Heather Dubrow Has One Big Rule When It Comes to Keeping Her Mega-Mansion Cozy

The Real Housewives of Orange County alum has a few tricks up her sleeve.

When you hear the specs of the Chateau Dubrow (aka the sprawling, 22,000-square-foot home that The Real Housewives of Orange County's Heather Dubrow and her husband, Terry, built while filming the show), the first word that comes to mind most definitely is not “cozy.” Because when you’ve got a house that big — did we mention the ceilings are also 16 feet high?! — you’d suppose the vibe skews more toward cold, sterile, or museum-like.

Terry is, however, the first to swear that that’s just not the case. “I would say our house is like a department store, only bigger,” he recently told Home & Design. “It’s gigantically enormous. The rooms are, like, three-quarters of a football field. But the way we’ve warmed it up with the colors and the tones — because it’s not ornate, it’s not rococo —  you walk in and feel so comfortable here.”

So, how did they do it? (Reminder: Heather did not use a designer!) “It’s not like I set out to create a homey feeling,” Heather told us. “OK, two things: One, there’s no room in the house you can’t touch. There’s no fancy, formal living room where you can’t sit on this. Everyone can go everywhere, and my kids can hang out anywhere and feel comfortable. And I think that’s part of the reason why it feels homey.”

And the second? Well, this one isn’t a design tip, per se … “And then I think, honestly, this is going to sound silly, but I think it’s our family. We’re very loving and tight and have a lot of fun in our house and a lot of laughter in our house and I think that’s what makes a home.”

It’s true, the family makes the house! And with four kids running around, Heather knew exactly how to create the homey, cozy vibe that is perfect for (and durable enough to withstand!) big families. Watch the full video above to see what else Heather and Terry had to say about their infamous chateau.

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