The NBA all-star recently bought his first place in the Texas city and decked it out with help from his sister, AJ, and CB2
Rockets all-star James Harden is spending his seventh NBA season in Houston, but for the first time, he’ll have a place to call his own there.
The MVP teamed up with furniture brand CB2 (and his design savvy sister AJ!) to outfit his Texas home base — the first he’s purchased in the city — and PEOPLE has an exclusive look inside.
Because Harden’s career keeps him on the road for more than half the year, he doesn’t get to spend as much time at home as he’d like. But when he’s playing in Houston, he wanted to have the perfect spot to kick back for friends and family.
“Now that the season is starting, I’ll be around a lot more and I plan to have people over all the time,” he tells PEOPLE exclusively. So his house was designed with entertaining in mind.
His directive to his designer lineup, including AJ and CB2’s Director of Visual Merchandising Sara Harter: Something “contemporary and modern” with “lots of different spaces for people to hang out and be comfortable,” and of course, “a poker room and a game room.”
For AJ, the project was all about giving her brother a respite during his busiest times. “I really wanted James to have a place that truly feels like home,” she says. “He travels so much, so when he’s in Houston I wanted him to have a space he loves.”
“His fashion sense is cool and modern, and I saw that vibe come through in CB2’s designs,” she says. A set of black leather bar stools from the line were her jumping off point. “They really hit the vibe perfectly.”
And James gives design credit where it’s due. “I travel a lot, so it would be impossible for me to be 100% involved [in decorating]. My sister AJ did all of this,” he says. “She’s also my stylist and knows me better than anyone, so she can get my look real quick.”
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Though they’re both thrilled with the result, the siblings differ on their favorite pieces and spaces. AJ prefers the warm tones of what she calls the “projector room,” which features a massive cognac leather sectional, black-and-white framed photography, a decorative silver basketball hoop and of course a large pull-down projection screen.
James prefers his game room, an all-black hangout with a poker table and a bar that spans an entire wall, where his favorite pieces are a pair of blue velvet swivel chairs.
“People will be like, ‘Why are these random blue chairs in here?'” he says of the otherwise monochromatic room. “Well, they’re dope to me and I like them, and that’s all that matters. That’s my vibe.”
While he’ll no doubt be enjoying this home for years to come — he recently signed a record-breaking deal to play for the Rockets until at least 2023 — there is one feature of the house that may not stand the test of time: “So many plants! I travel so much they will definitely die,” he jokes.