When she began decorating their four-bedroom San Diego home a year ago, Jennifer DeLonge—married to rock star Tom DeLonge, a frontman for Blink-182—says she wanted a look that would match their “modern, streamlined lifestyle.” That meant filling the rooms with sleek Christian Liagre tables, Herman Miller armchairs and anything else the former interior designer could find with “clean lines, bold colors, cool patterns,” she says. So imagine DeLonge’s dismay when, as her daughter Ava entered toddlerhood, she went shopping for children’s furniture and discovered that one of the biggest names in kid decor was … SpongeBob SquarePants? “Everything came in denim or toile or had miles of ruffles on it or was emblazoned with a cartoon character—I didn’t want a bright yellow SpongeBob chair in my living room!” DeLonge says, laughing. “I didn’t want to negate the fact that we have children, but I also want to be proud of my house.”
Apparently there are plenty of parents who can relate. Since January, when DeLonge, 31, launched her line of high-end kiddie furniture with toddler-size box chairs and ottomans covered in specialty and vintage fabrics, she has already sold out her first production run of some of the items. Such celebrity moms of the preschool set as Courteney Cox Arquette and Gwyneth Paltrow own DeLonge pieces (which retail for $99 to $399 at stores like Barneys New York, Bellini and F.A.O. Schwarz). Jordan Schur, president of Geffen Records (Tom’s record label), picked up a DeLonge seat set for his 2-year-old, Jake. “The chair is my son’s favorite place to be in the house,” he says.
But kid comfort isn’t the only quality DeLonge strives for; she also wants her pieces to be kid-safe, and so she uses eco-friendly formaldehyde-free wood and low-toxin paint to reduce chemicals in the home. Then there’s the microsuede fabric she uses, which is so stain-resistant that the cream version is one of her bestsellers. “That surprised me—I don’t know if I would trust my daughter on that color!” she says. “But it’s proof that people are tired of using pink and blue to decorate.”
Indeed, offering items that DeLonge says enable parents to “create a family house instead of confining everything related to your child to their room” is the overriding idea behind her line (which will soon include tables, blankets and toy storage boxes). But to make sure that her own tastes aren’t too sophisticated for the junior crowd, she turns to Ava, 3, for a seal of approval. “She’s our No. 1 tester,” DeLonge says. “She helps pick out colors—she’s a little artist.”
That’s a trait Ava clearly inherited from both her parents. Friends in high school, the couple began dating in 1996 and married in 2001, a year after DeLonge received a B.A. in fine arts from San Diego State University and started a now defunct interior design business. (She later opened a high-end stationery and paper store in Solana Beach, Calif.) “She’s always had such a desire to create and use her amazing mind,” says Tom, 30. “That’s part of the attraction.” Another part: their shared history. “It’s very rare in the [music] business to stay together and be happy,” DeLonge admits. “But we were together before he got famous, and so we have hindsight about our relationship, which helps.”
As does spending lots of time together as a family. DeLonge, who is expecting the couple’s second child in August, and Ava will both be with Tom as he tours the States and Europe with his new band, Angels & Airwaves, this spring; rather than hitching a ride with the band, the family travels on their own private tour bus. But given the success of DeLonge’s company, Tom is already fantasizing about trading in the rocker life for a different kind of stardom. “I’m happy to be known,” he says, “as the husband of the beautiful, famous lady.”