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Foam into fabulous: How one valley home turned into a pirate paradise

Updated August 7, 2023 - 6:45 pm

It’s not every day you see a home that includes a full bar decorated to look like a pirate ship.

But that didn’t stop Kitty Reign from transforming her home into a swashbuckling sanctuary.

Last month, Reign’s home went viral on the Facebook page “Zillow Gone Wild” after her home, which is now under contract, was first listed on the real estate website.

Reign said the home took about 10 years and $100,000 to transform the four-bedroom, three-bath home into a pirate paradise.

Her inspiration for transforming her house from its 70s, plush rug-covered past was her childhood love of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride at Disneyland, she said.

“I had kind of a rough childhood, and I remember at Disneyland when I went into the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ that all of my problems in the whole world just disappeared — I was in a completely fantasy place,” Reign said. “So I knew when I owned a home someday that I wanted it to be that fantasy place like ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ where I could go in and the world didn’t exist anymore, I was in a safe place.”

But, none of the transformations would have been possible without the help of local artist Andrea Steinmuller, who said she has known Reign for nearly 20 years.

Foam, foam, and more foam

Steinmuller said she met Reign at the Age of Chivalry Renaissance festival, where the two were both dressed in pirate outfits. The rest was history.

Steinmuller, a retired set designer, said she is known in Las Vegas for transforming homes at an affordable rate — making rooms look like they cost thousands for a fraction of the price.

Reign has been such a close collaborator, she’s become family, she said.

“You spend $100 at Home Depot on glue and foam and some paint, and then I make it work,” Steinmuller said. “Kitty’s got ideas that race around in her head like there’s no tomorrow.”

One of the most challenging rooms to transform was Reign’s Indiana Jones-themed casita, she said. Reign said she decided to give it a different theme from the rest of the home to have a room with a jungle-like feel.

The room was originally a spa room with a small kitchenette and sauna room. It was built out with a swinging rope bridge, jungle forest walls and a kitchenette, which looks like an archaeologist’s tent.

Steinmuller said she made most of the room with 2 to 3-inch thick insulated foam, Steinmuller said.

“It just evolves, everything evolves, and it just gets more and more crazy — it’s an everyday occurrence for me,” she said.

Unfortunately, the home’s pirate fun had to stay inside after Reign said she was cited by the city of Las Vegas for keeping a pirate ship next to her house.

When she decided to sell the home, she didn’t want Steinmuller’s hard work to be wasted.

Finding the right agent

Reign said she spoke with four different real estate agents before deciding to go with Ashea Lindell-Gray and Jac Lindell, a father-daughter realty duo, who wanted to find a buyer who would love the pirate theme as much as she did.

“Two (agents) almost immediately said ‘How long would it take you to take all this down?’ and I just said ‘Okay, thank you for coming, you’re really nice, but obviously, you’re not the agent I’m looking for to market this property,’ ” Reign said.

The duo would dress in pirate garb for open houses, designed custom shirts to promote the home sale with the slogan “Dead Men Make No Sales,” and wrote the home’s listing description on Zillow that took off on social media for its pirate verbiage.

“I strive for different,” Lindell-Gray said. “Everything’s so boring now. Everybody tries to be a lap coat agent, and I’m not about that.”

Jac is also part of the Junkyard Pirates Car Club, a pirate-themed, car-collecting club that hosts car shows throughout the Las Vegas Valley. He almost considered buying the home for himself, but the only thing that stopped him, he said, was having no garage, which has been transformed into a DJ room and bar.

From the seas to the sky

Reign said she wanted to sell the home to fund her next adventure with her wife, Jennifer — a galactic-themed custom T-shirt store in Bullhead City, Arizona, called T-Shirt Galaxy.

People will be able to watch their shirts be digitally printed and look at props inspired by popular space-themed franchises, she said.

“You just want something fun where people come in, they see (the shop) and didn’t even want a T-shirt, but now, when (they’re) here, there’s cool stuff everywhere so (they’re) going to buy something,” she said.

Looking back, Reign said it made her happy that her home served as a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community in Las Vegas, who would often visit the home for the numerous themed parties held there.

“We wanted to build a space where everybody, regardless if you’re straight, trans, gay, rich, poor — you had a place to go,” she said. “You could just come and party with your friends, you did not have to worry about any bias of any kind. … We’ve had thousands of people at our events, and everybody said this is the safest place I’ve ever felt.”

Contact Taylor Lane at tlane@reviewjournal.com.

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