design

Step inside Latin superstar J Balvin's luxury homes in Colombia

Published 30th June 2020
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Credit: Courtesy Architectural Digest
Step inside Latin superstar J Balvin's luxury homes in Colombia
Written by Ananda Pellerin, CNN
Latin music superstar J Balvin is known for his bold style -- including his mix of streetwear and couture, and his ever-evolving hair color. But he likes to keep things more subdued on the interior design front.
"When it comes to the places I live, I definitely take a less-is-more approach," the Grammy Award-winning artist said in the latest issue of Architectural Digest. "A house should be a place where you can rest your spirit. I've tried to create places that feed my soul, not my ego."
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J Balvin at his Colombia home Credit: Courtesy Architectural Digest
Gracing this month's cover, Balvin (full name, Jose Alvaro Osorio Balvin) called on the talents of design firm 5 Sólidos to create two living spaces in his native Columbia: a loft in bustling Medellín, and a rural retreat in Llanogrande, 30 minutes outside of the city.
His choice to champion homegrown talent is in keeping with his wider support for Colombian and Latinx creativity, which he often expresses to his fans on social media.
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J Balvin has an impressively large collection of sneakers -- some of which are stored in this closet at his home in Llanogrande, Colombia Credit: Courtesy Architectural Digest
"Honestly, I could have called anyone in the world. But I chose 5 Sólidos because they are based right here in Medellín," Balvin told AD. "I love their young spirit and their passion. Latinos have beautiful taste, and we understand the meaning of lifestyle."
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A private pool that opens to the outside, and a sculpture by KAWS at J Balvin's apartment in Medelliín Credit: Courtesy Architectural Digest
Balvin's tranquil country retreat is situated in a jungle landscape and prominently features planes of French oak, streamlined Scandinavian-style furnishing and Japanese design flourishes -- including framed linen doors and bonsai plants.
Adding a contemporary touch, the properties feature art by Josh Sperling, Takashi Murakami and street artists KAWS and WhIsBe. A look inside one of the closets at Llanogrande reveals more than a splash of color -- in the form of 850 or so specimens from Balvin's sneaker collection.
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J Balvin on the cover of Architectural Digest Credit: Courtesy Architectural Digest
The city apartment has a private pool that can be opened to the outdoors, while the interior exposed ceiling and concrete floors echo a quintessential loft aesthetic. "I've always been fascinated by the idea of a New York loft -- the original loft," Balvin said. "This is my man cave, a place where I can vibe with art and architecture, the things I love."
A huge name in reggaeton -- a hybrid style influenced by dancehall and including elements of hip hop and Latin American music -- Balvin's popular music videos are watched by millions on YouTube. But having thrown himself into the design process, he is now dreaming of projects that would allow him to further imprint his aesthetics. "It would be amazing to create special hotels of fine art and style," he said. And, perhaps, ample room for those with similarly impressive shoe collections.