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Elle Decoration
May 2003

Palatial, modern exotic & opulent, the London home of actress Gillian Anderson is everything but ordinary.

"When I think of normal, I think of mediocrity," say Gillian. "And it scares the **** out of me!" Well, there's certainly nothing mediocre about this home. A fabulously opulent theme runs throughout, with touches of eccentricity and a strong eye for what works -- from the Moroccan den to the lounge with its gentleman�s club vibe to the Christian Lacroix-style kitchen, the richly decorated boudoir, reminiscent of Moulin Rouge, and the Spanish-style courtyard garden. "Gillian had a very clear idea of what she wanted," said design consultant Christine Kennedy. Which is just as well, as the house had to be completed in time for the opening night of What the Night is For -- a matter of just 24 weeks.

The redesign began in the kitchen, on the top floor. "We started here and worked our way down," says Christine. "Gillian wanted the room next door to have a Moroccan feel, so that was the key to the rest of the house." The kitchen, painted by Curtis Bran, who did all the homes decorative finishes, is a colour spectacular, with its hints of electric blue, cerise, emerald and Gillian's favourite -- the ceiling. "I have always wanted a shiny, aubergine ceiling and that�s what I got. I think I saw the same thing in a restaurant once and it stuck with me," she says. The room was knocked through (with the help of Joseph Bentkowski of Jump builders), into a shared dining/kitchen area. It was expanded further with folding glass screens that open to Gillian�s exotic cushioned snug. "When the guests are round it is great to have a mini Moroccan lounge that you can open up or close off."

Then there is the living room on the floor below, with its amazing inky-purple lacquered wall. "The amount of colours it took to get it just right was unbelievable," Gillian recalls. "I started out with red, then moved on to a green. You know I sat in front of the wall for such a long time. After 18 coats it was perfect."

Choosing a favourite room is a hard task. "There�s my bedroom," Gillian begins. "But that is not my favourite. I also love the living room. There is something about it in the evening, with the blue silk screens lit from behind and, of course, the dark lacquered wall." She pauses, "unfortunately I don�t spend as must time as I as I�d like in my house, but when I do everyone ends up in the kitchen."

Gillian's real passion is her art collection, which she brought over from the states, including Marcel Dzama�s "Drawings from Dante" which decorate the living room, and a piece by David Levanthal on the wall upstairs. "The very first cheques I got from The X-Files went towards my first piece, an etching by Canadian artist David Blackwood." Finally, not to be missed, is the Scully doll in the bedroom, also by artist David Levanthal. Barbie it ain't.
Transcript provided by Mo and appears courtesy of Elle Decoration.

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