Louisville Magazine

JUL 2016

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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102 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 7.16 00 : 00 : 00 : 00 : 00 : 00 Continued from page 55 kentuckytotheworld.org Now, everything is under renovation. From the zebra-print runner lining the stairs to the soft-white grass-cloth walls to the six Asian fgures — stif and pale — hanging upside-down from the two-story ceiling. (Before this, the fgures sat in storage at the Louisville Mega Cavern with the rest of the art collection.) "I think Steve would kill me if I told you the amount of money this (renovation) cost," says Douglas Riddle, president of Bittners interior design frm, who has worked with Wilson on several design projects at the hotel and on the Hermitage house redesign. Riddle designed for lightness, art and functionality, with an emphasis on creating space for entertainment. Te couple hosts many parties at Woodland, including a brunch on Derby Sunday, Wilson's favorite day of the year. At the Vanity Fair-sponsored Oaks party at 21c this year, Wilson's suit sparkled as he two-stepped in front of a wall of roses and had 11 years, nine months, seven days, 14 hours, 32 minutes and 27 seconds left. Over the living room freplace, a copper vine twists up the wall, as if nature is reclaiming the house. Louisville native Anne Peabody hand-cut every copper leaf. Tis amazes Wilson. "It's crazy. I think of an artist who comes up with an idea and they don't seem to worry if it'll take eight days or eight months to complete. Tey get into it and it doesn't matter how long it takes," he says. "I can't do that. I think about time. Is it worth it? Time worries me." Outside, black and white dogs roam free. Birds sing in the trees. Spiders climb the old brick. Tere's a cemetery not far from the pond with one tombstone in its thigh-high grass. Wilson discovered it when he and Brown were frst looking at the property, which didn't even have a front porch. He knelt down to read the dates on the stone: born 1812; died 1890. He looked at the grave's marker, the "omen" awaiting, and saw his initials, so clearly: J.S.W. Two hours of sleep, maybe three. Tossing in the light-blue bedroom and moving to the glossy green room — his "dressing room" complete with daybed — so as not to wake Brown. Awake, antsy, he'll text Riddle about the tiles in the bathroom, say they need to be six inches higher. He'll wonder whether the New Orleans property will work out or not. (It won't.) He'll remember his rural roots, how the work never stopped; how you can't turn it of or forget about it. "When the hay is down you've got to get it up before it rains," he says. He'll "hit his wall" — unscalable exhaustion kicking in after days of airplanes and meetings. He'll have a sleeping-pills prescription flled, fnally sleep, but yawn all the next day, and at a design meeting Swyers will say, "You look tired, but I'm glad you slept. Sometimes when you actually get sleep, you need more sleep. Don't you think?" And he'll respond, "I think so. What is this fabric?"

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