Known for his impressive comedic acting chops (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Everybody Hates Chris and those laugh-out-loud Old Spice commercials) and a seven-year stint in the NFL, multihyphenate Angeleno Terry Crews is adding a new title to his résumé: furniture designer. Although this may be a surprise to his fans, the Flint, Mich., native has always been a talented artist and interested in visual pursuits. “Art and athletics always came naturally to me,” he says. “I had an art scholarship from my university before I earned one for football.” Success in his acting roles eventually led him to landing The Family Crews, a BET reality show that involved a home makeover. “Let me tell you, it was beyond awful. [Pretending to like it] was my best acting job ever.” From there, Crews flexed his designer muscle to outfit new estates in Greenwich, Conn., and L.A. “I spent a lot of time at HD Buttercup and walking up and down Beverly Boulevard,” says Crews, who also commissioned an old friend to create original pieces. “He came up with this whole furniture suite, and it ended up showing at the Milan Furniture Fair.” A trip to Milan and then to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York led him to cross paths with Bernhardt Design President Jerry Helling, who had heard of Crews’ artistic talent and passion. Says Crews, “He approached me at the end of an amazing dinner party and said, ‘Terry, I want to work with you.’” The rest, they say, is history. After Crews spent “every waking moment” outside of his acting responsibilities designing, sketching and “making stuff work,” he debuted The Terry Crews Collection for Bernhardt Design at ICFF in May. Crafted from rich wood and leather, the ten streamlined pieces are inspired by ancient Egypt and boast an organic, midcentury vibe. “The sofa is called Ibis because it is based on the sacred Egyptian bird, and tables were based on pebbles and logs that you can see on the edge of the Nile,” he says. “Bernhardt [Design] let me see it through, and it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. I have never been more satisfied.” From $700, Twentieth, L.A.
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