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Desert Companion

Room with a you:Ordinary doesn't live here

Room with a you:

Neon stars and guitars

Every picture tells a story

Held firmly in place

Experimenting with nature

Ordinary doesn't live here

Zero clutter, smart curation and pop culture converge in one awesomely not very normal space

Ordinary doesn't live hereI’d hate to come home to a normal house,” says Chris Kenner, longtime executive producer of David Copperfield’s show, now at the MGM Grand. Seems his home-décor pleasure receptors are set to 11, well beyond the ability of some cookie-cutter McMansion to satisfy. Fortunately for Kenner, residential normalcy is a problem you can fix — rather spectacularly —with a contrapuntal mashup of Bob’s Big Boy statuary, Philippe Starck furniture, famously stuffed beavers and a big nerdgasm of pop-culture iconography.

Oh, from the outside his house looks normal (funny how that word assumes a dingy pall after a few minutes at Kenner’s place), just another moderately upscale suburban box in a gated Spring Valley community full of them. Inside, not so much. A four-level (look, a basement! in Vegas!) loft home, it’s open; airy, too, thanks to huge windows. Amid all this space and light, you immediately notice the complete lack of clutter. For one thing, Kenner hates wires and cords — which could be a problem, because he loves electronics, especially TVs, having 11 of them synced up around the house — so he’s created customized cabinets and other fixtures to hide them. Until he points this out, it mostly registers as a subtle absence — none of the squiggly visual clutter your peripheral vision picks up along the baseboards of a (yech!)

Support comes from

normal house. It’s amazing how much this contributes to the serene sense of
precision that permeates chez Kenner. Likewise, the second-floor closet tucks two people’s worth of clothing and shoes — “He has more than me, but mine are prettier,” his girlfriend, Nicole, chuckles — behind walls of uniform
cabinetry.

Ordinary doesn't live here

Ordinary doesn't live hereKenner adores pop culture and has gathered immense amounts of it around himself: more than 2,000 James Bond movie posters; a huge scale model of the Millennium Falcon; giant figurines of Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc.; the notorious stuffed beaver from The Naked Gun; a Bob’s Big Boy statue (some of these were gifts from his pal Copperfield). In one hallway, a framed movie poster slides aside to reveal a hidden vitrine with a specially lighted Batman suit. And that slides aside to reveal a throbbing ganglion of geek-bliss: a hidden room jam-stocked with memorabilia from numerous movies and TV shows. If you’re into this stuff, you could lose a few days in there.

Ordinary doesn't live here

Ordinary doesn't live hereAs it happens, that room is a handy metaphor for the way Kenner’s aesthetic functions. “I’m a nerd,” he says, “but I hide it.” Or rather: edits it. Most of us, owning so much pop-culture coolness, would spackle our house with it, every flat surface a mini-shrine. But Kenner, with a producer’s eye for presentation, takes his aversion to clutter to the conceptual level. A select few pieces, usually wall-mounted, bounce off of higher-brow stuff (sculptures by artist Frank Kozik, for instance, or furniture and fixtures by maverick French designer Starck) in a spirit of energetic juxtaposition. The rest he concentrates in specialized spaces. This results in an environment that not only encourages maximum creative alertness — a boon to a guy in Kenner’s line of work — but keeps drab normality at bay.

 

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