- Last Updated: 5:40 AM, April 19, 2012
- Posted: 2:02 AM, April 19, 2012
Diva might be the first thing that comes to mind when you meet La La Anthony and see the wife of Knicks star Carmelo Anthony decked out head-to-toe in designer duds, stylist in tow.
But there’s a lot more going on with this busy actress and entrepreneur and mother.
Not only is she the star of the VH1 reality show “La La’s Full Court Life,” but she’s also teamed up with Loren Ridinger to launch a line of makeup for African-American and Latina women called Motives for La La.
In October, La La starred in the off-Broadway production of “Love, Loss, and What I Wore.” And you’ll see her in “Think Like a Man,” a romantic comedy based on a Steve Harvey book, out in theaters Friday.
La La made time in her busy schedule recently to show off her sprawling, ultra-modern duplex in Hell’s Kitchen. We chatted about living in New York and her decorating and entertaining style, and she even got busy with my Barbara K screwdriver, changing batteries for 5-year-old son Kiyan’s toys.
“It’s the most fulfilling job, and the one that means the most to me,” La La says of taking care of Kiyan.
Yes, her work life is hectic and rewarding, but her home life and making sure all is well with Carmelo and their son is her priority.
“Achieving that requires a lot of juggling and balancing but somehow, it all gets done,” she says.
What is your decorating style?
I love contemporary a lot, 100 percent. I like it even more when it has an edge to it. I also love lots of color. And as much as I’d like to say I’m good at decorating, I’m really not. I brought my decorator in from LA. She knows my style so well.
What has it been like adjusting to New York?
In the beginning it was overwhelming, but Carmelo and I were both born in New York, so our roots are here. It’s really been amazing to come back and feel so welcomed by all the fans. We also have a home in LA, so we feel like we have a great life by being in both worlds: fast-paced New York and slower-speed LA.
What is the best and worst part of living in New York compared to LA?
In LA, you’re so used to jumping in your car. There’s a valet service wherever you go.
Alternatively, driving in New York can be very stressful. But I love how everything and anything you need is always at your fingertips.
How did you find this building, and what do you like about living here?
We hired a Realtor who helped us find our place. I love the super-high ceilings and ultra-modern feel. It’s a duplex, and our bedroom is upstairs, which makes it very private.
There are countless restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen, which means Carmelo and I can usually walk to our favorite ones. It’s also easy for me to get to meetings and always feel like I will be close to my son.
How much input has Carmelo had in the design of your home or did you manage the project yourself?
Believe it or not, he has more input and gets more involved than I do. He was really into working with the decorator, Alicia Darby, who also decorated our home in LA.
Have you recently purchased any artwork? What is your favorite piece?
This past Christmas, we purchased a huge, modern picture of my husband from the artist Paul Gerben, whose studio is located in SoHo. It was great to be directly in touch with the artist himself, which enabled us to create this fantastic, very large and abstract piece that we love.
What is your entertaining philosophy?
It depends on the mood I’m in. I’m a chicken wings kind of girl, and I love party favors. Sometimes, the fun stuff is getting everyone in a kitchen and cooking together, although to be honest, I’m not really a fan of cooking myself. I’d rather hang a picture.
What players and celeb friends have been over?
We love to entertain. Of course, many of Carmelo’s teammates from the Knicks have been over, and my friends Kelly Rowland and Serena Williams have dropped in.
We are in a really convenient location, so our friends just seem to call and stop by, which I love.
Was your closet customized and how do you organize it?
Yes, the Container Store actually came in and did my entire closet. I try to stay on top of it and not just throw things on the floor after I wear it. The best way is to stay organized as you go. Otherwise, at the end of the week, it looks like a war zone.
How many pairs of shoes do you have? Which designers?
I love shoes. I have over 100 pairs, everything from Louboutin, Chanel, Giuseppe, Nikes — a huge range.
What are your storage secrets?
The good thing is I’m not a hoarder, so when I’m done with something I’ll donate it or give it away.
What can’t you live without in your apartment?
I have a red leather sofa that was at our house in Denver. It’s made by Fendi Casa, and it’s glamorous and luxurious yet very comfortable. It was something that I had to have and I just could not leave it behind.
What is your favorite part of your home and why?
I love my bedroom. It’s where I lay my head and the place I go to get away from it all.
Visit barbarak.com for fix-it tips, videos and more from DIY expert Barbara K.