Hot Property

My Favorite Room: Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels retreats to the office in her Malibu home when she needs some kid-free space.

Jillian Michaels learned a hard lesson once she became a parent.

“Once you have kids, nothing is yours anymore,” the fitness guru said. “It’s completely infiltrated.”

Which means toys — Lego pieces in particular — are usually scattered around the 4,300-square-foot Malibu beach house that she shares with her partner, Heidi Rhoades, and their two children, 7-year-old Lukensia and 5-year-old Phoenix.

But Michaels, 43, has carved out a refuge in her home office, which is blissfully Lego-free.


“This room is mine — it’s on the water, it’s extremely tranquil and grounding,” she said. “It’s where I get all of my work done.”

Michaels — former host of the NBC weight-loss show “The Biggest Loser” and star of the E! reality show “Just Jillian” — designs the Impact by Jillian Michaels activewear line and runs an eponymous fitness and nutrition app. She is offering a July 8 workout at the Shrine auditorium to help benefit the Stand Up To Cancer charity.

What was your design philosophy with your office?

The room is reflective of how I approach everything. I like things clean, orderly and organized — otherwise I can’t function. The room is very functional — it’s got style, but it’s not overly pretentious or obnoxious, which is something I really try to avoid.


How did you decorate it?

There’s a midcentury desk, a Kelly Wearstler leather chair, a midcentury credenza — a custom-made piece that the TV comes out of — a giant Massimo Vitali photograph of a beach rave in Brazil. This room has all of my stuff in it — my books, my antiques, my trinkets.

Antiques? What kind?

I love old things. I just feel like they have a life of their own — it’s fun to imagine what they were and who owned them. I have old religious texts, hourglasses, binoculars.

Most unusual item?

There’s this sword that I got in Thailand that’s not that impressive at first glance. It’s a couple hundred years old. Ganesh is on the handle. It just blows my mind thinking about it — who was the owner, where did they get this, did they have it made for them?

Where do you find these things?

We travel a lot. We spend hours digging through antique shops. On one trip — I was in Austria for the Special Olympics — I bought a signet ring for my daughter and a pocket watch from 1812 for my son. In Amsterdam, I bought an old grandfather clock, but it’s in the farmhouse at the moment because my designer wouldn’t allow it in the beach house.


This designer sounds potentially intense.

Oh, it’s Colin Dusenbury [of Dusenbury Design]. He’s a very fabulous gay man with exquisite taste — he usually does crazy houses for, like, Russian oligarchs.

What’s the client-designer relationship like?

He’s actually very collaborative and tolerant. He just gets [angry] whenever I go away and come back with a 7-foot Ganesha statue from India he has to find room for. He’ll fight with me and try to open my mind about things. But we both get mutual kill power.


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