Douglas Friedman Reveals It All for Architectural Digest
In this month’s Architectural Digest, Douglas Friedman has three different stories that each delves into the lives of unique people. Norman and Norah Stone’s brick San Francisco mansion, Brigette and Mark Romanek’s Laurel Canyon family home, and Jessica Chastain’s New York City apartment are all created around the lives of the people who live here, making each space a revelation of who that person is. These three projects show how truly revealing a space can be.
When Douglas traveled to San Francisco to meet with the Stones it was to ultimately walk into their old school brick home whose inside is completely different from the outside. “Listen, Norman and Norah Stone are a legendary couple in San Francisco and in the international art world,” says Douglas. “The home is very traditional and then you walk in and they have meticulously restored it and filled it with the most incredibly brave collection of contemporary art. You’re in someone’s personal museum. Then to be working with Norman and Norah who are just the most fascinating creatures… truly amazing people.” Living in a museum doesn’t so much change a person as it does give a hint to the kind of people that would live there. Douglas found two collaborators who were generous, sophisticated, with rich senses of humor. The perfect partners.
Southwards in LA Douglas met up with Brigette and Mark Romanek and their family. Like the Stone’s, they had curated an amazing collection of beautiful things, but for this growing family the space has a different set of needs. Their home was immediately inviting. “This felt like it had a very specific point of view: Bridgette’s. Her ability to find a narrative with all of this stuff was incredible,” says Douglas. “One of the amazing things about her home is it’s not precious - in a good way. You don’t feel like you’re required to take your shoes off. Even though you probably should because everything in there is so fine.” Douglas photographed the entire family in their own spaces. It was personal, comfortable, and intimate.
On the opposite coast, Douglas got access to Jessica Chastain’s New York City apartment and what he found behind her front door is not what he was expecting at all. “There’s something fascinating about dipping into the life of a celebrity, especially someone who is so famous and has this incredible ability to conceal who she is,” says Douglas. “And it was so unexpected to walk into her home and be like ‘Wow, this is who Jessica Chastain the person is.’" Even though Chastain wasn’t with Douglas every step of the way he learned from the choices that she made about what went into her space and how she arranged it around herself. This is a woman whose job it is to disappear into the lives of other people, but when she comes home it’s all about her.
Every space reveals the truth about the person who lives there and designs it around their needs, and no one can read that language better than Douglas Friedman.