FASH­ION WIS­DOM

Closer Weekly - - Contents -

Sim­ple styling tips to turn any ba­sic wrap into a rav­ish­ing state­ment piece.

“The artist

wanted to have this in the Muham­mad Ali Cen­ter and sent me a print, too. I love it!”

— Laila

The scale may be rel­a­tively mod­est, but the rich brown, dark blue and cream decor she chose has a com­fort­able glam­our all its own. It’s a fit­ting back­drop for all the fe­male su­per mid­dleweight ti­tle belts she amassed dur­ing her un­de­feated ca­reer, as well as a few other me­men­tos and trib­utes to her leg­endary fa­ther and her hus­band, for­mer NFL player Cur­tis Con­way, 46.

When Laila found the home in 2011, “my hus­band didn’t care for this one much,” she ad­mits. “But I could see it had so much po­ten­tial.” Lo­cated in a gated com­mu­nity, it felt like a good place for her son Cur­tis Jr., now 9, and her daugh­ter Syd­ney, now 6, to play. “I love the grounds here, be­cause we’re on a corner lot with a great back­yard and front yard, and we use the pool a lot in the sum­mer,” she says with a smile. “It’s a re­ally nice neigh­bor­hood.”

The in­side seemed right, as well. “I re­ally liked the open kitchen and fam­ily room,” she notes. “Hav­ing small kids, that was im­por­tant. Now when I come home from work, I’m al­ways in there, the kids are

“I wanted to make sure we were some­where the kids could play and feel safe and still have that neigh­bor­hood

feel.” — Laila (with Syd­ney, Cur­tis Jr. and Cur­tis)

usu­ally there do­ing home­work or en­joy­ing free time with their iPads, and my hus­band might be watch­ing a game.”

She stained the cab­i­nets and bought all­new ap­pli­ances for the mod­ern kitchen, which hap­pens to be her fa­vorite room. “That’s my space! My hus­band al­ways says, ‘You love to cook,’ but it’s not that I love to cook — it’s that I love to eat!” she says with a big laugh.

Laila made a few changes over the years, like tak­ing out a large mir­ror on the wall to add fam­ily pho­tos and adding slid­ing doors in her of­fice, and she’s still plan­ning a kitchen ren­o­va­tion. “I’m a home­body, so it’s re­ally im­por­tant to me for a house to be com­fort­able.”

As one might ex­pect from a true champ, her home gym (lo­cated in a sep­a­rate ca­sita just out­side) is her refuge. “I have a heavy box­ing bag in there, so I love to close the door and play mu­sic re­ally loud,” she tells Closer. “That’s when the neigh­bors know Laila must be in her gym again!” — Re­port­ing by Steve Gid­low

She loves the vibe of her sit­ting area be­cause “it has a lounge/ club feel and it’s not too fem­i­nine, not too mas­cu­line.” “There are two sets of stairs!

You don’t see that of­ten,” says Laila. She adores this paint­ing of her dad

(left) by artist Brent Estabrook. “If we have

a din­ner party with

friends, we al­ways

use the din­ing area,”

Laila says. “I feel a lit­tle guilty when we eat out too much, be­cause I make home-cooked meals here, any­thing from seafood gumbo to an oven-fried chicken recipe that ev­ery­one loves.”

“My daugh­ter

ac­tu­ally made this mug for me for me, and she loves to paint!”

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