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The heat is on!

September 1, 2009

So the heat is on…only 2 weeks to go until we have to have our greenroom ready for its close-up and my office is all hands to the pump.

We have had exciting news this week that our magnificent rug, Mamounia, that I custom-designed with The Rug Company exclusively for the AD Greenroom, has just been cut from the loom in Tibet and is now off for its final stage of being washed. This process will give the rug its luster. Once the silk is washed, it takes on a spectacular sheen that makes the rug appear luminous, exhibiting the qualities as to why we chose silk as our desired material.

My wood carver also just finished the intricate mousharabia screen work that will be inlayed into the mirror panels and the front of our bar. Now they go to the finisher, where he will distress them to give them an aged look and hand color the wood to make it appear many centuries old. All our fabrics have arrived from Schumacher now, ranging from raw silks to linens to finely embroidered Suzanis. Because of the strict laws with the Los Angeles Fire Department, all the fabrics must be flame-proofed before we start upholstering with them and creating our splendid backstage tent.

My own new fabric—“Marrakesh,” featured in the October issue of Architectural Digest—has just arrived after being custom-colored for the tent walls in rich olives, navy blues and burnt Turkish reds. I love the color so much, I am going to add it to my line once the Emmys are over. And after much thought, I have decided to paint the paneling that frames the tent walls in a beautiful custom-mixed Turkish red rather than my original idea to stain it in a medium walnut tone. I feel the paint color will give more to the overall presence of the room.

We have picked fabulous exotic tables from 1stdibs vendors J. F. Chen. These Syrian and Turkish tables are inlaid with rare mother of pearl, camel bone, ebony and tortoise shell. All are antiques (all are more than 100 years old), made when such materials were commonplace luxury items at the time. These tables will sparkle like jewels in my decorative scheme.

Matt, my architect, and I went to meet the amazing set builders from Scenic Express and had the most wonderful experience. These guys are full-fledged professionals and understood my vision perfectly. They will be building the tented greenroom and as such are a vital element to this whole process. It was such a pleasure to meet them and they completely put my mind to rest. These guys have built some of the most amazing sets in tinseltown and have worked hand-in-hand with Architectural Digest for years now on the greenrooms. They tell me they love the chance to work with the AD 100 designers in creating fresh and exciting spaces for these events. I was really pleased when they loved my vision for this year.

Another very important meeting took place in my office today with the lighting director. This year is very tricky because of my extra-high ceiling (double the height of any previous greenroom) and the quantity of fabric involved. It is vital that the lighting be ambient and highlight the special feature areas while allowing perfect viewing for the screens that will air the telecast live inside the room. Our Moorish sconces and chandelier will provide character lighting to the space, but drama will be achieved via hidden lights located within the folds of the fabric in the ceiling and some soft flush lighting located in the floor to flush a glow up upon the mirrored panels mounted on the walls. He assures me that it will be magical, but still I’m going to be there to oversee the magic just to put my mind to rest. After all, perfect lighting for this Hollywood crowd is vital!

Another fabulous problem was solved this week when our friends from Edelman Leather agreed to us using their magnificent naturally tanned eco-friendly leather floor tiles. These beautiful 4” x 4” tiles all have natural pigmentation that makes each one individual and will give the overall floor a special character of its own. Although not easy to install on a stage set, we have overcome this problem by planning to pre-lay them on boards that will be assembled and glued together on-site. I am very excited to see this! I have always wanted to use a leather floor, so this is a special pleasure for me. Edelman Leather is one of my favorite leather suppliers and their commitment to being ecologically correct is marvelous. They have a spectacular array of exotic skins and pressed leathers with a fine American history behind them. We are truly honored to have them as a part of this event.

To crown this most busy of days we have received the hand-carved “Cher” sofas, so called because I originally made them for the legendary star’s home in the Hollywood hills. The design of these magnificent pieces is based on maharaja thrones, and each one has been painted in deep red and ebony with gold-leaf details rubbed and aged to a perfect patina. Tomorrow they will go to my upholsterer, Constance Posse, to be covered in Tulah silk from Schumacher, a finely woven raw silk in natural tones.

Our final task this week is to contact the caterers as I want to theme the food to match the interiors. Delicious tasty Moroccan style nibbles presented on an array of hand-painted dishes and platters from Casablanca that I am having imported specially for the event. I want our room this year to tantalize all the senses, thus transporting our special guests to the ultimate Architectural Digest oasis!

One Comment leave one →
  1. annie kelly permalink
    September 5, 2009 10:34 am

    Love your column! You should keep going after the Emmys!

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