Archive for December 2018

Giuliana and Bill Rancic’s Idyllic Idaho Vacation Home Is the Ultimate Urban Lodge

December 31st, 2018

There’s a collective exhale as you walk into Giuliana and Bill Rancic’s Idaho vacation home in Gozzer Ranch. Perhaps that’s because, upon entering the 4,900-square-foot home perched on the side of Lake Coeur d’Alene—which National Geographic chose as one of the top five lakes in the world—you’re smacked with breathtaking water views through the crystal-clear all-glass folding wall in the cathedral-ceiling great room.

“People have no idea what they are getting into because you can’t see the view from the street,” Bill says of their northwestern hideaway. “Then, when you walk in that front door and turn your head it’s like, wow.”

 It didn’t start that way, however. When Bill and Giuliana—who returned as cohost to E! Newsin September—first purchased the home in August 2016, it needed a major overhaul. “The house was not our style and had these tiny windows so that you couldn’t see the amazing view,” Bill says. “We completely changed everything.”

The couple knocked out the back wall to create a seamless indoor-outdoor living space, revamped the kitchen, ripped out built-ins, and added thoughtful design elements that reflected a more rustic minimalism style. “I wanted to have that cabin feel,” Giuliana says, “but we wanted to keep it really clean, beautiful, and simple.”

To succeed in that vision, the Rancics worked with interior designer Lonni Paul, who was also at the helm of the pair’s homes in Brentwood, California, and Chicago, as well as a handful of other projects. Paul took Bill’s passion for lake views, Giuliana’s “rustic minimalism” mantra, and added in her own ideas of “easy living” to create the ultimate urban lodge.

The result: a home filled with a blend of high-end statement pieces and inexpensive yet functional décor that enhances the property’s natural beauty. The great room, for example, is outfitted with white sofas from Highland House, but covered in performance fabric from Lonni Paul for Duralee. “I wanted their [six-year-old] son, Duke, to come in from the boat with dirty feet and lay on the sofa without anyone worrying,” Paul says. “It’s supposed to be a place for the family to relax and not fuss.”

The furniture, along with the oversize tree-trunk coffee table from Phillips Collection, was also chosen because of its low profile, so that nothing would obstruct the view. “We wanted to make sure that when you’re standing there, you can see the lake,” adds Paul. “Even the lanterns on the Palecek console table are open so they won’t interfere with your sight line.”

So the home’s precious vistas remain intact, sure, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some eye-catching design elements indoors as well. Suspended from the ceiling is an antler chandelier from CDN Antler Designs and a pop of hot pink comes courtesy of the custom neon sign that hangs over the bar.

“I get my crazy ideas late at night,” Giuliana says. “So I texted Lonni at like midnight saying I wanted a neon sign because it’s not something you typically see in a cabin.” Paul was on board, and they decided to use a saying from the Giuliana’s Italian heritage: cent’anni. “It means a toast to 100 years of life, health, good times, happiness, and love,” Giuliana adds.

The craziest idea of all, perhaps, was to create a DIY Instagrammable log wall. “When we removed these big built-in bookshelves near the fireplace, we were left with a hole,” says Giuliana, who also launched her skin care line, Fountain of Truth, early last month. “I thought it could be fun to fill it with logs. We spent days sanding and gluing each log, which we found on Etsy, into place to create a unique showpiece. Now, when people first come in, they ask to take a picture in front of the wall.” Anything for the Gram, right?

The rest of the five-bedroom house follows suit with that simple yet bold balance. The master bedroom has a similar neutral color palette to the great room, but in the master bath, the space gets some modern flair from the sculptural Kohler tub replete with—what else—lake views.

Duke’s room has a traditional bunk bed but gets a playful touch from a bear-shaped bookcase and lighting. And the outdoor patio has a full living and dining furniture set that’s topped off with a high-definition TV.

“We keep those back doors open most of the time, so the indoors really just flows outside,” says Bill. “I get up really early, have my espresso, and watch CNBC out there.”

Giuliana opts to sleep in before joining her husband of ten years with a latte and cozy blanket. “Bill and I chat for a while before Duke gets up,” says the mom of one. “Then once he does, we have breakfast out there together.”

She adds: “This place is really special, and we’re so happy with how it turned out. It’s one thing to see it in pictures, but to actually live in it, be in it, and breathe it—it’s just an incredible feeling. We are truly creating beautiful memories as a family.”

This story was published in Architectural Digest in November 2018.


Artist Ugo Rondinone and Poet John Giorno Craft a Placid Long Island Paradise

December 28th, 2018

They weren’t looking for a new house. In the summer of 2014, artist Ugo Rondinone and his partner, poet John Giorno, were visiting Rondinone’s dealer Barbara Gladstone on the North Fork of Long Island when the gallerist received a call from her real-estate agent rhapsodizing about a home that had quietly come on the market. The house—an awkward yet magnificently situated 1960s structure designed by the original homeowners—was not far from Gladstone’s place, so the group set off on an impromptu scouting trip.

