The Hollywood Reporter celebrated the opening of its “Design Hollywood at the Century" showhouse with an evening fete where Los Angeles’ top designers unveiled their completed rooms at The Century tower in Century City and shared their designs with their high profile clients and entertainment industry insiders.
Hosted by Janice Min, editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter, and Wallis Annenberg, president of The Annenberg Foundation, the event held at The Century just off Avenue of the Stars in Century City on Oct. 24 provided guests with the opportunity to tour the showhouse, which unfolds over two luxury condominiums on the 20th floor of The Related Companies’ 2-year-old tower, built by acclaimed firm Robert A.M. Stern Architects. The showhouse is open to the public Oct. 26 to Nov. 18, with tickets ($40) available for purchase online.
Many of the 14 designers chatted downstairs in The Century’s private lobby and patio, discussing the showhouse over drinks and passed appetizers. Among them were Waldo Fernandez, whose clients have included Darren Star, David Phoenix, who’s worked with Maria Shriver, Kathryn M. Ireland, whose clientele includes Steve Martin and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Cliff Fong, who designed Glee and American Horror Story show creator Ryan Murphy’s Beverly Hills house, which was featured on the cover in THR’s first annual design issue.
Murphy and two of his show’s stars – Glee’s Chris Colfer and The New Normal’s Bebe Wood -- toured the showhouse together, along with Fong, who designed a long, dark, winding passage in the showhouse.
Colfer, who plays Kurt Hummel on the hit Fox musical comedy, told THR that he was a fan of comfort when it came to design.
“Whenever there’s comforting colors or light colors, I’m a little more relaxed,” he said.
However, he admitted that his own home isn’t filled with the luxurious designs of the showhouse.
“Most of my furniture – it’s so embarrassing – has been furniture that I’ve had my entire life,” he told THR. “Just hand-me-downs that I painted and made work from my parents.”
But he was eying an item in Fong’s hallway that he wouldn’t mind adding to his own place.
“I saw this cockroach, this huge wooden cockroach, that I love,” he said. “Because I think it’d be cool just to have a roach, just to own it, and say, ‘I got roaches.’”
Murphy, however, wasn’t about to pick a favorite room in the 7,000 square foot complex.
“I can’t say, I’m friends with everybody – they’d kill me,” he told THR. “I think all the rooms are so beautifully done and you can tell it’s done with a lot of care and detail and love.”
Murphy, who let THR into his own Spanish-Style Beverly Hills house for the design issue cover story, said that the magazine spread was the closing chapter on the redesign of that house.
“I just feel like with the completion of this issue, I feel like we finished that house,” said Murphy, who shares the home with his husband David Miller. “I don’t know, maybe a baby and a nursery is in the future, maybe sometime next year.”
Also enjoying the festive atmosphere downstairs was Candy Spelling, who is renovating two floors in the tower purchased for $35 million. She sat quietly looking over photos of THR's showhouse with her designer, Robert Dally.
Dally, who has been working for Spelling for 40 years and is now her designer exclusively, said with a sly smile, “I’m better than all of them,” after seeing the showhouse upstairs.
Many of the 14 designers – who based each of their individual designs on a Hollywood icon -- were seeing their work at night for the first time.
Jane Hallworth who created a “thinking man’s den,” said her space had a very different feel without the light of day.
“During the day I think it looks more like a work space,” she told THR while visiting her space. “And I think at night it looks a little more like a salon – a little decadent."
Oliver M Furth, who, as one of THR’s “Designers to Watch” designed the private elevator vestibule, agreed that night changes everything in a space. “When the lights are off, so are all bets,” he said.
Furth added that he felt that the spaces “really work well together,” despite having been created by more than a dozen different designers. The 14 designers -- Joan Behnke, Tim Clarke, Waldo Fernandez, Cliff Fong, Trip Haenisch, Jane Hallworth, Kathryn M Ireland, Marmol Radzinger, Nickey Kehoe, David Phoenix, Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Natasha Baradaran, Oliver M. Furth and Adam Bram Straus – were brought together for this project by The Related Companies and THR’s Culture Editor, Degen Pener, who edited THR’s design issue.
“While we didn’t really consult with each other, 14 designers had similar concepts and overlapping ideas,” he said. “Sometimes I think there’s things in the ether.”
Sponsors of Wednesday’s event included The Related Companies, Audi, Beacon Hill, Calvin Klein Home, Circa Lighting, Clos-ette, Environment, Farrow & Ball, Grace Home Furnishings, Jean de Merry, The Rug Company, Shopbop, and Stark Carpet.
The showhouse is open Fridays (1 to 6 p.m.), Saturdays and Sundays (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) from Oct. 26 to Nov. 18, with ticket sales ($40) benefiting Beverly Hills' Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, set to open in 2013. For tickets, visit THR.com/designhollywood.