Sara Blakely: Inside the Home of Billionaire Spanx Founder

08/02/2012 at 03:30 PM EDT

Spanx Founder Sara Blakely: Inside the Billionaire's Home
Sara Blakely
Christopher Sturman
Sara Blakely likes to think big.

The 41-year-old Spanx founder, who transformed $5,000 of her own money into a $1 billion shape-wear empire, didn't hold back when it came to designing her new solar-powered Atlanta home.

"It started as a minor renovation, and I basically built a house inside of a house," says Blakely, who spent two years infusing the 10,000-sq.-ft. home with her "eclectic" style that blends bold patterns (check out that zebra print rug!) and strokes of whimsy.

A giant gumball machine greets visitors in the foyer, and an indoor-outdoor vibe gives the home a "tree fort" feel, says Blakely, whom in March Forbes named the world's youngest self-made female billionaire.



Son Lazer, 3, enjoys a dream playroom, and fitness-focused husband Jesse Itzler, 43, gets spa-quality steam and sauna rooms.

"He likes to do steam and sauna after a workout to get rid of the toxins," she says. "I'm like, 'Honey, what are you sweating out? Coconut water?' I need to be in there to sweat out Tex-Mex food!"

For exclusive photos of Sara Blakely's Atlanta home – and how she juggles motherhood, marriage and moguldom – pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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