Inside Gwyneth Paltrow’s sophisticated hippie haven: Her interiors are the last word in relaxed luxury, so Brigitte Romanek was the obvious choice to design the pad of her California dreams
Those expecting any Goop-like silliness may be surprised upon entering the Montecito home of Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband, TV writer and producer Brad Falchuk. There are, of course, healthy vibes all around, but they’re less about vagina-scented candles and more about a soothing palette and natural textures.
The brief given to the stars by self-taught interior designer Brigitte Romanek (whose celebrity clients include Beyoncé and Demi Moore) was simple: “Just don’t turn it into a museum.” Paltrow wanted a house that she and Falchuk could retreat to as a place to “exhale.”
It should also be “unique and beautiful, with many soft colors and stunning pieces.” But still with a little fun. “Background of Paltrow’s life,” Romanek says. No pressure then.
Romank was inspired by the light greens, browns and creams of the surrounding California landscape to create a tranquil aesthetic in the main living areas. Combined with natural materials and sculptural furniture, the result is a serene family home punctuated by pockets of high drama.
Despite the simple tones, the interiors are far from bland. Romanek describes the living room’s design as a “stroke” of individual pieces, like Jim Zivic’s oversized swing and the Alexandre Diaz Anderson lounge chair, whose Hollywood glamor is balanced by the light honey-colored walls. “Design is the alchemy of many different elements coming together to make one complete space,” she says.
This can also be seen in the powder room, a layered collection of statement items, including wallpaper of hand-painted branches and leaves (another nod to nature), an antique mirror and a reclaimed stone sink. Brass finishes add a luxurious touch and bounce light around one of the most compact spaces in the home.
Despite her passion for designing comfortable, luxurious spaces, Romanek, 49, didn’t plan to pursue a career in interior design — she was previously a handbag designer and singer. Her appetite for interior design is something she attributes to her mother, also a singer, who would take Romanek to perform in the homes of celebrities around the world. “That’s when I realized it was possible to have something amazing in your home,” she says, like custom-made furniture, high-end artwork and Paltrow’s luxury tiled spa.
It was a stroke of chance that changed her career. In 2012, Romanek designed her own family home, and once friends saw the space she created, they asked for her help in renovating their home. The committees haven’t stopped coming since then.
“When Paltrow hired me years later, I knew she had worked with some really talented designers, so she expected a lot from me,” Romanek says.
She also saw a lot of good furniture, because she loves design. So I had to put pressure on myself to show items you had never seen before. Romanek clearly rose to the challenge.
Romanek’s book Liveable Luxe is published by Chronicle Chroma, priced £35. To order a copy for £29.75*
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