Design of Rihanna's 'California King Bed' Video Explained

The singer’s creative director shares new secrets with THR about the making of the video.
Courtesy Stew Design Workshop

If there was ever a piece of furniture that was the star of a music video, it’s the massive California King Bed that appears, naturally, in Rihanna’s just-released video for “California King Bed.”
 
The singer’s creative director Ciarra Pardo tellsTHR that the custom bed is 18 feet long and was designed with a special feature to transport Rihanna the full distance from one side to the other. “There’s a moment where she and the guy in the video are right next to each other and caressing each other and seconds later she’s at the other edge of the bed. It was rigged with a plank that was under her and built so that it would float over the sheets.”
 
The video has also sparked interior design lust across the web. It’s almost entirely set in the bedroom, a modern space flooded with golden coastal sun, hung with softly swaying gauzy curtains and dominated by that impossibly cozy looking bed. But reports that the spot was shot at a real California beach house are wrong. “Originally we were supposed to shoot at a location and just timing wise we couldn’t sort if out,” says Pardo. Instead, the one-day shoot was done on March 16, 2001 on a stage in West Hollywood. A sandy beach — located just steps from the bedroom — was even hauled in and planted with sea grass.
 
“The whole set was supposed to feel like we were in this tranquil, almost tropical, kind of romantic setting. We were going for this modern, architectural feel down to the stone which was sculpted out of foam and meant to look like this dark travertine,” says interior designer Charles Infante, the video’s production designer.
 
The other design star of the video is the sculptural chair that Rihanna curls up on. The smoothly shaped piece is called the Strata chair, made by Stew Design by Twentieth, and it’s made from 48 laminated rings of plywood which created different “strata” of color. The chair — which is collected by, among other people, Dole Foods chairman and Four Seasons Westlake founder David Murdock — retails for $6800 through Twentieth Art and Design (8057 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, 323-904-1200).
 
So what Rihanna herself sleep on? Only one thing would be approrpiate : “It’s a California king bed,” confirms Pardo.