Adar Kirkham has traveled all over the world as a professional dancer and choreographer for some of the biggest names in music, but now she’s channeling that globetrotting into another passion: interior design.
Kirkham, who lives in Farmington Hills, is the host of a new HGTV digital series that premiered last month called “Freestyled” and it’s the latest show set in Metro Detroit. The six-episode series, which airs at 12 p.m. Sunday on all of HGTV’s social media channels, challenges Kirkham to work with homeowners on one specific space in their homes and transform it in 24 hours with a $1,500 budget.
“A lot of that is thrifting, reusing and repurposing furniture pieces they’ve already had; there’s a lot of treasure hunts throughout the house to find treasures that I can reinvent,” she said. “It’s all about affordability and really creating a space that pops and feels authentic to the client and is achievable.”
“Freestyled” is the latest Metro Detroit-based HGTV show. “Bargain Block,” which focuses on flipping rundown homes on specific Detroit blocks for first-time homebuyers, debuted its second season this summer. And “Rehab Addict” with Nicole Curtis is still largely filmed in Detroit.
Kirkham, who is originally from New Jersey, said she grew up in a creative family where it was OK to paint walls and furniture. In college, she debated pursuing design or dance before choosing dance.
And that decision paid off. She’s been a backup dancer for everyone from Rihanna to Elton John. She also was the entertainment manager and choreographer for NBA’s Brooklyn Nets dance team for seven seasons.
But it was 2016 appearance on the hit show “Flea Market Flip” with her mom that really made her think about a career switch to finally pursue design. And she said her dance career has broadened her design aesthetic.
“All of the things I learned about traveling and performing and this Hollywood glamorous life of being amongst that type of crowd, my vision for design is broader because of that,” Kirkham said. “People always ask how did I go from one to the next but they were always both happening.”
On “Freestyled,” she works with clients all over Metro Detroit. Each episode is only 10-12 minutes — Kirkham calls them “design nuggets” — but it’s all about “affordability and big impact design with limited time and a limited budget. And that’s right up my alley.”
In her own Farmington Hills home that she shares with her husband, Tyrel Kirkham, vice president of brand and marketing strategy for the Detroit Pistons, it’s filled with color and sports-inspired decor. The couple moved to Detroit in August 2020 and they’re loving their new hometown.
“Between New York, Los Angeles and now living here, we absolute love it,” she said. “It’s been awesome.”
For anyone who wants to change up their style but are limited by a budget or timeline, Kirkham encourages people to think outside about the box about how furniture can be used. A desk doesn’t have to be a desk; it could be a console table.
And paint is one of the most affordable design tool to have a big impact, she said.
Even rearranging furniture in a space is one way to really transform a space: “And that doesn’t cost a thing,” she said.
To learn more about “Freestyled,” go to hgtv.com/shows/freestyled.