“We already had a house in Sullivan County. This was just for fun. But the view of the sound was unbelievable—an incredible panorama of water and sky,” recalls the Swiss-born, New York–based Rondinone, whose résumé boasts such monumental public works as the site-specific desert installation Seven Magic Mountains near Las Vegas, and Human Nature, an ensemble of nine colossal stone figures placed in New York City’s Rockefeller Center in 2013. “Also, John had spent a lot of time on Long Island as a child, so for him this house was a homecoming,” the artist notes, describing the siren call of the seaside retreat.

After Rondinone acquired the property, his first impulse was to manipulate the structure to embrace the stunning view through expansive decks, glass walls, and windows. To that end, he enlisted the services of architect Neil Logan, who has worked with many artists. “Architecturally, the house was not very figured out,” Logan says with a touch of diplomacy. “The circulation was bizarre, and there were lots of dead ends. Ultimately we decided to tear almost everything out and start fresh. The only thing we kept was the stair.”

An artist’s home typically carries an additional burden of expectation that it somehow reflect and illuminate the owner’s practice. In the case of Rondinone—whose work varies broadly in medium, scale, and materials, and frequently pivots between euphoria and melancholy—the search for insight is all the more compelling. “One of Ugo’s great talents is sculpture. He has a clear vision about form and space, which he thinks about endlessly,” Giorno says. Logan adds, “Ugo has a very strong design sense. It was important to make the house look and feel like an Ugo work, not a Logan one.”

Perhaps the most eloquent expression of Rondinone’s ethos is the immense deck that stretches out along the sound in the rear of the house, where it encompasses a minimalist lap pool, and to the side of the structure, where it expands into a sprawling podium with apertures meticulously cut around tree trunks and limbs. “I wanted to make a stage for the trees so that they become the sculpture,” the artist explains. “Also, we didn’t want to step in the grass too much for fear of ticks,” he says on a more practical note.

Inside, the mood is one of exquisite serenity and simplicity. Marine plywood furniture and cabinetry of Rondinone’s design—some lacquered white, others left raw—are juxtaposed with old farm tables and chairs as well as eccentric Louis XV–style antiques stripped of gilding and paint and seemingly bleached by the sun. Many of the vintage decorative elements, like the array of 19th-century oil lamps in the pared-down kitchen, came from Giorno’s mother’s collection. High-low pairings such as IKEA sofas draped in handwoven John Robshaw Textiles throws maintain the unpretentious, beach-friendly ambience.

Only one artist is represented in the house. Rondinone first discovered the work of Louis Eilshemius, an idiosyncratic, largely overlooked American romantic, at a 2001 exhibition at the National Academy of Design in New York. Mesmer-ized by Eilshemius’s depictions of moonlit landscapes, alluring nymphs, and dreamy maritime scenes, Rondinone began collecting the work in earnest and now owns about 40 of his paintings. “They felt right for this house,” the artist declares.

Peter Marino Creates a Layered, Art-Filled Model Unit at The Getty

December 26th, 2018

“I design inside/out,” says AD100 architect and designer Peter Marino. This holistic approach has become a hallmark of Marino’s work on projects from private residences to luxury retail flagships. It is perhaps nowhere more on display, though, than at The Getty, the luxury condominium building Marino has designed along New York’s High Line. Following completion of the structure, Marino looked to the inside, lending his discerning eye to the finishes, fixtures, and floor plans of the building’s five units (four full-floor residences and one triplex penthouse). And, finally, he outfitted it, appointing a model unit in the building to his own exacting standards.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Marino project without art—and here, the architect has ensured his building is always full of good art: Lehmann Maupin bought the gallery space on the first two floors and the Tom Hill Art Foundation will occupy the third and fourth. “Chelsea is known as the premier art gallery neighborhood in New York, and with The Getty it makes complete sense that art is integrated into every aspect of the building, in terms of apartment living,” Marino explains. Unsurprisingly, art leaks into the model unit, too: Lehmann Maupin has placed a selection of work within the space, where they interact with the interiors in trademark Marino fashion.

Marino’s eye for art has informed other aspects of the interior design, too: Each unit in the building is unique in layout and color palette, with some 30 stone varieties used throughout. Bathrooms swathed in variegated marble add a depth of texture, and unusual wood grains add a natural warmth. “The purchaser is drawn into the creative process by being able to select a one-of-a-kind residence,” explains the architect. “The buyer becomes the curator.”

And, Marino hopes, these buyers will be more literal curators, too; he’s made it easy enough for them with the likes of reinforced art walls and gallery-approved lighting tracks. “The very real value of what I bring to architecture is my fine-art background and my interest in fine arts, my involvement with artists, and the way my career was launched with artists,” Marino explains. “For the apartments, you have double-height ceilings, an abundance of natural light, and designated art walls that are reinforced to support hanging and installation.”

Of course, with floor-to-ceiling windows onto Manhattan (the building’s façade is more than 40 percent glass), there’s another kind of unofficial artwork at play, too: the views. “Residents have an immediate connection to the adjacent High Line Park and, from the upper floors, Hudson River views,” says Marino.

“Both directions—views out and views from the High Line—were considered,” he explains. “The Getty, with is sculptural façade, is on one of the last corner parcels in Chelsea, and at night when illuminated, it becomes a lantern for the elevated High Line and former railroad bed just beyond.” A work of art in itself.