While some may still prefer the traditional white picket fence and two-car garage, life in a modern home doesn’t necessary mean less warmth. In fact, it can be the exact opposite as evidenced by the myriad of ways technology, construction, and design have converged to create seamless living environments that are at once functional, safe, and stylish.

Armed with this appreciation for all things modern, it’s no surprise that celebrity chef and restaurateur, Marc Forgione launched a furniture line, Marc Forgione Living.

The line, which bridges the gap between traditional and modern elements, is the brainchild of Marc Forgione and Robert Pattinson, the star of the Twilight Saga. Together, they envision a collection of modern classics designed to enhance your daily life, whether you live in a small space or a large one.

As a celebrity chef and restaurateur who has crafted luxurious menus for some of Hollywood’s most elite, Marc Forgione Living offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of a modern day celebrity.

Here, we explore the design philosophy of the brand and speak with Forgione and Pattinson about their collaboration.

The Black Book: Can you describe your design process?

Robert Pattinson: Forgione Living, we started from the inside out. That is, we first looked at the kinds of materials and textures we wanted to use, the forms we wanted to implement, and the vibe we were going for. Once we had all of that figured out, we brought it to the drawing board to really flesh it out. Then we started incorporating that into our home design process.

Marc Forgione: Once we knew what we wanted from the inside out, we started to work on the “exterior” of the house. That is, the way the house looks from the outside. For example, we started out with a concrete wall and a steel door, and then added wood panels and white trim to give it that extra polish. But it was those internal details that truly made this house special. This was when we started incorporating materials like Miele and Subzero.

TBB: What materials did you use for the “interiors” of the house?

RP: We used the same process but applied it literally. From the inside, we knew what we wanted, so we started with that and went out, adding form and shape as we went along. For example, we knew we wanted clean lines and a minimalistic vibe, so we used concrete blocks and steel for the base, setting them on top of each other for an extra texture and visual appeal.

MF: Once we had the base set, we started incorporating other materials like Miele and Subzero to give it that extra polish. It’s not that we don’t like concrete or steel, but we wanted to put our own spin on it by adding other materials that complimented it perfectly.

TBB: Tell us about your selection of Miele and Subzero.

RP: Both brands are German, and when we learned of their existence, we knew we had to have something from them. Subzero is an appliance company while Miele is a “maison blanche” brand (a type of luxury goods house).

TBB: What was the reasoning behind your selection?

RP: Because we both love modernism and the “zen vibe”, we decided that these two brands represented the best of their respective “generations”: Subzero is from the 1960s and Miele is from the 1970s.

TBB: Can you tell us about your experience working with these brands?

RP: Both companies were extremely helpful in making our dream a reality. They gave us advice on what to look out for – especially regarding “furniture leather” – and helped direct us to places where we could find what we needed. In addition, both brands “ground” us in the real world by giving us an idea of what similar items cost in “real life”.

TBB: How did you select the pieces you bought?

RP: Marc and I both love layering material, so we started out by adding wood panels to the concrete wall. Once we had those, we went back and chose additional items from Marc’s “wardrobe” to really put the finishing touches on the room. We wanted leather “oversized cushions” to go with the seating area (we selected two different colors to match our existing color scheme), and cushions and throws for the two sofas in the room. We chose throw rugs because we love the eclectic mix of textures they give off and because they’re easy to clean.

With our eclectic selection of furniture, rugs, and textiles, we tried to emulate the feeling of a classic “boudoir” but with a modern twist. We wanted the room to feel like a calm, zen space that anyone would feel relaxed in – even if it is a small room.

TBB: How does technology play a role in your design process?

RP: We are big fans of “smart houses” and smart appliances, especially washing machines and dishwashers. We love entering the home and seeing everything from the “inside out” and knowing that the laundry is all done, or the kitchen appliances are all cleaned and set to go. So, for that reason, we tried to incorporate as much smart conveniences as possible into the house.

How do you feel about homeownership?

RP: We love it. We own a house in London that we really love, and we’re really big fans of “location, location, location”. So, in the same way that we didn’t want this room to feel too corporate, we didn’t want to choose a house in London because it’s convenient for touring. Convenience is great, but it’s not everything. You should also find a place you love.

TBB: What is your general opinion about home decoration?

RP: We both have tons of enthusiasm for decoration, but we also don’t want to spend an entire day choosing matching plates and cups for every single meal. So, we love incorporating as many “styles and flavors” as we can into our home, using neutral colors so we can mix and match as we please. It really is a case of “less is more” with us.

Is there a designer, artist, or architect you look to for inspiration?

RP: There are so many designers we look to for inspiration, but right now, we really love the work of “Jil Sander” and “Mark Twain”. Jil Sander’s work is fantastic because it’s minimalistic but not minimalistic enough, so it doesn’t lose sight of the “big picture”. Mark Twain’s work is fantastic because it’s fun and unexpected, while still fitting into a “zen vibe”.

TBB: What are your favorite rooms in your home?

RP: The kitchen and the dining room are probably our “homespce”. It’s great when guests come to stay because we can put our “boudoir moment” in the dining room, or the “wine cellar becomes a bar that we love to entertain with in the afternoon hours”. There are definitely specific rooms that we look to when we decorate, but there are also other rooms that we just feel good in, having spent time in them. For example, we really like our powder room even though it’s not really a “room” per se. So, there you have it, our “ultimate guide” to creating your perfect “zen lifestyle retreat”.