In honor of tonight’s Oscars, I wanted to share a very exciting and personal interview that I was fortunate to have with the designer of the Oscars Greenroom!! For this year’s 84th Academy Awards, Architectural Digest selected Waldo Fernandez, designer to the stars, to design their backstage greenroom! We were given the chance to have a private phone interview with Waldo, and Emily generously passed along the opportunity to to me (her assistant, Taylor) and I was so thrilled to do so! I could not wait to talk to Waldo about his glamorous design for the Oscars greenroom, but little did I know he would share amazing, personal stories about his relationships with some of Hollywood’s biggest names (including Elizabeth Taylor and Brad Pitt!!)

Here is a little background information on Waldo - Waldo Fernandez is one of Hollywood’s legendary interior designers. He came to the United States from Cuba to explore his passion for design and love of the arts. Waldo’s career began as a set designer for 20th century Fox, and his involvement in the entertainment industry led to his very successful career and large list of celebrity clientele. Fernandez’s impressive portfolio, spanning more than three decades, not only includes homes for an incredible roster of clients—Elizabeth Taylor, Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, and Darren Star among them—but also a number of commercial projects, such as the Beverly Hills Hilton and the West Hollywood Soho House club. So you can imagine how excited I was to talk him!!

Waldo was just as friendly and humble as he looks in the picture above!

Take a look at his fabulous design for the Architectural Digest greenroom, inspired by 1930′s and 40′s Hollywood glamour. Oscar greets you as you enter the gorgeous space! -

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

Waldo has a passion for furniture and said that for this space he wanted to start with only good quality furniture – no reproductions. To achieve the 1930′s and 1940′s Hollywood look of the greenroom he went back to his sources and selected only the highest quality furniture from the 20th century. He carefully selected Schumacher fabrics for the upholstery and told me that, “if you select beautiful fabric and good quality furniture, the whole room comes together.”

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

Architectural Digest partnered with Caesarstone, California Classics Reserve Collection Flooring, Circa Lighting, Feizy Rugs, Giati Designs, HP, Questroyal Fine Art, Samsung, and Schumacher Fabrics to furnish this beautiful space and provide it with the latest technology!

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

The color palette of the greenroom was inspired by his love of gray – specifically a cool gray wall finish from Donald Kaufman Color. From there, Waldo layered the color throughout the room in different tones and then added in the cream color with Schumacher upholstery fabrics. In all of Waldo’s designs he uses a neutral color palette because he believes that the art, furniture and fabric are what give life to the room. He believes the walls should be a soft color because it goes with anything and “walls without art are dead.” – We couldn’t agree with him more!

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

Waldo used rugs from Feizy to soften the space.

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

In a smaller sitting area, Waldo centered a Ruhlmann-style dining table beneath a simple chandelier from Circa Lighting. This is a perfect example of Waldo’s refined, glamourous style and his appreciation of quality furniture.

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

The custom bar features a CaesarStone countertop.

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

The outdoor space is furnished with Giati Designs “Castillo” metal furniture.

Here is Waldo lounging in the Oscars Greenroom with the amazing HP ENVY Spectre laptop. HP provided ENVY Spectre laptops for the greenroom so the celebs could keep track of the action online during the show!

Be sure to check out this video tour of the greenroom provided by HP!

Waldo was one of the nicest and most inspiring people I have ever had the pleasure of speaking with, so I am very excited to share this interview with you all! Here are more highlights from my amazing chat with Waldo -

Of course I had to start the interview with MG’s favorite quesiton: “What is your favorite material?”

Waldo replied that his favorite material would have to be fabric. He loves textural fabrics that are woven with beautiful materials – he does not like plain fabrics with prints. For the upholstery in the greenroom he selected an ivory Schumacher fabric that was a mix of cotton, rayon, wool, and silk – VERY luxurious! Of course Waldo could only select the best for the Oscars!

My next question for Waldo was whether or not he was going to attend the Oscars this year. Waldo replied that he was not attending, and that he preferred to spend the night at a friend’s house watching the show with a cocktail in the comfort of their living room. He said the bar was way too crowded at the Oscars! In past years, he spent the evening at his dear friend, Elizabeth Taylor’s home, just the two of them, watching the show. Then we talked about his history and friendship with Elizabeth Taylor – I was so star struck I could barely speak!! Here is Elizabeth Taylor in her home designed by Waldo Fernandez -

Firooz Zahedi for Architectural Digest

Waldo told me that the most memorable experience of his design career was his opportunity to work for Elizabeth Taylor and the close friendship that developed between the two of them over the years. He met her for the first time many years ago when he was “fresh out of Cuba,” he said he was shaking at their first meeting because he couldn’t believe he was talking to THE Elizabeth Taylor – I couldn’t even imagine! He recalled that, “She was sitting by the pool in a bathing suit with a reflector on her chest” – so glamorous! She told him that she was leaving for the Cannes Film Festival and needed her house finished in two weeks!! Like any designer would say, Waldo said, “That is impossible.” (Here was one of my favorite moments from the whole interview…) Elizabeth Taylor replied, “Nothing is impossible, my love.” – And amazingly Waldo finished her entire home in two weeks!

See the tour of Elizabeth Taylor’s home in Architectural Digest HERE!

My next question for Waldo was, “If you were going to the Oscars who would you be most excited to see?”

Waldo told me that he would love to see his clients Angie and Brad!! (As a huge fan of both, I could not contain my excitement!) He told me that “Brad was fantastic and a pleasure to work with.” He said that he and Brad were a perfect match because, “Brad has a passion for architecture, good furniture, and art” just like himself! He said that Brad reads about design and architecture and really gets into it. – So from what Waldo told me, Brad really is perfect!!

I asked Waldo what his favorite room to design for Brad was and he simply said “the whole house.” I can imagine it would be hard to pick just one!!

Waldo also just finished a project for the writer of the Sex and the City movies, Darren Star! This project was featured in the February issue of Architectural Digest! Here is Darren’s living room -

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

You can see the full tour of Darren’s Bel Air home HERE.

To wrap up the interview, I asked Waldo, “What is one piece of advice you would give young, aspiring designers like myself?” He told me, “Never be scared talking to your clients, but still listen to them, and stick to what you believe is right.” Such wise words! He also told me that the most important aspect of interior design and being a designer is knowing scale – Once you understand scale you know how everything in a room works together! Thank you so much Waldo!

It really was a dream come true talking to Waldo and getting a behind the scenes look at the design of the Oscars greenroom! Thank you HP for this amazing opportunity! Be sure to watch the Oscars tonight and be on the lookout for the greenroom and Waldo’s beautiful design!

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1 Comments to 'Behind the Scenes at the Oscars!'

Alex R. 28 Feb 12 at 6:35 pm

How lucky were you to meet with the designer of the Oscar greenroom!! It looked stunning! And whats even better is Waldo designed Brad Pitt’s home – he must be good!!

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