“I receive more requests for in-home glam rooms than almost any other type of personalized space,” Kathryn Rotondi revealed on a call earlier this spring. A Los Angeles–based interior designer, Rotondi had just completed work on America’s priciest home, a $350 million, seven-acre modernist oasis in Bel Air with 42 bathrooms, 21 bedrooms, a 30-car garage—and a full-service salon. Such personalized primping spaces have become ubiquitous of late, she continues. “I designed an entirely pink onyx glam room for a particular client incorporating the exact mirrors, beauty products, and top-of-the-line equipment as her favorite Beverly Hills salon.” Even the seating was customized for the client’s height, she elaborates. Obviously.
The clan Kardashian Jenner is arguably responsible for the “glam room” trend—and the term itself, which was coined by designer Martyn Bullard, who has dreamed up such spaces for Kylie, Khloé, and Kris—but the concept dates back many years. Centuries even, according to fashion and cultural historian Laura McLaws Helms, who cites Marie Antoinette’s pièce des bains, which was added to her petit appartement de la reine at Versailles in 1781 and featured a lace-curtained copper bath, silk daybed, and well-appointed vanity where she might have had her signature face mask (a blend of cognac, dry milk powder, lemon juice, and egg white) applied. It’s a concept that was heartily embraced by Old Hollywood too, says Helms, detailing the over-the-top beautifying quarters of actresses such as Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, and Mae West, who enjoyed the comforts of luxurious dressing rooms on set and came to expect the same at home. (Jean Harlow famously had a lucky mirror in her glam room that she made sure to glance at before walking out the door.) New Hollywood has followed suit. Who can forget the glam room tour Taraji P. Henson gave her Instagram followers, welcoming them into her full-service home salon—or the one Laura Harrier recently granted Architectural Digest, showing off her own pink-themed glam space with vintage deadstock wallpaper and a Deco-style Italian mirror? “At first I thought I was making an office,” the actress told the publication, “but this was actually more practical.”
“These rooms have become the requisite of a successful, glamorous person’s house,” suggests Bullard. But as remote lifestyles have made being camera-ready an essential job requirement for anyone logging on to Zoom, they’re also becoming a requisite for the rest of us. “What were once luxury bonuses are now mainstream, and I think this is going to become more and more normalized,” adds Rotondi, who has been building out small vanity stations in master closets for clients without square footage to spare. To wit, search for glam rooms on YouTube and one of the most viewed videos (after Kylie Jenner’s home tour) is a glam room makeover by popular L.A.-based design duo Mr. Kate. The budget? $300. Here, the professionals weigh in on a DIY guide for tapping into the design phenomenon.
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