I don’t know about you, but I love visiting other people’s homes. It’s a rare opportunity for nosy people to legitimately judge their friends. They say you don’t really know someone until you live with them or go on holiday together because that’s when the usual guard is down and you get to see the real personality warts and all.
I say you don’t really know someone until you’ve seen how they live. There’s nothing quite like discovering, as Saffy once did when she nosed around the bathroom, your boss has a fetish for Hello Kitty to completely derail any sense of respect you may once have had for the guy.
“Seriously,” she said the minute we left the house and got into a cab, “it would have been bad enough if it had been a woman, but he’s a 52 year-old man! What’s with the Hello Kitty stickers on the mirrors and Hello Kitty toothbrush?”
“Maybe they’re his kids’?” Amanda said reasonably.
“Gays can have children!” Amanda replied stoutly.
“Not in Singapore, they can’t,” Saffy said, adding, “unless, of course, they’re like Mark and Mary, and they’re only pretending to be straight.”
“Wait a minute,” Amanda said. “‘They’? You mean Mary is gay, too?”
“Amanda, you really need to give your Harvard degree back,” Saffy told her.
And if you can’t actually get your foot in the front door of someone’s home, the other best way to nose around is pick up a copy of Architectural Digest. Specifically, the October 2013 issue.
Turn to page 170 for the start of a glorious ten-page spread of Gisele Bundchen’s home in Los Angeles. I know these specifics because the other day, Saffy emerged from the bathroom waving a copy of the magazine. “Oh. My. God. Have you seen Gisele’s house?” she demanded. “I’m so impressed I completely forgot all about my constipation!”
“Gisele who?” I asked, my nose buried deep in the horoscope page of 8DAYS.
“Gisele, the supermodel, please keep up! She’s married to that hot Tom Brady!” Saffy sank into the sofa next to me and proceeded to flip the pages.
It was fascinating. This is a house that makes you want to be Gisele and Tom, or at the very least, be best friends with them. Though, as Sharyn pointed out, the one thing you wouldn’t want to be is the maid.
“Hah?” she said as inspected the picture of the billiard room with barstools by Rose Tarlow Melrose House. “The house is 14,000 square phhh-ut, ah! Wah liau, how to clean?”
“That’s not counting the garden,” Saffy pointed out. “They grow their own veges and fruits. And they have chickens!”
“Alamak, how can? Chicken very smelly, you know?”
“Not Gisele’s chickens,” said Saffy, avian expert to the rich and famous supermodels, “they’d have fresh straw beds every day. And look at this, the house even has a moat!”
“What is a moat?” Sharyn wanted to know.
“It’s like a river that surrounds a house. It keeps out invaders.”
“Wah, Los Angeles so dangerous, meh?”
The point is, if you lived in this kind of house, you’d want people to come visit you because what it’s telling the world about you is that you’re not just someone with a lot of money, but that you also have a lot of taste.
Amanda says that anyone can pretend to have a lot of taste because you hire an interior decorator to do it all for you, but Saffy and I think she’s just jealous she’s not the one sitting down to dinner under a chandelier and sconce made by Dennis & Leen, and chairs covered by Kerry Joyce linen.
“I don’t know who these people are,” Saffy said, “but I want them to design my next home.”
“Aiyoh, you spend one whole day, ah, I tell you, just dusting that chandelier! Why this Gisele so atas, one?”
That evening, we all sat down to watch Gisele walk in an old episode of Victoria’s Secret Fashion show. For the most part, she wore tiny little string bikinis, and strategically placed ribbons and bows and not much else.
“I can’t believe she made $42m this year,” Amanda said, having just looked up Gisele on Forbes.com.
“And it’s not as if she made it wearing much,” Saffy added with more than a trace of bitterness in her voice as she imagined herself in a skimpy little two piece and shoring up $42m in her bank account before going home to hot Tom Brady where she would kick back with a glass of Pinot Grigio on a RH wicker sofa cushioned in a Clarence House fabric in a room lined with oak ceiling beams and an antique limestone mantel.