Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Well, I don't mind if I do!

I was asked recently by So Sylvie to participate in a fun little virtual project of redesigning Gerard Butler's Chelsea loft, which is featured in Architectural Digest this month. It seems that his newly renovated pad has been getting quite a lot of attention on the net. I'm not judging, as a matter of fact I sheepishly admit that I had never heard of Gerard Butler until now. All that I know is that he lives in a space boasting bones as sophisticated and prolific as those that once graced the face of the uberdistinguished Katharine Hepburn.

This is my answer:
I understand, after having read the A.D. article, that Gerard Butler has played some mighty meaty roles; the Spartan king, Attila the Hun, Dracula, the Phantom of the Opera, and Beowulf. Also, that his interior designer, Elvis Restaino, is a set designer... the photos in A.D. of his apartment are hugely theatrical. No doubt Architectural Digests' ridiculously over-the-top lighting extravaganza plays a part in theatrics of the photos, but all of the columns, many crystal chandeliers, and thrones placed throughout the pad also contribute to the weightiness, and overall phoniness of its appearance. I think that I'd start by cleaning house. Toss all of the "props", paint & paper the walls, and collect furniture with some provenance to appeal to Gerard's obvious attraction to history.

dining area:
Final Dining Room

screening area:
Final Screening Area

secondary seating area:
Final Secondary Seating

office area:
Final Office Area

bedroom area:
Final Bedroom Area

Be sure to check out how these fine ladies would redesign this space:

So Sylvie
Jaclyn Ehrilich of Haute Home
Valorie Hart of Visual Vamp
Ronda Carman of All the Best
Di Overton of Designers' Block UK


  1. I knew I picked the right guy for the job!! Every room is amazing!!! So many favorites. I love your choices of rugs and artwork throughout. Those sconces and that table in the dining room! Where have I seen that table? Love it! I had picked a similar coffee table, but changed my mind at the last minute. The office!! Everything in it!! And perfect reading lights for the bedroom. I love the whole place. You're a genius!!!!

  2. ha ha ha -thanks, Sylvie! You're way too complimentary : ) The table is the "Clay" dining table by Maarten Bass, and the deco sconces are from 1st Dibs... I should have listed the sources. Thanks again for allowing me to participate!


  3. :)
    i see you are back with a bang!!!
    i agree that his place looks like it is all props.
    the beams are probably made of Styrofoam.

    i have to tell you, i did know who he was!


  4. Just an odd question: is it mandatory that all stars photographed "at home" must be barefoot? Look at Ellen Pompeo on the cover of Elle Decor and Gerard on the cover of AD.

  5. Scott I am so impressed and off to see what the other faves of mine have done!!

    Art by Karena

  6. Great set of decor schemes you put together, Scott!

  7. these are gorgeous, perhaps (well it is obvious) over the client's head, but isn't that a bit what its about-getting them to stretch? His is a yawn. I can not wait to see the other participants-always love these virtual rooms-and these are fantastic, That office and dining area especial favourites! pgt

  8. Scott,
    I love the fact that you'd never heard of Gerard Butler - and yes I find that a good thing. Not knowing who he is is testament to the fact that you have more important things to do with your time like living life for instance instead of WATCHING it in a movie and living vicariously through it like so many of us Americans have been guilty of including myself at times. So you have nothing to feel sheepish about. As for Gerard's interior at the Chelsea loft, it doesn't surprise me that the interior designer for his loft was also a set designer. His loft looks literally like something out of a movie set as you've indicated by mentioning the over-the-top lighting. Everything looks very artificial, not only like a movie set, but very much like a hotel in Vegas where the authenticity takes a back seat and everything is duplicated. And while I am not an interior designer and most likely my taste would be questionable, I love your choices to redesign and I would agree that a more simple approach is more befitting - less is more being the theme. A lot of celebs including the late Gianni Versace and Valentino made the mistake of making their interior homes WAY to busy - Valentino especially (uggh). It's nice to have nice pieces, but too much is horrific to the eyes and actually takes away from each piece in the end. So not only do I commend the choice I commend the simplicity. BRAVO!

  9. We need to send this directly to Mr. Gorgeous..opps I mean Mr. Butler straight away. You nailed this loft with great abandon. I absolutely love what you've designed down to the Federal style bulls-eye mirror, the pair of mid-century wall lamps, to the amazing dining table. It's the mix of European, mid-century luxe that is so elegant and timeless. Scott your fabulous! xx

  10. Renee -It wouldn't surprise me! Yes, Mr. Butler is quite easy on the eyes, as they say : )

    Magnolia_Mer -I'm not sure, but I was less shocked that A.D. chose a photo of G.B. sans footwear, than I was by the choice to use a photo highlighting his crotch. Oh, A.D...

    Karena -Thanks! No doubt those fine ladies will have some spectacular ideas!

    Will@Bright Bazaar -Thanks, I'm glad you dig them!

    Little Augury -Thanks! Yeah, I doubt very much that what I chose would be something that Gerard Butler would be into, but decided to have fun with my virtual "client"! : )

    Jamin -Thanks for the compliment and the comments.

    Dumbwit Tellher -ha ha ha, thank you!

  11. Scott - Your rooms have much more personality than the ones in the AD article. His loft looks like a movie set. Yours looks like a place a real person with real style would live in. A great mix of classic and modern! Some of it is sort of steampunk-ish in my opinion.

  12. Hi Scott,
    love your presentation, so many great things that are fabulous!! Also glad to have a great new blog to follow - bises- Jaclyn

  13. Wow, Im impressed I see your modern side coming out... look at how talented you are !

  14. How long did all that take you, Scott. I'd have thrown in the towel after the first one

  15. I feel so much better now. After the article, I had little hope for Mr. Butler. I see now that you could fix his loft up in the wink of an eye. Bravo!!!!! Love it all...no question.

  16. Love what Renee & Deb at Dumbwit had to say, and your responses. Can you even imagine being a guest at this freaking place? Your designs are so superior to the set decorator's.
    LOL & xx's

  17. LOL, I feel so sorry for Mr. Butler's designer. Never has a decorating job been so thoroughly pilloried in the public forum (and it is awful, and I do agree with your astute observation that AD's lighting style only makes it worse (what is it with that magazine? It just gets stupider and stupider---are you reading this, SI Newhouse?). Your re-design is terrific---I'd hire you in a heartbeat for that mix.

    As for not knowing who Gerard Butler is, turn in your gay card immediately.

    The barefoot thing must have been Paige Rense's feeble attempt to be 'with it' and imitate Elle Decor.----this barefoot thing started in Elle Decor a few years back, and one can only assume Margaret Russell has a serious foot fetish, as practically every issue since has featured at least one spread with the hunky hubby barefoot----including one in a suit thusly.

  18. I think this is perfection. Unpredictable and unpretentious. Classic. Not a trend in site. I'm a fan.


  19. WoW! A hot topic,, I go along with Renee.
    Was it a Set designer or an interior designer.

    Maybe that's the reason for the props.

  20. If the virtual client doesn't want to crawl through the screen and live here, may I? Love the mix.

  21. Hi Scott -- Nice to be back at your blog again. :-)
    Funny, I just got through looking at that AD piece on G. Butler while in Vancouver, and I remember thinking that while the style was pretty over-the-top and not my particular style, I couldn't help but somehow admiring this straight guy (or not?) with a penchant for such meaty roles so obviously enjoying a style most straight guys wouldn't touch, let alone opt for. Liberace will be looking on in envy from the heavens. Or livid that someone has purloined his style!