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If there is one major takeaway from the new YouTube series "Boston Red Sox Cribs," it's that while these baseball stars have obvious skill on the field, they also have some serious home decor chops, too.
The series offers viewers a guided tour inside the homes of players Christian Vázquez, Matt Barnes, and J.D. Martinez, showing not only the design preferences of each player, but also giving a glimpse into their interests and loves outside of the sport.
In catcher Christian Vázquez’s Florida home, visitors are greeted with tall ceilings and white walls and floors. The color scheme is purposefully consistent throughout the home as Vázquez describes his taste as, “a combination of classic, modern, and minimal.” He and his wife, Gabriela, opted for a softer palette to give their home a relaxed feel. As Vázquez said, “The lifestyle we have is a busy one, and getting to our house and feeling relaxed is fair and necessary. White is one of those colors that inspire peace and tranquility.”
He also noted that the emphasis on the color white through their home acts as a blank slate, and an opportunity for flexibility when they want to swap out other elements of their space: “We accompany it with gray because it gives color, but not very strong. That way we can frequently change the cushions, sheets, and art to any color.”
Though Vázquez’s episode showcases a home featuring a beautiful kitchen with stone countertops and a colorful enclosed patio in the back of the house, he says his favorite room of all is his baby boy Diego’s bedroom. According to Vázquez, “My wife spends almost all day in there and I like to keep her company.”
Meanwhile the Connecticut home of Matt Barnes and his wife, Chelsea, is full of warm, neutral tones that lend a cozy energy throughout the space. According to Barnes, they chose the colors they have because neutrals allow them to, “…Add or change pops of color with wall art, rugs, pictures…But the neutral tones never really go out of style.”
As they show viewers around, we see an open concept living room and kitchen, with tall ceilings and a stone fireplace. Bay windows in the living room allow natural light in to spotlight what Barnes describes as a contemporary crossed with modern design aesthetic.
One of a few highlights of the tour is when Barnes shows off a painting that was created on his wedding day, depicting a scene from moments after he and Chelsea exchanged their vows. The large, colorful piece was painted by memory based on a photo taken by their wedding photographer. As Barnes says in the episode, it is, “probably the coolest thing in the house.”
Another defining – albeit very different – feature of the house is Barnes’s impressive shoe collection. Known for being one of the team’s biggest sneakerheads, Barnes shows viewers his office space turned shoe closet. Impeccably organized, it is a testament to his sartorial interests outside of the game, and the shoes offer pops of color against the otherwise consistent neutral color palette.
But that isn’t to say that baseball doesn’t play an important role in the décor of the home. In the living room, a photo of Barnes as a World Series champion hangs in between photos of Chelsea and him on their wedding day. When we see Chelsea’s spacious closet, her personal Red Sox accessories – in the form of purses and hats – have special prominence on shelves.
In the same vein, the comfortable basement – featuring a large L-shaped couch and fully stocked bar – has a wall dedicated to Barnes’ sports memorabilia. Highlights include the cleats he wore during the 2018 World Series, tucked carefully behind a display case, and a medley of signed jerseys, a basketball, and a baseball. And indeed, the basement is Barnes’s favorite room in the house. According to him, “It took almost a full year of designing and construction to turn the basement from concrete walls into a completely custom space. We have a lot of awesome things hung up on the walls, an awesome sound system, and it’s our favorite place to hang out with family and friends.”
J.D. Martinez’s Florida home is also designed and decorated with a mindset for entertaining. The episode reveals a space with tall ceilings, natural light thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, and artwork collected during his travels.
One of the first things visitors see when they enter his home is the gong Martinez brought home after a trip to Thailand. As he tells the audience in the episode, everyone who visits is required to bang the gong upon entering.
Martinez's love for entertaining and artwork continues as we pass by a large, colorful painting of an elephant on a scooter, another piece brought back from Thailand. This leads us into Martinez’s open-concept kitchen, dining, and living room space, complete with a fireplace, entertainment area, large dining room table, and ample counterspace in the kitchen, perfect for hosting large parties. The crossroads between the dining area and living room space is filled with a larger-than-life rendering of a headless woman constructed entirely out of nails, tenderly dubbed “Nailtalia.” Above the fireplace, a portion of the wall is lined with blue tape, awaiting the installation of a custom piece by an artist with whom Martinez is working.
The space as a whole is a combination of colors and textures, with white walls accented by dark wood shelving, the gray couch in the living room paired with a dark throw blanket, and the sand-colored tile flooring offset by a brown and white woven rug. The kitchen features white cabinets paired with a refrigerator with a dark wood finish, acting as an accent wall. White marble countertops pair with gray barstools, which coordinate with the gray chairs around the dining table. The table itself is made of a glossy, irregularly shaped wood, lit from a light fixture that looks suspiciously like a collection of hanging baseball bats. According to Martinez, this last subtle reference to baseball was unintentional, and was simply a feature he fell in love with at Restoration Hardware.
One of the most standout features of Martinez’s home however, is what his friends have dubbed “the J.D. room,” so-called because it is home to Martinez’s extensive collection of sports memorabilia. Shoes, jerseys, hats, and other equipment line shelves lit with recess lighting to show off his treasures.
But the J.D. room isn’t meant solely for collector’s items, rather it is also a dedicated hangout space. Earlier in the episode Martinez shows viewers the Nintendo setup in his living room, but in the J.D. room, we come to appreciate the true gamer he is. A desk that sits beneath a wall lined with framed jerseys is home to Martinez’s “gaming chair” and computer, complete with all the trappings of a gaming devotee. As Martinez tells us in the episode, he frequently hosts friends who are also avid gamers.
Perhaps the most intriguing part of these episodes of "Red Sox Cribs" is that the viewer is able to appreciate the relative normalcy of these professional baseball players. Their homes are beautiful, to be sure, but they are also approachable. Each house feels like a home, replete with intentional design choices unique to the owners and personal artistic touches. In the end it would seem that the only major design difference between these athletes and anyone else looking to make their home beautiful and comfortable is that each of their homes feature shout-outs to recent World Series wins – after all, there are some things money just can’t buy.
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