During my senior year of college, I lived with four of my friends in a house that became known as the treehouse. It didn’t get this name because it was a shaggy, lovable bungalow—it was because a tree literally fell on it right before we moved in. The house was pretty gnarly, and not just because people puked behind the couch at multiple parties. We used to park on the dirt-covered lawn, smoke cigarettes in the basement, and there was a mysterious newspaper-stuffed hole in my closet. We didn’t have a functioning roof until right before Hurricane Sandy touched down in Maryland. The only reason the place didn’t fully collapse into the ground was because of my roommate Allie—she roasted chickens on Sundays, sewed us personalized Christmas stockings, and did all of my dishes. Allie had the nicest room and best, fluffiest bed that we would gather on for hangover mornings, likely before she made us all breakfast. Allie is a true blue Cancer, a natural caretaker and homemaker who held it all together while playing mother hen to a bunch of messy college girls.
Sweet, sensitive Cancer is the fourth sign of the Zodiac, and it’s when we become in touch with our deeper inner world. Cancers are always going to have a snack on hand and have a supercharged emotional intuition. It’s the sign associated with motherhood and has a lot to do with how we nurture and reciprocally want to be nurtured. It’s also all about our families, where we came from, and what’s passed down between generations. Cancers are the reason a house becomes a home—they know how to take a blank slate and turn it into somewhere that seems like it’s been lovingly lived in for years. They’re the master of cozy vibes, and their kitchens are likely filled with homemade baked goods.
Cancers do have a problem letting go of the past, and it can be hard for them to move on from a place that’s served its purpose (and might be a little defensive about it). But once they free their crab claws, they’re basically unstoppable, especially when it comes to taking on a new project. There’s no better time to really invest in your current or future home, so let these nine Cancer celebrities lead the way.
Crank up the Princess and the Pea vibes
Whoever came up with “you can sleep when you’re dead” was absolutely not a Cancer. Cancers cherish their shut-eye and need an extra comfortable place to rest their heads—it’s giving Princess and the Pea vibes. Nicole Scherzinger showed her true Cancer colors when talking about the beds in her palatial LA home. The bed in her primary bedroom has a grand total of three comforters, including a weighted blanket, and one of the guest rooms has a self-proclaimed “cloud bed” (also what we used to call my friend Allie’s bed in college). There’s literally no better time to finally upgrade your mattress or comforter than Cancer season.
Get down and dirty with a restoration project
When Liv Tyler bought her 1800s West Village brownstone in the early aughts, she remarks that parts of it were like a scene out of a horror movie. She wasn’t discouraged by how much had to be done—instead, she meticulously worked to restore the building to its original glory. Cancers are given the gift of long-term vision, and they also understand that just because it’s new, doesn’t make it better. This could be an amazing time to purchase a serious fixer-upper (big or small) and get to work on creating your own labor of love.
Don’t be afraid of swimming in the waters of nostalgia
With the rise of The Home Edit and KonMari in recent years, it can feel like we constantly need to be organizing and tossing our belongings. This can be difficult for Cancers, who have an emotional attachment to all of their stuff and don’t like to get rid of it. For example, Liv Tyler’s whole attic is dedicated to emotional and professional memorabilia—she has everything from her first driver’s license to a Barbie doll of her favorite Lord of the Rings character. You don’t have to go full hoarder status, but maybe take a break from purging and enjoy a walk down memory lane.
Turn work into an extension of home
It took years of working at my job and a move to a new office to finally add some personality to my desk space (via some crystals and kitschy post-its). I didn’t realize the difference it would make to liven up the drab space and turn it into an extension of my home aesthetic. Barbie star Margot Robbie’s production company’s office doesn’t have this problem. The space is brimming with special touches, like a unique fridge in the kitchen (where Cancer loves to spend their time) and photos of the employees’ friends and family. If you’re feeling uninspired at the office, bring in a framed photo or artwork to give your desk a home-y feel.
Look into kintsugi
It’s insanely easy to replace a broken object—a new one could be on the way within 24 hours. But this convenience robs us of the chance to put our skills to the test and actually try and fix the item. Cancer actor Jared Padalecki and his Capricorn wife Genevieve aren’t quick to toss things out as soon as they rip or break, likely from the wear and tear of having three children. There’s a chaise in the bedroom of their rugged-chic Austin farmhouse that’s covered in patches, giving it a special, kintsugi-esque style. Before you get rid of something, see if you could breathe new life into it, just like a Cancer would.
