Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Al Gore, design maven

The Huffington Post reports:
Al and Tipper Gore have picked up a $8.875M luxury getaway in Montecito, CA; a swanky zip code that has attracted big name residents like Oprah Winfrey, Steve Martin, and Kirk Douglas. Records show that the approximately 6,500 sq. foot home boasts 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, a large pool house, 6 fireplaces, wood framed french doors, and carved stone detailing throughout. Check out the slideshow and see what you think: tacky or tasteful.
The photos aren’t very clear in the slideshow – they are much better at the source of the story, The Real Estalker. One comment there suggests that this is not in fact the Gores’ new residence, but no one at the Gore-friendly Huffington Post thinks so. And they would know.

But what strikes me is not the arguable hypocrisy (six fireplaces) but the lamentable taste, inside and out. Vulgar, or what?

If I had $US 8.875 million I could do a lot better than this. I’d choose one of my architect friends – Jane Aimer, Patrick Clifford, Marshall Cook, David Mitchell and Julie Stout, or Malcolm Walker – to design me something for a fraction of that, and get my wife to decorate it. And it would so not be in Montecito.


Keri H said...

Struth, what a vile pile...that much money could buy taste, elegance, treasures and even cosiness. And they've settled for environmentally-damaging blearrgh.

Little Tinker said...

Before you get prissily judgemental, recall that these are of course the previous owner's furnishings and decoration.

It's typical California taste and California prices, and rather charming of its type. Certainly the building and landscaping are nicer than most New Zealand houses.

For an insight into Californian architecture I suggest you read Joan Didion's essay on Ronald Reagan's new house (in her White Album).

Keri H said...

one person's 'charming of its type' is this person's vile pile - and throw in grossly ostentacious to boot...

And, thank you for the reference, but I shall not bother.

Stephen Stratford said...

You are quite right, Little Tinker, these are not the Gores' own drapes and furniture. But they are, I feel, sadly symptomatic of how these people live. Do you really think that Tipper would change much?

Every time I see photos of the interior of a squillionaire rock star's house, I think, "How tragic." They are never modern. Doesn't matter whether the rock star is from the US or UK, from the 60s, 70s, 80 or 90s, they all go for this faux-baronial look.