Trixie Mattel Encourages You to Ruin Your Rental

Trixie Mattel can a handle a home reno in full makeup and heels. But, as the in-demand drag queen informs us, it’s far easier out of fabulous costuming and in some sturdy steel-toe boots. For the unfamiliar, Mattel was first introduced to viewing audiences on VH1 ratings juggernaut RuPaul’s Drag Race, where she sashayed away from season seven only to snatch the crown three years later on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season three. Mattel amassed fans with her biting wit, folk musical prowess, and a trademark dramatic mug—painted, as they say, for the back of the house.

As a performer who makes her living by being a chameleon, she’s made light work of parlaying her drag queen stardom into mainstream success, hosting a talk show on Vice, launching a cosmetics empire, and, now, becoming a TV home renovation personality. Viewers first saw Mattel applying her talents to the overhaul of a Palm Springs boutique lodging in season one of Trixie Motel, which aired on Max in 2022. The next iteration of the franchise sees Mattel bringing audiences back to her place.

Trixie Motel: Drag Me Home (airing now on Max), will take fans through her journey reshaping the LA pad she shares with her partner, David Silver, in her trademark pink plastic-fantastic vision. While Mattel’s work in the arena might seem like a major departure for the performer, she explains to AD that drag and home design are not exactly worlds apart. “In drag, we renovate our bodies every single day. I have to look in the mirror and go, How am I going to turn Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins into Barbie?” she explains. “Renovating the motel really planted the seed of like, Wow, it’s putting spaces in drag. It’s the same principles and design concepts.” Having learned a thing or two about moving (too) fast and breaking things, blending her own design style with Silver’s, and managing expectations throughout her home makeover, she sat down with AD for an informative kiki on her renovation do’s and don’ts.

Trixie Mattel standing besides an aqua dining table three mauve chairs pulled up green fireplace with wood mantel behind...

Mattel ended up lacquering or painting a number of her home furnishings to fit her unique style. “Our dining room table’s like sea foam green, you can’t just exactly pick that up at West Elm,” she says. “So we did a lot of acquiring, and then tweaking.”

Photo: HGTV

Do: Balance your own design personality with the bones of the structure

I knew I wanted the home’s design style to be “Trixie.” I mean, it’s the house that Trixie literally paid for. I wanted pink, some touches of doll stuff, and some touches of gay stuff, but I didn’t want to take the classic masculine energy away from this beautiful Craftsman-style home. People are obsessed with white walls, white kitchens, white floor, and that’s not me. I like depth, color, pattern, and texture. I like big swings, and I like cohesive color stories too, so the house is almost entirely green and pink because I love that color combination. It has pink walls and gold ceilings and really frilly fixtures, but there’s still a lot of natural wood grain.

Don’t: Be afraid to go all in—regardless of your rental or ownership situation

Looking back on all the apartments of my 20s, I’m like, Why did I never paint? Why did I never try? I think I just felt it was outside my reach. Whether you’re renting, or owning, or living in your mom’s basement, make your space your space and don’t pull punches. Don’t think twice about it. Especially renters. You’re never going to get that security deposit back, ruin your house. Ruin it! I saw an interview with Amy Sedaris where she said, “Your deposit is your creativity fee.” You’re never getting it back anyway, so do whatever you want.

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