“When I walked in, I couldn’t believe it. It was so beautiful.”
When Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas invested in a tony four-bedroom New York City apartment in 2004, her half brother, set decorator Clay Griffith, gave the Manhattan residence a 1940s feel. “It was fantastic,” says Griffith. “But I like to change things up. After 10 years, it was time. I wanted something crazier.”
What she got was 3,400 sq. ft. of Old Hollywood glamour infused with art deco influences and a touch of Griffith in every room. “She loves red, so everything has a splash of red,” says Griffith’s longtime friend and interior designer Kari Whitman. “It’s elegant and wild at the same time,” says the actress, 56. “It’s got more pizzazz.”
The apartment overhaul comes at a time when her home life is also going through major changes: Last month Griffith filed for divorce from Banderas, 53, after 18 years of marriage. Though they share homes in L.A. and Aspen, “I love being in the city,” says Griffith as she settles into a Ralph Lauren sofa in her living room. “I come as often as I can. For a long time we used to do Thanksgiving here because we could watch the parade and cook everything.” Griffith still enjoys having company, especially when it’s her daughters Dakota Johnson, 24, and Stella Banderas, 17, each of whom has a room in the apartment. “There’s lots of family, so it’s nice to have everybody come and chill out,” she says. “I don’t think it’s completely finished yet. But it’s a happy place.”
A (LIVING) ROOM WITH A VIEW
Griffith’s stunning vista of the skyline and Central Park.
1. DINING ROOM “I love them – they’re so cool,” says Griffith of the black lacquer walls, which were inspired by the Banksy painting over the mantel.
2. HOME OFFICE “I go in to do e-mails and make phone calls,” she says. “It’s so special.”
3. CONVERSATION CORNER “Melanie wanted a lot of little sitting areas, so for parties it isn’t like everybody is standing in the kitchen,” says Whitman. “Two people can have a conversation with the city lights in the background.”
4. DAKOTA’s ROOM “She doesn’t stay here very often, but she loves it,” says Griffith of her actress daughter’s space, which boasts a leather floor and walls covered in silver dust.
THE CELEBRITY INTERIOR DESIGNER SAYS THERE ARE ‘NO RULES’ WHEN IT COMES TO DECORATING
1 Be Creative
Mix old with new, inexpensive things with high-end. And mix things up. Your nightstands don’t have to match.
2 Take Risks
When you see something that gives you goose bumps, buy it. Splurge on art, vintage pieces and lighting, which hold their value and are great at resale.
If you find a couch that you like but hate the fabric, re-cover it. Find an inexpensive upholsterer and create a look you love.
4 Shop Outside the Box
I love swap meets, estate sales and the website 1stDibs. I found one of my favorite pieces at a Goodwill in Dallas for $75!
5 Collect Art
Art can give a vibe to any room, no matter if a piece is $25 or $250,000. Look for art that speaks to you.
My Favorite Room
A ROMANTIC PATIO. A BEDROOM WITH A PLAYFUL TWIST. A CHAOTIC BUT COZY KITCHEN. THREE TV PERSONALITIES REVEAL THEIR BELOVED SPOTS
“I wanted to make the outdoors feel like an indoor room,” says the Entertainment Tonight cohost, 48, of the “romantic” Mediterranean-style patio at her L.A. home. “I’m constantly changing the pillows on the chairs and the chaise lounge. I’m a little nutty over pillows. My husband [business executive Keith Zubchevich, 45] laughs at me. He’s like, ‘There’s no room to sit because you have so many!’ ” That never stops O’Dell from inviting friends over for food and football. “We have a television on the patio to watch my Clemson Tigers,” says the South Carolina native. “We always have Super Bowl parties. We barbecue a lot. It’s a good space for entertaining.” But O’Dell enjoys nothing more than simply relaxing outside after work with her daughter Ashby, 7 (she also has two stepsons, Tyler, 19, and Carson, 15). “I love to pile on the chaise with my little girl,” she says. “It’s our family spot.”
He may be a popular political pundit on Fox News, but at his Oyster Bay, N.Y., home, “I’m the breakfast guy,” says the Hannity host, 52. “My kids [Merri Kelly, 12, and Patrick, 15] love my pancakes and eggs. For years I would cook on Sundays, but I’ve turned it over to them. I want to make sure they can cook.” It’s a skill he picked up at their age. “I was a short-order cook at 13,” he says. “One Thanksgiving the cook quit, turkeys still in the oven. The owner of the restaurant threw me an apron and said, ‘You’re in!’ ” Which explains his style in the kitchen. “I’m full-speed. Everything’s finished at the same time.” He then puts the brakes on for cleanup. “I get to make a big mess while my wife [Jill, 51] handles the dishes,” he says. “She likes my cooking, so it’s all good!”
The Nickelodeon star owns a 2,600-sq.-ft. home in Studio City, Calif., but she really only nests in one spot. “My whole setup is bedroom-centric. I order a pizza, then set the box on my bed. I read in bed. I even have an office, but I never go in it to do work; I just plop my laptop on my bed,” says the 22-year-old actress. “It feels like a comfy little haven.” That wasn’t the case when she was the youngest of four growing up outside of Los Angeles. “My room was a cluttered mess, and I shared it with family,” she says. “Now having my own space, I wanted to go for a classy style. I had to tone down my playful side. My sister-in-law said, ‘You’re not going to have 74 Uglydolls sitting in here!’ ” The compromise? “I have one teddy bear on the bed, no matter what,” McCurdy says. “That’s just me.”