Inside Gwyneth Paltrow’s haute-hippie haven: Her interiors are the last word in laid-back luxe, so Brigette Romanek was the obvious choice to design her California dream pad
Whose expecting any Goop-like wackiness on entering the Montecito home of Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband, TV writer and producer Brad Falchuk, might be surprised. There are, of course, wellness vibes running throughout, but they are less about vagina-scented candles and more about a soothing palette and natural textures.
The brief for self-taught interior designer to the stars Brigette Romanek (whose celebrity clients include Beyoncé and Demi Moore) was simple: ‘just don’t turn it into a museum’. Paltrow wanted a home that she and Falchuk could retreat to as their ‘exhale’ place.
It also had to be ‘unique and pretty, layered with calming colours and striking pieces. But still with a bit of playfulness. A backdrop to Paltrow’s life,’ says Romanek. No pressure, then.
Romanek took inspiration from the pale greens, browns and creams of the surrounding Californian landscape to create a serene aesthetic in the main living areas. Teamed with natural materials and sculptural statement furniture, the result is a tranquil family home punctuated with pockets of high drama.
Gwyneth relaxes on a custom-made Charles Zana sofa. The painting is by Ed Ruscha, the wire sculpture by D’lisa Creager. Sofology.co.uk sells a range of velvet corner sofa
In the low-key living room, a Jim Zivic for Ralph Pucci hammock and Alexander Díaz Andersson lounge chair create playful focal points
Part of the lavish home spa, inspired by Les Bains du Marais in Paris and covered in glazed handmade tiles by bantamtileworks.com. It is one of Romanek’s favourite spaces
Despite the understated tones, the interiors are far from bland. Romanek describes the living room design as a ‘tour de force’ of singular pieces, such as the oversized Jim Zivic hammock and Alexander Diaz Andersson lounge chair, the Hollywood glamour of which is counterbalanced by the pale honey-toned 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 concoction of standout elements, including hand-painted branch-and-leaf wallpaper (another nod to nature), an antique mirror and reclaimed-stone sink. Brass finishes add an opulent touch and bounce light around one of the more compact spaces in the house.
Despite her passion for crafting luxurious yet laid-back spaces, 49-year-old Romanek didn’t plan on a career in interiors – she was previously a handbag designer and a singer. Her appetite for interior design is something that she attributes to her mother, also a singer, who would take Romanek to perform in celebrity homes around the world. ‘That’s when I realised that it was possible to have something cool in your home,’ she says, such as the custom-made furniture, high-end art and tile-clad super-spa chez Paltrow.
In the powder room, hand-painted wallpaper by M J Atelier and sconces by Giopato & Coombes at Studio Twenty Seven make an impact. For similar wall coverings, try degournay.com
Comfort runs throughout the home including the upperfloor landing, which has a huge custommade sofa and bespoke wall lighting for ambience. Portaromana.com sells similar lighting
The entry hall features an 18th-century fireplace mantel and reclaimed-stone floors from chateaudomingue.com. Mandarinstone.com sells monochrome limestone flooring. Try oka.com for similar decorative vases
It was a stroke of serendipity that led to her career change. Back in 2012, Romanek designed her own family home and once friends saw the space she’d created, they sought her help with their own home renovations. The commissions haven’t stopped coming in since.
‘When Paltrow hired me years later, I knew that she had worked with some really talented designers, so she’d expect a lot from me,’ Romanek says.
‘She had also seen lots of good furniture pieces, as she loves design. So I was going to have to push myself to show her items she hadn’t seen before.’ Clearly, Romanek rose to the challenge.
Romanek’s book Livable Luxe is published by Chronicle Chroma, £35. To order a copy for £29.75*
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