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When it came time to furnish the house, Paltrow, a self-proclaimed “furniture obsessive,” originally planned to do the decorating herself. “I thought I’d get a few great pieces and it would all be fine, but as time went by, I realized that there were so many layers, so many things that needed attention, that I couldn’t pull it off by myself,” she recalls. Paltrow eventually called upon AD100 designer Brigette Romanek, a close friend of more than two decades, to join the adventure. “Brigette’s more contemporary than I am, but I wanted to push myself. Plus, I knew it would be fun,” the actress notes.
“Gwyneth knew exactly what she wanted. She knew the feeling, the energy, the narrative. It was my job to express those ideas in ways that would bring joy and beauty,” Romanek says of her purview. Like the architecture, the decor eludes antiquated definitions of traditional and contemporary, instead finding harmony in understated colors, organic textures, and strong, simple forms. The push and pull between old and new, soft and hard, delicate and muscular, comes to the fore in the elegant dining room, where a romantic hand-painted scenic wallpaper wraps an unfussy composition of striking contemporary lighting and furniture. “Gwyneth was more interested in substance than style per se. Yes, it had to be pretty, but she was most concerned with things like mood and movement,” Romanek observes.
Many of the furnishings have particular personal resonance for Paltrow. The Lindsey Adelman lighting installation on the living room ceiling, for example, was one of the first items she commissioned for the house. “I told Lindsey, ‘Here’s the room, make what you want.’ It’s an artistic intervention into this incredibly calm space, like a gorgeous field of punk-rock jewelry,” Paltrow says of the sinuous composition. The Jim Zivic hammock that hangs along one side of the room—a transplant from her Brentwood home in L.A.—has its own jewelry-like details, albeit expressed in a far more butch, industrial vocabulary.
Asked about any big takeaways from her six-year journey, Paltrow offers some battle-tested advice: “There will always be pain points in a project like this, but keep your eyes on the big picture,” she says. “This house has taught me so much about patience and gratitude. If you commit to design integrity and character, you’ll never be sorry.”
This story appears in AD’s March 2022 issue. To get a copy, subscribe to AD.
An earlier version of this story mis-identifed the creator of the hanging wire sculpture in the living room. It was made by D’lisa Creager.