Shea Couleé Shares 11 Items That Elevate Her Home Life to the Next Level


AD presents the Clever Guest Edit, a shopping series in which our favorite design enthusiasts share the products and collectibles that bring their homes to life. This week’s special guest is Shea Couleé, a drag queen, musician, and podcast host. Get the exclusive on what’s at the top of her wish list here, and don’t forget to subscribe to the Clever newsletter to get these picks delivered straight to your inbox each month.

In 2017, the world was introduced to the fabulous Shea Couleé as a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Her moment of redemption finally arrived in 2020 when she took home the crown as the winner of All Stars 5. We love to see Shea thrive as much as the next person, so when we found out that she’s as passionate about interior design as we are, we simply had to learn more about how she curates her space.

At the moment, Shea’s favorite room in her home is the kitchen, which has a waterfall island made of dolomite marble that she chose for the metaphysical properties. “The stone actually engages all of your chakras, and it promotes confidence, energy, and creativity,” she says. “So I feel like people naturally tend to gravitate towards the island in our home, and that’s really what we wanted—for our kitchen to be a gathering place.”

Shea is all about living authentically, so it should come as no surprise that she would be attracted to ’70s glam aesthetics in the realm of interiors. She pairs that with elements of midcentury-modern design and rich jewel tones with pops of black, white, and brass. As far as color palettes are concerned, Shea leans toward dark emerald greens, burnt oranges, and rusty hues, which she mixes with black and white for some contrast. “I think a lot of that is from my dad’s influence growing up,” she explains. “He had a very specific aesthetic that was very ’70s and modern, with a lot of black lacquer. I like to play with black in different finishes—matte, shiny, or really textured.”

No matter the medium, Shea is constantly serving iconic looks. Here, the Chicago queen spills the tea on the 11 essentials that take her home to the next level. Take notes because these style cues are absolutely life changing.

“The decanter is a super-duper glam way to provide a solution for package-free mouthwash or no-waste mouthwash tablets. People are constantly wondering, ‘Well, where do I put this mouthwash?’ This is a really great example of a solution that looks really chic, using the decanter as a container, and then you can pour it into the shot glasses for when you’re using it in the morning. It feels like you’re staying at a hotel.”

“I’m very much a sense person. When people come into my home, I want them to really have a full sensory experience. The two things that people tend to [notice] first when they walk into our home is the orca marble countertop and the aroma of that black pepper and birch candle. So many people talk about how inviting the smell is.”

“I really love this collection specifically because it’s sleek and modern. There’s a lot of influences from my dad’s aesthetic when he was a bachelor. He was stationed in Okinawa [Japan] when he was in the military, so we had a lot of really cool Japanese china growing up. I love the sleek simplicity of those plates, and this reminded me a little bit of those.”

“We love to spend time cuddling on the sofa, watching Real Housewives, Drag Race, or Project Runway, and we love blankets. I love the seagrass basket because it’s such a perfect little way to store all of our blankets. I also really love just the natural quality to it, because I feel like it presents a nice sense of balance between a lot of the harder, sleeker surfaces on our furniture.”

“I’m a little bit of a plant daddy. I love having plants around the house and after spending so much time watering them with a cup, I was just like, This is not aesthetic at all. Also, it’s helpful to have a spout to direct where the water is going so you don’t make a mess. A lot of our lighting fixtures and such are all done in brass, so I wanted to go for that kind of hammered brass finish. It also has a tan handle on it that ties it in with some of the grass elements that you see.”

“I was looking for a cost-effective alternative to the Jonathan Adler face vase, and this was it. I was able to find one on Etsy. What I liked about it is that it’s in that dark graphite finish, and most of our decorative finishes are kind of dark.”

“When we were hosting Thanksgiving for the first time in our new home, we were trying to find a beautiful set for our charcuterie and morning pastries. We came across this set while we were shopping at Target, and I just absolutely loved it. We use it so much. Whenever we have company, we bust out the bowl, the trivet, and the cake stand. We also have other serving dishes and platters that are made of teak wood. I think that natural wood against that matte black when it’s all spread out looks really lovely.”

“This 228 Grant Street candle in Botanical Garden is the perfect blend of floral and earthy. Based in Chicago and Black-owned, these candles not only smell great, but they also look so chic.”

“My old roommate got me into Chairish, and I have spent so much time in Chairish holes. I happened to go on a deep dive of candlestick holders and found these. In addition to having a lot of modern Japanese influences, growing up a lot of the texture in my home came from African wood-style art and objects that my dad would collect as well. I think there’s something really beautiful about the earthiness and the texture of these pieces, and that’s exactly what these Zuma candle holders made me think of. I love how organic they feel, and also the carving in them is so beautiful. My partner makes fun of me and says I look like that meme of Sarah Paulson on her phone late at night when I’m on Chairish.”

“These baskets take up to 40 hours to make, and are made by a small, dedicated group of Expedition Subsahara artists. They are so striking and support a good cause!”

“I am such a huge fan of the caning technique. I specifically got the natural finish because they were available sooner, and I like the white cushion. I’m going to refinish them in a glossy black. Especially if you’re going to be shopping retail where a lot of people have access to these things, I always try to find a way to DIY it and make a custom. That’s going to be my new project.”

[Read More…]