Serenity at a Personal Scale
Roger Thomas, creator of the flamboyantly luxurious interiors of Wynn Hotels and Resorts’ celebrated palaces, designs a range of furnishings, accessories and textiles available through a group of exceptional manufacturers. How do his ideas about design translate into other environments? “I’ve always said I am a residential designer,” Roger says. “I just do really big residences.”
Roger’s own homes, in Las Vegas and Marin County, just north of San Francisco, have beautifully demonstrated how his ideas work at a smaller, more personal scale. The Marin home is serene and personal, but equally informed by the designer’s erudite collecting, historical knowledge, and passion for color and comfort.
The house is a somewhat stark white structure on a hillside in a leafy town north of the Golden Gate. Roger tells Elle Decor that “it induces serenity.” The house’s previous owner, a photographer, left the incoming occupants big, white high-ceilinged spaces to fill with their collections and their favorite colors. Study and debate ensued, resulting in shades borrowed from 19th century French portraits and mosaics in ruined Pompeii.
The Roger Thomas Collection signature effect of luxurious comfort prevails, with inviting, generously-sized sofas. Artifacts and art from all periods of history and a myriad of cultures surround the visitor. As do chairs. Seating matters to Roger, who can wax at length about how French designs from the 18th century have never been surpassed. A raised area in the living room shows off a pair of finds from Paris, 1930’s French armchairs from the SS Normandie.
Roger over the years has also designed residences for his friend, former boss and client Steve Wynn, including a stunning Manhattan duplex high above Central Park. Thomas laid down custom-made wool carpets and selected vibrant Matisse-inspired colors for the wall coverings and upholstery. “The Wynns are happiest on a boat in the Mediterranean,” Roger explained to Architectural Digest. “So I suggested sea-blue with a sunny yellow.”
Roger’s ideas about colors are rarely bland. “Hotel rooms are often painted in medium tones because they are the easiest to maintain, he tells Elle Decor. “Those are throwaway interiors. I no longer use timid colors. Some of my favorite colors right now are turquoise, caramel, orange, and jade.” There’s always room for white. “It’s universally flattering,” he says. “I like a white that looks like it was lit by a candle.”