"Colorful" is how Heidi Klum describes her home life with husband Seal, daughter Leni, 3, and sons Henry, 2, and Johan, 1.
The Victoria's Secret angel, who can be seen dueting with her recording-star husband Tuesday during the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (CBS, 10 p.m. ET/PT) and hosting Project Runway (Bravo, Wednesdays, 10 p.m. ET/PT), is referring to the toys in their Beverly Hills home. "We have really big FAO Schwarz lions and tigers and elephants to greet people," Klum says during a break from holiday shopping.
The stuffed menagerie aside, her home is otherwise colorblind. Race, stresses Klum, 34, has never been an issue in her relationship with the 44-year-old multiple Grammy winner. Married since 2005, they have never experienced overt prejudice, she says. "I'm sure people say things or write things about us. But we don't look at that, and it's better that way."
Seal fathered the two boys and is Leni's dad, too, though her biological father is Italian mogul Flavio Briatore. Briatore is not part of her daughter's life, Klum says, then states emphatically, "Seal is Leni's father."
Klum can appreciate her marriage now because she was wed once before, from 1997 to 2002, to stylist Ric Pipino. "I was young -- 23 years old, and it wasn't the right person," she says. "Seal and I feel very lucky that we found each other. He's my best friend. He would never go in through a door first. He always opens the door for me and steps back so I walk through."
Klum says her husband similarly treats Leni like a little lady but is "a little harder and rougher with the boys. I'm always reminding Seal that they're little, but he says, 'They need to rough it up a bit.' "
Considering Seal the perfect dad, Klum says more children may be in their future. "Children are very addicting," says Klum, conceding that she misses being pregnant. "Once they start growing up, you miss when they were little. So, maybe …"
While roughhousing is left to "Papa," as Seal is known, Klum prefers jumping with the kids on the backyard trampoline, volleying on the backyard tennis court or snowboarding, something they'll all do together over the holidays. She declines to say exactly where they are headed, to thwart the paparazzi. It has been a struggle to keep the children out of the public eye, and she has repeatedly turned down offers to pose with her family for ad campaigns.
But her control over her children's futures has its limits. She already suspects that Henry may be destined to follow in his father's musical footsteps. She calls her middle son "Happy Feet." And though she is toying with the idea of a children's version of Project Runway (an idea inspired by submissions she receives from junior designers), she would not allow Leni to participate.
Even so, Leni's flair for style cannot be denied. Klum recently treated Leni to a makeover after hair-combing became a struggle. Leni presented the hairstylist with a DVD of Dora the Explorer to show how she wanted her short new 'do to look.
One of Klum's worries: health threats. "I have a friend whose daughter started growing boobs at 4 years old because of all the hormones," she says. "And in (her native) Germany, we had a guy hang himself after selling tons of 5-year-old meat in a supermarket. It shouldn't be like that."
Her desire for an all-natural world extends to her own face, for now. "No Botox. I don't think I will go there," she says. "I don't want to say never, because who knows? Maybe in 10 years I will."
Klum has another plan to fight off wrinkles: her own "age-defying" skin care line, launching in March. She partnered with marketing company Guthy-Renker and received advice from her cosmetologist father, Gunther.
She and her father also created a perfume, and she has a jewelry line, too, which she wears on Runway. She concedes that it's far more affordable than her 10-karat engagement ring, designed by Seal and jeweler Lorraine Schwartz.
"It's so dirty because I never take it off," she says, showing off the impressive rock. "I'd rather have a dirty ring than lose it down the sink. Look, it's like a big cloud."
An accessory no angel should be without.