See Inside Too Faced Co-Founder Jerrod Blandino's 'Dreamy' Home Office — Featuring Oprah's Desk!
Jerrod Blandino is showing off the one space in his house that's helped put him at ease throughout the past year: his office.
The co-founder and chief creative officer of popular beauty brand Too Faced — which he started with his husband, Jeremy Johnson, in 1998 — has found his stride after transitioning to working from home amid the pandemic, and he credits it all to his hyper-personal and ultra-luxe office.
"It's a space that I can go in and let go of the world and dream, and feel connected to my heart and to my creativity," Blandino tells PEOPLE exclusively of the highly curated office, which he decorated with his friend, celebrity-favorite designer Mary McDonald, four years ago when he and Johnson built their Corona del Mar property.
"I wanted to create an environment that would inspire me and not only be a great place to work, but be comfortable and be filled with the energy of some amazing artistic and powerful people who came before me," says the mogul, who started off his career working behind the makeup counter at his local mall.
To do that, Blandino added nods to some of his idols, starting with a purple-hued portrait of Elizabeth Taylor above the fireplace, which he says "sparked the color palette."
"I love her crazy, furious love. I mean, she was the most reckless wild romantic on the planet," Blandino says of the late actress, who was married eight times to seven different men.
Knowing Blandino's fascination with Taylor, Johnson proposed to him in 2008 at the Plaza Hotel with a replica of one of the actress's "Ping-Pong Diamonds," which she famously received in 1970 for winning a game of Ping-Pong against Richard Burton. A few years later, the actual diamonds came up for auction, and Johnson purchased all three for his husband. The four diamonds now reside in Blandino's office, he shares, "in a cute little case hidden out of view."
Elsewhere, Blandino paid homage to his passion for high fashion and design — while still keeping with the color scheme — by decorating the office's walls with Yves St. Laurent's De Gournay wallpaper, which Blandino had replicated in a lavender hue. "I think he was just one of the most talented designers ever born. And to this very day, he just inspires me with the way he looked at the world and saw beauty out of the most mundane things," he says.
He also had two chairs made to honor his love for Coco Chanel, who he says he admires for "her groundbreaking, rebellious, innovative thinking and creativity." The chairs are covered in Chanel's signature fabric, tweed. Blandino notes with a laugh that the fabric is a clothing weight, not a furniture weight, "so you can't actually sit in them."
But the room's piece de resistance is probably the gold-trimmed desk, which once belonged to another one of Blandino's heroes: Oprah Winfrey.
"I love Oprah. I think that she is someone who is so grounded, and so smart, and connected to not only her truth but her spirituality and the way she connects to human beings," Blandino says. "And one weekend Jeremy popped on the computer, and he somehow found out that she was having an auction to benefit charity from her house in Montecito and was getting rid of a few pieces."
His husband jumped on the auction, knowing how much a piece from Winfrey would mean to Blandino.
"We couldn't afford it at the time," he says of the 18th-century French desk. "But he is so loving and so sweet and he bought it for me for our anniversary. And for a couple of years, I wouldn't even use it — I was just too afraid of it. It just sat there. But I've gotten used to her desk, and the energy that it provides, and I love it. And now I use it every single day."
In fact, one of Too Faced's yet-to-be-revealed new products was inspired by the desk and the feeling it gives Blandino.
"I'm creating a perfume for the first time ever, and it's something that I've wanted to do my entire career and hadn't had the opportunity," he explains. "And I'm going to tell you, during Covid, I was sitting at her desk and I have this vintage French lamp near it, and I thought, I'm ready to do a perfume. And sitting at her desk, looking at the lamp, sparked the bottle. And when you see the bottle, you're going to see there are lions with rings in its mouth that are on Oprah's desk. There's a silhouette of the lamp."
He continues: "I dream while sitting there and just being in that room. And that room created the fragrance."
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Despite not being sure at first how he would be able to take his very hands-on work home when the pandemic hit, Blandino can now see that the pause has had some benefits. "It ended up being a total gift," he says.
Although he misses his team and the ability to collaborate together in one space, "we've learned to make it work, and I've learned to enjoy something that I've never had the opportunity or privilege to enjoy, which is my office and my home," he says.
"It started off as being something just pretty, and now it's something pretty and functional, and that's my favorite combination," he adds of the office, which also has quite the view. "I sit there and look at the ocean, listen to music, and feel grateful, as opposed to feeling trapped."
If there's one thing Blandino wants to convey, it's that despite how luxurious his home office may seem, it's important to him because of how personal it is.
"It isn't about dollar signs," he says. "It's about creativity, and it's about just putting things in there that you love, and that inspire you, and ultimately inch by inch, day by day, creating a space where you can be your absolute best and meet your potential."
His advice: "Whether you're an accountant, or you're a makeup mogul, or anything in between, create an environment that has a heartbeat and radiates the energy of what you do and who you are and you will always, always, be able to function your absolute best in that world."
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