We recently sat down with Beverly Hills real estate prodigy Josh Flagg of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing to pick up tips on buying art, how to instantly perk up a home, and why it pays to be an only grandchild.
After less than a month in his cozy, new Los Angeles cottage, Flagg, 28, is already itching to pull out the sledgehammers. “This house is gonna be completely gutted in probably six months from now, believe it or not. It’s gonna be a completely different house. I mean, it’s nice as it is, but…when it’s done, it’s gonna be really nice.”
Though his roots are firmly established in Los Angeles, Flagg’s personal taste reaches far beyond Hollywood bungalows. “I’m a high-rise person; I love living in buildings. I feel like I lived in New York in a different life.”
So, how did the reality star find himself in a beautiful single-story home? “My partner always wanted a house, so I said, ‘Let’s go get a house.’ He fell in love with this little cottage, so I said, ‘If you want it, we’ll get it.’”
After a tour of the decidedly glamorous celebrity-themed art collection (including Warhol’s soups, Slim Aarons’ poolside luxury, and a gorgeous print of Brigitte Bardot by Terry O’Neill), it was question time.
"It’s contemporary but it’s very eclectic. We have impressionist paintings and then we also have Slim Aarons photographs. It’s always changing, almost seasonal.”
How do you find domestic design bliss?
“It’s 50-50. I do most of the art; he does most of the furniture.”
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"I love it. My grandmothers both have really incredible places; one is almost [all] Tony Duquette, the entire place, and the other one is all contemporary, like David Hockney and Picasso and pre-Colombian [pieces]. It’s beautiful. So, I grew up with nice stuff (laughs sheepishly). My grandmother was also a fashion designer so I kind of grew up in that world."
What's your current favorite piece?
(Gesturing to the Slim Aarons, “Poolside Gossip” above the mantle) “I love the Slim Aarons right there. That’s the original one, signed on his deathbed, basically. You can buy that as a poster anywhere but that’s the original.”
“I’ve been buying [art] since I was twelve. It’s like a sickness.”
What's the secret to buying art?
“Don’t just buy to buy: Know what you’re buying and understand it. Because it can be very expensive, it can be a very dangerous habit. It’s a good drug habit. The way I think of it is: It’s a hard asset, it’ll always go up in value, and I get to look at it while it’s on the wall instead of putting your money in a bank account. It’s a great investment."
“The biggest trick to improving your home is flowers. Whenever I go into a home, if there [are] fresh flowers, it always makes it look ten times nicer. We always get big arrangements of orchids — they're great ‘cause they last forever.”
So what’s next for Flagg?
“Something with a view —I miss having a view.”
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