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“Chaotic.” That’s how Jamie Clayton (L Word: Generation Q, Sense8) describes her L.A. apartment before she began working with interior designer and architect Davide Casaroli last year. “She’s very colorful and joyful,” says Casaroli, and her furnishings, collected by the actress over the years, reflected that.
But because there was so much “going on,” as the designer puts it, Casaroli decided to pare back the number of pieces in the apartment while also adding structure and grounding the living room with a large oval rug from Woven.
“She gave me so much freedom,” says Casaroli. “The main theme was using her great pieces, everything that she loves, everything that is a story to her, and then we made it more functional, and we created more seating in the living room, which I wanted to be one space with different sitting areas.” To create extra flow in the space, Casaroli moved Clayton’s blue, whimsically patterned Matthew Williamson for Duresta sofa away from the wall. “You can go around the sofa 360 degrees,” says the designer. The actress bought the couch in London at Harrods while filming Sense8. “It was a big splurge,” she says.
Other stand-out pieces include a bronze botanical sculpture by Kenneth Tilly (found at L.A.’s Mimi London showroom); a Lucite chair from Jeff Messerschmidt’s Pipeline Series (“That was a huge score for me,” says Clayton); a “classic” Saarinen tulip table and vintage swivel chairs reupholstered in a rich gray. “They are surprisingly comfortable,” says the actress.
Now, says Clayton (who next stars as Pinhead in Spyglass and Hulu’s reboot of Hellraiser), “your eye is drawn to specific pieces, not 20 different things. There was a flamboyance to my place that Davide helped refine. He had a beautiful way to make everything work together and tell an overall story.” Or, as Casaroli puts it, “I took her down a notch, and she took me three notches up.”
Clayton and Casaroli had been friends before working together; the two met in Los Angeles. “I had done season one of Sense8 and it hadn’t come out yet, and I’m a little workhorse and I don’t like having time off,” recalls Clayton, “and I took a job working at Moschino. I’m friends with [Moschino creative director] Jeremy [Scott] and they were opening up the Moschino shop on Beverly. And Davide came in shopping and we just completely hit off.” In addition to Moschino, Clayton notes that her favorite fashion labels include Dries van Noten and Maison Margiela. “Everything that Martin [Margiela] did was genius, and I love what [creative director] John [Galliano] is doing now. And Dries is amazing with his prints and this sort of flamboyant approach to clothes.”
Casaroli — who was born and grew up in Italy, where he studied architecture before moving to L.A. eight years ago — also served as the art curator for the project. “Jamie is an art collector, and we had a lot of fun. We went to different places in L.A., and we ended up working with the Luis De Jesus art gallery, a great gallery downtown. They have amazing artists and most of them are LGBTQ — and they really care about diversity, which is something that both me and Jamie love. Every single piece is powerful, from Zackary Drucker’s self-portrait in the living room to three pieces from Josh Reames. I love them a lot.”
Adds Clayton, “The one thing that I just think is really important is to support working artists. Art can be expensive, but there are ways to access art via Instagram. A lot of the art that I have in the apartment are artists that I found on Instagram or from friends in New York.”
A version of this story first appeared in the Dec. 1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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