The "Fly Away" singer created a farming retreat on a former 18th-century coffee plantation outside of Rio de Janeiro

By Madison Roberts
April 17, 2019 08:10 AM

When Lenny Kravitz made a spontaneous decision to extend his visit to Brazil for a little longer after he finished playing a show there, he only expected to stay for a day.

But less than 24 hours before his plane was scheduled to depart, a friend called him, inviting him to see a one-of-a-kind property located an 18th century coffee plantation near Rio de Janeiro.

“Everyone was ready to go home, but something told me, ‘Have an adventure,'” he tells Architectural Digest in their May 2019 cover story. “So we got there at night, and the next morning I awoke in the most spectacularly lush, beautiful landscape you can imagine. We were nestled in a valley, surrounded by mountains, with waterfalls, cows, horses, monkeys, fruit groves, and vegetable fields—the whole panoply of nature.”

Instead of staying an extra day, he ended up staying for six months.

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Simon Upton for Architectural Digest

“It was extraordinary. I just dropped out of life, learned to ride horses from the cowboys, learned about farming, and reconnected with nature,” Kravitz says. “I’d never felt more calm, peaceful, and closer to God. It was a magical time. I thought, ‘I’m done with the hustle and the bustle. I’m going to be a farmer.’”

But eventually, the “Fly Away” singer had to return to making music and touring, luring him away from the Brazilian oasis and back into his busy reality.

Simon Upton for Architectural Digest

He couldn’t get the home out of his head, though, so two years later, he purchased the nearly 1,000-acre plot of land — which was fully functioning as a farm — and began making it his own.

Kravitz tells AD that he wanted to create “a place to unplug, reset your life, and take the time to be quiet and actually hear yourself.”

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So he renovated the property, turning some of the 19th-century homes into guest houses, a gym, a pool house and a recording studio. Because he couldn’t be there for all of the property’s revamping due to his schedule, he often FaceTimed designers who were on-site to weigh in, and he shipped furniture that he was drawn to down to the house, practicing a little bit of trial and error in decorating the space.

He also invited some of his artist friends to visit and paint murals on his walls, and of course, he created his own piece of art for the home.

“I was looking at a wall one night and felt it needed something,” he says. “So I started painting huge triangles. I like triangles!”

Architectural Digest

Kravitz, who founded his own firm, Kravitz Design, 16 years ago and has created public spaces in hotels in Miami and Las Vegas, as well as a Leica camera and a Rolex watch, decorated his space with an island flair. He mixed Brazilian tiles with midcentury furnishings, vintage wall art and a clear grand piano.

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“The process was very improvisational, like making music,” he says. “You have to play what you feel.”

To see more photos and to read the full feature on Kravitz’s home, pick up the May issue of Architectural Digest or visit archdigest.com.