Create pockets of space
There’s a couple of reasons why Cancers tend to gravitate towards enclosed spaces. First, they’re symbolized by crabs, which have soft bodies inside hard exteriors to keep them safe. Second, Cancer is associated with motherhood, which begins inside a nurturing womb. When basketball player JJ Redick moved into a converted Brooklyn warehouse, he leaned into his Cancer sun to give it more rooms instead of knocking out walls to create a huge open-concept space. Liv Tyler also claims an obsession with pocket doors, and Jared Padalecki literally references his home feeling like a “little crab shell” in his AD interview. If you can’t afford an entire renovation, look into room dividers or bookshelves to give the appearance of smaller pockets of space.
Follow the moon
During her latest home tour, Ashley Tisdale notes that a piece of moon art is what sold her on the serene Los Angeles spot. Ashley must have felt the siren sound of the planetary ruler of Cancer (well, technically a luminary) and felt called to purchase the home. Besides the explicitly astrological art, Ashley has globe-shaped lights and lamps that give the impression of tiny moons all over the house. Turn your home or room into a peaceful night sky with your own spherical light fixtures or moon-themed art.
Watery, deep blue accents
Her younger sister might be the star of The Little Mermaid, but it’s Chloe Bailey who’s a watery Cancer that belongs under the sea. Since that’s not humanly possible, the rising star opted for a high-rise Los Angeles apartment that’s filled with blue walls and couches in her favorite color. Cancer is historically associated with white and silver due to its ruler, the moon, but deep blues are also popular among the crustacean sign. Add some blue accents to your home and get deep into your moody Cancerian feelings.
Keep it in the family
There’s no shortage of professionals that a celebrity can call if they need to landscape their garden or source a specific vintage end table. Ashley Tisdale and Chloe Bailey didn’t have to look far for help with their particular homes—Ashley used her father as a contractor and Chloe turned to her godmother for interior design help. Cancers love any excuse to spend more time with their family, so reach out to your parents or siblings for some decorating advice or help putting together shelves in your apartment.
Hit your favorite furniture store
The first person to take me to ABC Carpet & Home, the iconic and very expensive furniture store in the Flatiron District, was my close Cancer childhood friend. Fellow Cancer Chloe Fineman also expresses her love of ABC while touring her plush French-inspired apartment in the West Village, citing it as her favorite place in New York. Cancers are notorious homebodies, so they’re going to love anywhere that feels like a gigantic, well-decorated house. It’s easy to buy things off Wayfair or a trendy Instagram ad, but you can’t recapture the magic of hitting an IRL furniture store and falling in love with a tangible piece.
Make space for a place to cry
I’d be remiss if I didn’t call out one of the biggest Cancer stereotypes—that they’re basically huge cry babies (I can say this, I also cry all the time). In a surprising act of vulnerability, JJ Redick mentions crying at the site of his newly finished bedroom when touring his Brooklyn warehouse apartment. We stan an emotional Cancer king! What could you add to your home that would conjure up such big feelings that you had no choice but to cry? Find out and let those tears rip.
Get back to your roots
No matter how far they go, a Cancer usually ends up returning to their roots. You could be like comedian Chloe Fineman, who got her West Village apartment by writing an impassioned letter about her parents conceiving her on the block (not totally true, but they did live there). Or you could be like JJ Redick who had no professional reason to move to New York but wanted to be close to his wife’s twin sister. Itching to relocate this summer? Check out where your family resides, or go even further and research where your ancestors lived and maybe give that a go.
Celebrate where you came from
Family and home are two of the major keywords associated with Cancer, so it’s fitting that family would play such a big role in a Cancer’s home. Burna Boy combines both in his modern Nigerian compound with a room dedicated to old family photos and records that came from his grandfather, who also had roots in the music industry as Fela Kuti’s manager. Celebrate where you came from and get a beautiful old photograph framed or start your own family-themed gallery wall that shows up in many celebrity Open Doors.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
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