June 23rd, 2003
At home with Gillian Anderson: Modern London Living
The X Files star's Notting Hill home is a mix of opulence and artful eccentricity
American-born actress Gillian Anderson, a.k.a. The X Files' sexy special agent Dana Scully, bought her three-story apartment last year when she was appearing onstage in the London production of What the Night is For. She transformed her home from a typical London Old World townhouse to a strikingly modern escape in the trendy Notting Hill area, with the help of design consultant Christine Kennedy of the firm Kennedy Marks. It's purely modern, from the bright color scheme to the one-of-a-kind design touches.
"When I think of normal, I think of mediocrity," says Gillian, of her decor style. "And mediocrity scares the heck out of me!"
Gillian, the mother of 8-year-old Piper, recently became engaged to British journalist and documentary filmmaker Julian Ozanne, whom she will wed this September. And the actress has no plans to move stateside anytime soon: The three want to spend as much time as possible in Gillian's exotic, romantic and purely original city home.
Celebrity decorator Doug Wilson of Trading Spaces weighs in:
"This house is the accummulation of a great deal of work and dedication. It shows Gillian sees her home as a treasured work of art."
The highlight of Gillian's living room is her illuminated lacquered wall. "The amount of colors it took to get it just right was unbelievable," she recalls. "It started out with red, then green. After a total of 18 coats, it was perfect."
Gillian's real passion is for her art collection. "The very first check I got from The X Files went towards buying my first piece," she explains.
This hand-painted antique wardrobe dresser is a focal point of the bedroom. A Japanese theater costume hangs on the front, a decor statement that combines Gillian's love of design with her passion for acting.
Gillian by Lorenzo Agius/Corbis Outline:
Gillian, who also has homes in LA and Canada, says that when she moved to her London flat, she threw a housewarming party where everyone was asked to bring a book instead of a bottle of wine. "I had this idea that all my booksheleves would suddenly become full," she explains.
The bathroom off the master suite has purple walls, antique mini-chandeliers and a mahogany-framed mirror. Gillian adds ambiance with her favorite candles and keeps the surfaces clutter-free.
The bedroom walls are overlaid with gold-leaf designs on the wallpaper. The bed's headboard was found by Gillian and designer Christine Kennedy on one of their many shopping trips to London's famous Portobello Road Flea Market. It's part of an old fair sign. Note the Scully doll on her bedside table!
The home's redesign began in the kitchen, which is located on the top floor. It has a contemporary Moroccan feel. The patterened glass windows and the bright colors add charm. The room was expanded in a dining/lounge area. "When we have guests, it's great to have a mini-lounge that can be opened or closed off," Gillian says.
The courtyard garden is reminiscent of a Spanish-style patio. Gillian likes to unwind here from the hustle and bustle of busy city living.
Doug's final thoughts:
"This home took six months to decorate, but to do a job like this it can even take longer. Don't rush or expect too much to be done quickly. As we can see, the results are worth it. Decorate from the heart - with color and richness."
Transcript provided by alfornos and appears courtesy of In Touch Magazine.