It's no secret in the Livingetc office that I've long been obsessed with Gwyneth Paltrow's decor style. She nails effortless glamor, a refined take on comfortable casual style. And her Montecito home in California, decorated in collaboration with one of my favorite designers Brigette Romanek, she showcases how to create a space in which you can wander barefoot and feel wonderful, enchanted by all the vignettes and personal touches you come across.
So instead of just talking about her style in features meetings (she opened up her place for a house tour online earlier this year) I've used it as the basis for the most elevated Christmas gift guide of all time. Not necessarily price-wise - the gifts start at under $4 - but by wrapping up one of these for a friend or loved one you're essentially giving the present of style. All of these pieces will elevate the homes they end up in, and I refuse to believe most people wouldn't be delighted with any one of them. So, having trawled the best home decor stores for you, this is my list of Gwyneth-inspired decor magic.
One of the standout features of Gwyneth's house is her bar, and its carefully curated glassware. The carafes are a central part, and easy to imagine her gliding around with one as part of her hosting repertoire.
On her entryway table, Gwyneth has a vase similar to this, its rotund plumplness contrasted by a long, single stem protruding from it. It's like an easy art installation.
On a shelf on her super-impressive marble wet bar I spotted some slender gold candlesticks, waiting to be used. They were long, thin, and their metallic gleam would catch the flicker of candlelight beautifully.
At one end of Gwyneth's be-muralled dining room is a wall of shelving hosting a curated collection of white and blue plates. The result is an air of refined casualness.
The airy kitchen features a few wood accessories - a knife block, a board, and some rather fetching salt and pepper grinders. Her ones are more oaky than this dark wood version, but the modern organic vibe is the same.
On the center of most tables Gwyneth places a large, shallow bowl. Usually there is some irregularity, in the texture or the shape or both.
Although I can't see it, I can well believe this is the bottle opener that lives on that marble bar - it matches the ice bucket I can see so perfectly.
Gwyneth's vast corner sofa features bolster pillows like this which are always a simple trick for making any couch look instantly more sophisticated with no effort at all.
Either side of the marble bar hangs a rectangular mirror with an irregular reflection and slight aged look to them. This foxed version from CB2 has a charming antiqued feel.
And here's a close approximation of the ice bucket- its gleam only matched by how utterly sexy it is. Cool, in all senses of the word.
They're sometimes called pinch pots - place salt in them and take a pinch - but Gwyneth uses a couple of these palm-sized bowls stacked together as decoration on her fireplace. Just as charming.
Tucked over the edge of Gwyneth's hanging love seat is a black blanket, perfect for getting cozy under. I've stroked - lovingly - this Bruno Cucinelli throw and it's as luxe as the price tag suggests.
So many designers I speak to say they get their planters from CB2, and it's easy to see why. The store's mix of rough and smooth, large and small, means there is something for everyone. GP has several like this in her home, boasting black olive trees.
Part of the kitchen display focusses around individually placed bowls, each in a neutral palette and with an artisanally rough or imperfect finish. Like this cute offering at a bargain price.
Almost hidden in one of the kitchen cabinets is a glimpse of a pedestal to serve desserts on. This type of approach lifts even the simplest of sweet courses into an artform.
The trend for white boucle sofas as enhanced this year by the ball pillow, which is chic in part because it's so not something your parents would have ever had when you were growing. Its element of unexpectedness continues to delight.
Price: $207 for 3
In the spa, some planters with cinched waists hold plants and indoor trees. They give the impression of the foliage being on a pedestal, much like this set of three manages to do, too.
A blonde wood stool similar to this lives in Gwyneth's entryway, I'd assume to sit on so as to take shoes on and off? It's also a lightweight piece that doesn't take too up too much space - a bonus for entryways (not that GP has to worry here).
This really isn't dissimilar to the piece on display in Gwyneth's dining room. And as the interior designer Olga Ashby told me, H&M really is the place to get elevating ceramics.
in the powder room hangs a set of linen towels with frayed edges - they're so much ore chic to dry your hands on than regular cotton. Turkish hammam vibes.
I bought a black olive tree like the ones Gwyneth and her designer Brigette Romanek both have in their homes. It was four times more expensive than this one and died after three months. I'd feel much safer with this, which looks just as good.
I spotted scalloped plates on the dining table and it made me think of the Margeruite line by Asteier de Villate, which I love. I own the small footed bowl from this collection and bring it out at every dinner party, with a large candle in the middle of it. Would be high on my list to save in a house fire.
Price: $29 for two
More fringed linen, this time to match the napkins that were artfully draped over the scalloped plates. Again, it's a tiny extra detail to fray the edges, but feels so much more considered.
Anyone who has ever watched Gwyneth cook her 'boyfriend breakfasts' knows she loves to make pastes and pestos. A marble pestle and mortar features prominently in her kitchen, and it's no surprise when one appears to be her go-to.
Pride of place on the kitchen counter is a big slab of wood for us as a prep and cutting board. It helps to add a pleasingly rustic vibe to proceedings.
Another kitchen counter spot - a glass domed serving dish. GP's is empty but imagine how enticing it would be filled with pastries or cakes.
There are serving platters as well as plate on display in the blue and white china wall in the dining room. This is pretty trad, but has an old world charm to it.
Gwyneth admits that having a wood burning fire is a luxury in her Californian home, but if you live in a colder climate it might be more common.
Le Creuset might have the name recognition but all the professional chefs I know prefer Staub. And clealy GP does too - she has loads of it! It ages better, it conducts heat better, and it feels special to have the brand those in the know are drawn to.