Wednesday, March 10, 2010
On Sunday, for my forthcoming column for the Las Vegas Weekly, I watched the Oscars with Roger Thomas. Thomas, of course, is Steve Wynn's chief designer who designed the green room at the Kodak Theatre for the Academy Awards show.
The home itself in Summerlin is a showpiece. In fact, in 2004 Architectural Digest profiled it. There's a slide show and article of it found on their site in which he discusses the designer, Mark Mack and some of the inspirations.
I, of course, am no design guru. As Roger talks about the provenance of each lovingly chosen piece of art and furnishing and shade of paint, I just let it wash over me as part of a sense that I will never attain or retain that sort of knowledge. Loads of that insight is in that AD piece.
So I'd rather point out some of the cool, fun things that I saw and learned, stuff that laypeople like me will find intriguing as well. Like, for instance, the fact that Thomas has an Andy Warhol...
...and a powder room with no wall mirror...
...and, surprisingly, a set of coasters from, uh, Banana Republic.
Another artist I was very familiar with was Tim Bavington, whose pieces are based on the sound metering of music. He's a Vegas sensation, mentored by the esteemed Dave Hickey at UNLV, and his pieces pop up everywhere from Aria to the Spago at Caesars Palace. Thomas has several, and here's one:
Roger tells the tale of how when he was building the house, his daughter wanted a "secret door" because that was one of those cool things that you see in film. So this wall to the left of the TV and just beyond Encore spa designer Todd-Avery Lehanan...
...opens up to a hallway toward Roger's housekeeper's quarters, see?
This is Bianca. She's an 11-year-old Italian greyhound.
This, in the corner, is the Bianca Bench from the Roger Thomas Collection. They're also found in the Wynn Las Vegas lobby.
That's modeled after Bianca's leg. Fun, huh? [Side note: There's furniture at Alex at Wynn Las Vegas that has feet modeled after Steve Wynn's recently deceased German Shepard, Paolo.]
Also cool is that there are things in Thomas' home that almost made it into the rooms at the hotel. For instance, reproductions of these original Warhol sketches...
...were used in the first model of the Encore room. And this cherub head...
...came from something that broke when being installed at Mirage.
Some things actually did make it, too. Does this look familiar?
That's in Roger's backyard. It was the prototype for...
..the dining area at Bartolotta di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas.
Here's the front of the house...
...and the back.
This is the inside of that front door from the first image in this post, followed by the kitchen and the second TV den where we watched most of the show...
I'm always intrigued by what's on people's bookshelves, although there weren't any real surprised at Roger's place:
One thing I was fascinated by was this hole in the overhang in the backyard.
There seem to be two points to it. First, when it rains hard, it channels water that is poured into that stone square below, becoming a cool waterfall. And in the AD piece on the house, Roger also points out that it acts as a sundial with the rays of light striking the wall to the right of this shot.
But some of the coolest things Roger had were acquired just this week. Like, for instance, the run-of-show for the Oscars telecast. As interminable as it may have seemed, the show only actually went over by about 8 minutes. Really. They PLANNED it to be that long.
As a credentials junkie myself, I'd probably frame the one Roger got from the Oscars. I had an image of it posted here, but the Wynn folks asked me to take it down because apparently even post-ceremony, the Academy gets a bit crazy about security.
There's much more to come from my Roger Thomas weekend, including a post about CityCenter and Philadelphia, the podcast and the column.