, proves he’s Web savvy, too, launching an app that offers stories and previews of the songs. donnyosmond.com.

Patricia Sheridan’s Breakfast With … Donny Osmond

June 30, 2014
By Patricia Sheridan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

For the past four years, Donny Osmond and his wife, Debbie, have been thinking about launching a home furnishings line. They finally did it during the winter Las Vegas Furniture Market. Working since he was 5, the 56-year-old has no intention of retiring. A teen idol who went on to wow television audiences with the “Donny and Marie” variety show, he is once again co-starring with his younger sister at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. He and Debbie have five children and six grandchildren.

Was getting into the home furnishings business your idea or Debbie’s?

It was one that actually evolved by itself. The nice thing about it is once all the children are raised, this gives us an opportunity of being together and traveling the world together. The way it is now, Debbie decided to stay home and raise the kids. It’s been very difficult, I won’t lie to you, for me to go out on the road and be away from my wife and children. But when I came home, it was just like a breath of fresh air, the way Debbie decorated. That is why we adopted the phase “Making Home and Family Number One.” It’s our mantra, so to speak. It eventually evolved to the point where it was, “Honey, we could do this the rest of our lives together.”

And have a reason for traveling.

Absolutely. I will give you a perfect example. We were in London last June and we were walking down Regent Street. We walked past this store, and there was this beautiful lamp, chandelier. It was a lighting store and it was funny because we both stopped and said, “Wow, that is really cool.” I took a picture of it on my phone, and the system we have come up with is that it immediately goes to a drop box for our design team. They take it to the manufacturing teams. So the communication is immediate.

Has Las Vegas influenced your idea of design?

That’s a very good question. I think it has, because my taste is because of my surroundings. I’m not a very bling-y person, but I like to walk around with flashing lights around me all the time [laughs]. I carry a spotlight with me wherever I go. We are coming out with a line of spotlights [laughing].

Is show business addictive? Can you ever imagine walking away?

I never will. I’ll always be on stage. I’ve been doing this since I was 5.

So is the home furnishings line a sort of retirement plan like when the hips go?

Uh, no, I’m not changing my business at all. I don’t even want to call it a side project because it means a lot to us. If I said it was kind of a side thing then it would be, “Oh, whatever happens to it happens to it.” We are not approaching it that way. This is a huge part of our lives now. I’m never going to stop singing.

When you look back at your long career and your life, are you content or restless?

Not anymore, no. Everything is just adding upon what I have done in my career. I am so blessed. I mean, I am so content. There is always an aspiration. There is always a mountain you want to climb and a goal. You never want to get to the point where you are satisfied with everything and you stop. Then you might as well just turn around and die. There is always another plateau. Launching this company, there is always a new design. Watching the trends, that is what is exciting. What can we create? And that’s part of show business. For instance, the show we are doing right now at the Flamingo is completely different than when we launched it six years ago. So, I’m constantly in a creative mode.

Will you use the same techniques to keep the collection fresh as you use to keep your act new?

Let’s approach it this way: People’s attention span is that of a gnat nowadays. They want something new and fresh all the time. We see it in the design industry. The color palette is changing all the time, but I love that. Our living room is beautiful. We have some very nice furniture in there, but the rest of the house is like — let’s live in it! It’s not a showpiece. Let’s have fun as a family in our home. My grandkids come over. If you want to jump on the couch, go right ahead. I love the way Debbie has put this together. It’s neutral with splashes of color.

When you first got the opportunity to do Vegas this time around, having a family of your own, did you have any reservations?

I’ve been playing Vegas since I was 7. You know, you can find anything you want anywhere nowadays, just get online. It’s all about how you raise your children, how you conduct your life at home. We have certain values and standards that we stick to, but free agency belongs to everybody. If you teach children correct principles, wise decisions will follow. You have to be selective with what you see.

Do your children have an influence on the designs you select for Donny Osmond Home?

It’s her taste [Debbie’s].

So she is the designer and you are the name.

Well, that’s an interesting way to look at it, but there’s a little bit more communication than that. It’s not just two separate roles. It’s a partnership.

Not a little country, a little rock ‘n … sorry, I tried to stop myself.

[Laughing] I saw you were holding yourself back and it finally came out.

Welcome Donny Osmond home

May 20, 2014
Cedar Valley Home and Garden Magazine

To celebrate his 50th anniversary in show business, Donny Osmond decided to go home — to your home, actually, with a line of decorative accessories and furniture.

He and his wife, Debbie, have launched the Donny Osmond Home Collection. The collection boasts more than 500 products in multiple categories, including case goods, upholstery, bedding, preserved botanicals, wall art, lighting, rugs, and even home fragrance and doorknobs.

“It’s something we have been talking about for many years,” says the performer. The couple, who are parents to five grown children and have six grandchildren, wanted something they could do together well into their golden years.

The philosophy behind the line is family centric, comfortable and transitional. The tagline for the collection is “Making Home and Family Number One” — something the Osmonds have tried to do in their own lives.

The Osmonds’ personal taste leans toward casual and contemporary, which is reflected in many of their products.

The couple enlisted the help of 12 manufacturers, including A & B Home for the occasional furniture and decorative items, Anji Mountain for the natural fiber area rugs, KAS for area rugs, Bougainvillea for the preserved botanicals, Ellison First Asia for the bedding, and Lamp Works for the lighting. They have even introduced a line of stylish fans.

With that in mind, the Osmonds have kept the collection at a moderate price point.

“I would say it will be reasonable, and most families can afford it,” she says.

Many of the products can be purchased on Amazon now, and the website http://www.donnyosmond.com has a full database of retailers from national chains to smaller shops by ZIP codes.