Thursday, April 12

Celebrity Home - Will and Jada Pinkett Smith

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I have been touring English Stately homes recently. Wandering around the sumptuous rooms and enormous gilded galleries makes one wonder - what exactly did the common folk think about the grand owners of these houses? Living in small communities where they were the richest and most powerful, their immediate neighbors usually villagers living in a little village named after the grand house. Did this situation inspire awe in the villagers or contempt for the ostentatious display of wealth?

To find the answer I looked at the elite of today’s society and their homes. The closest in profile to English landed class would be the Hollywood stars of today with their enormous wealth and penchant for displaying it through their houses. A perfect example is the home of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith featured in Architecture Digest. The house is the height of luxury and ostentation, I am even having trouble calling it a house, especially when my own little flat would neatly fit in their hallway (with ample room leftover). But it gives a fair idea of the awe and wonder the stately homes must have inspired in the simple folk. For me it also tells a tale on the shifting nature of celebrity.

The stars commissioned architect Stephen Samuelson to design an adobe-style residence full of free flowing spaces, organic forms, and handcrafted details. The exterior of the house sits comfortably in the landscape and the adobe walls - reminiscent of baked mud huts of Africa, offer protection from the hot Malibu Sun. The interiors designed by Judith Lance are a complete assault on the senses. But what redeems the interiors for me, is that the stars have their personality showing through in every corner. Their love for Indian and African style oozes through all the rooms, in the form of ethnic textiles and prints, rough-hewn wooden sculptures and warm earthen colors.

The house’s massive front door was salvaged from a fort in northern India

The pair of vintage resin tusks flank the carved wooden columns and the lanterns at left are Moroccan.

Rustic reclaimed timber complements the nature inspired furniture,
notice the Sitar by the window and the Indian Haveli door

The iron four-poster in Willow’s bedroom is draped with a canopy of patterned silk

The private terrace off the master suite 

All images via Architectural Digest

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