This article was previously published in the October 2013 issue of ELLE DECOR magazine. For more stories from our archive, subscribe to EL DECOR Full access.
Cameron Diaz she is that rare actress who rides the surfboard as convincingly as she does on the red carpet. Whether it’s a rogue wave or a commercial, the tall, blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty with a dazzling smile shines with charm both on and off screen. So it makes sense that when the time came rethink the interior of your apartment in the West Village in Manhattan, Diaz addressed the reigning queen of the West Coast, Kelly Westlerto give the space a healthy dose of Hollywood swagger.
Diaz found a kindred spirit in Whistler. “My love for shiny things stems from my Cuban heritage,” says the Southern California actress.
who recalls his formative years on the beach due to his tomboyish behavior. But I also wanted a place that was very welcoming, very tactile. Kelly is second to none when it comes to creating this mix.”
Diaz, whose breakthrough role was in the 1998 comedy, Mad about Mary She owned the 2,400-square-foot pre-war apartment for several years before deciding to follow the momentum she received when she first saw the house, which had all-white rooms decorated in a vaguely nautical theme.
“I knew right away that the space needed color,” she says. Passionate about design — she recently took over as art director for clothing and accessories brand Pour La Victoire — Diaz spent her time collecting photos of rooms she liked instead of hiring a designer right away. “Most of them were made by Kelly,” adds Diaz. No wonder, given Whistler’s penchant for an abundance of color in every room she creates. ForCameron Diaz apartment he chose shades of polished metals and shiny minerals: malachite, onyx, rose gold, silver and copper.
“The palette reflects Cameron herself: she’s innately sexy without being overly flashy,” says Whistler, who sees Diaz as more of a collaborator than a client. “Cameron has great taste and understands how colors work and why quality pieces make a room special,” adds the designer. After all, there are few professional chefs who would agree with the fearless combination of unpainted brass countertops and emerald green cabinets in the kitchen. “This is the first room I see when I walk through the door, and this the place where i spend a lot of time, especially in the morning,” says Diaz, “I love that the counters show every drop of water and every wedge of lemon juice squeezed. They give soul to the environment.”
The kitchen may be her favorite place during the day, but at dusk it becomes the living room, when the space is at its most seductive, and the bespoke rose petal wallpaper and mirrored walls radiate such light that everyone looks like a movie star. “It’s a bit like living in a silk-lined box.” adds Diaz.
In fact, Wearstler loves me. links to fashion and jewelry — she recently updated her clothing and accessory lines to include leather, jeans, jewelry and clutches — and makes sure they’re in every room. Lamps made of colorful glass and embossed metal decorate rooms as famously as earrings. In the luxurious bathroom, an elaborate mesh of bronze handles is strung onto the storage space like beads on a necklace. The incredible brooch may have been the inspiration for the leaf-shaped glass candle holders that adorn the dining table.
Silk sheets, a bed frame and a ruffled headboard adorn the bed in the master bedroom, where a snow-white mohair upholstered armchair is reminiscent of seventies fashion. In the hallway, a hand-rubbed onyx plaster wall covering looks like a wonderful worn leather wallet. And, like the best fashion, the rooms are luxurious inside. The drawers are trimmed in black raw silk, the backs of the doors are trimmed with hammered metal, and the insides of the cabinets are finished with custom wallpaper or glossy paint.
For both women, the completion of the project was bittersweet. “I learn something new with every client, but Cameron taught me to be more sensitive to touching fabrics and textures,” says Whistler. “She was so involved in every step, in every choice, that I am pleased with how the project represents her in the best way.”
As for Diaz, if acting doesn’t work out for her, she could continue her passion for design on a professional level. “I will really miss the four-hour meetings with Kelly. I need to look, touch and talk about beautiful things,” she says.
At the moment, however, he is waiting for the release of his next film, Another womandirected by Nick Cassavetes. And he is happy to have a place to truly call home in New York: “I am surrounded by things that matter to me. That’s what it means to be at home.”
This article appeared in the October 2013 issue of ELLE DECOR magazine.