Wednesday, February 21

At home with Gwyneth Paltrow: 3D wallpaper, a spa and a $62,000 hammock | Gwyneth Paltrow

NWhere to be seen are her company Goop’s own vagina candles, psychic vampire repeller sprays and toothpaste squeezers, and yet Gwyneth Paltrow’s home in Montecito, California is still causing gasps across the internet.

As she showed off her palatial house in the March issue of Architectural Digestmany rolled their eyes online at designer Robin Standefer’s claim that it “takes its cues from Gwyneth’s height [and] beauty”.

Others were taken aback that her Ruth Asawa sculpture was actually a fake (“surely she could afford the real thing?”), by her grand hallway fireplace, which, Paltrow explained, was “something you see a lot in Europe in an entryway”, and by her super-luxurious double hammock in the living room that retails at $62,700. Could this maybe become the next must-have piece of homeware for the uber-rich?

“I wouldn’t be surprised if this starts a whole new trend,” says Los Angeles estate agent Kirk Hawkins. “I think living room swings and indoor hammocks will always be perfect for a specific buyer: why not enjoy the whimsical experience of being a kid in an indoor space?”

Others remain unconvinced. “I don’t think there will be anything other than a flash-in-the-pan demand for living room swings,” says Lucy Searle, the editor-in-chief of Homes & Gardens magazine. “It’s a lovely, appealing, though space-hungry, idea, but anyone with children will appreciate that it will either be a dangerous addition to a living room or one that will be gleefully misused.”

The most surprising feature of the California house, however, is a fully fledged plant-filled, tiled spa, featuring hot tub, cold tub, sauna and steam room, resembling an “ancient bathhouse,” says Paltrow.

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“Just like Peloton took off, this is becoming more of a trend for high net worth individuals who want to bring the spa home with them,” says Hawkins. “They are growing in popularity,” agrees Searle.

“Many renovators are asking interior designers and bathroom companies to find space for everything from home saunas and steam rooms to double showers and shower bench seats.” There were about 44,000 internet searches for “home spas” last year, according to the bathroom retailer AQVA.

Paltrow worked with interior designers Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of Roman and Williams to create a home with the conceptual feel of a “Parisian apartment set within an old European barn”.

Other notable features in the wannabe barn include a surreal “Star-Trek-like” chandelier, 3D handpainted wallpaper and almost enough casserole dishes to feed the whole of California.

“There’s a lot of Pinterest-bait in it,” says the architecture journalist Lucy Watson. “Sometimes it’s hard to tell with other super-prime homes which is the CGI render and which is the real thing.”

That said, Paltrow has hit upon some very 2022 luxury homeware trends. “Wallpaper generally is so popular now,” says interior designer Lucy Gleeson. “We are moving towards being more hands-on with wall decor.” Searle says handpainted wallpaper is one of Homes & Gardens’ top design trend predictions for 2022, and Watson says: “I am seeing people at home being a bit more adventurous with textures, paneling and painting shapes straight on the walls – which will set you back as much as a tin of paint and a roll of masking tape instead of a couple of grand per panel.”

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“Gwyneth will gain some extra design fans after they see her new home,” says Gleeson. Watson thinks the house almost humanises the often-derived Paltrow. “It’s a slightly cluttered house where you can actually imagine somebody living and cooking and acquiring normal people things. Given how alien Gwyneth’s lifestyle is to most people, perhaps that was a bit of a shock,” she says. And yet, Watson says she’s “not sure anything can erase the vagina egg from public memory”.

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