Rose McGowan’s Circular World

If the Hollywood star had her way, our lives would be a lot rounder.

I was a slightly odd child. I preferred architectural books to dolls. I’ve always been really interested in design—and specifically circles, for some reason. My father, Daniel, who was a psychedelic artist, had an appreciation for Craftsman-style homes. My uncle Dean was a gifted interior designer who, like my father, also seemed to appreciate a hard angle. I think my love of objects, planets, and orbs was formed in response to these penchants.

When I was young, I used to calm myself by imagining circles around me. I often still do this. Everywhere I live has to have curves. Every piece of furniture—there’s nothing that’s a hard angle. I should stress, though, that these are subtle curves, with a slightly rounded edge. “Curvy” is a misnomer. My kind of curve is around a 15-degree angle. It’s not swoopy or, God forbid, Hollywood Regency, which is totally vomitous to me. I cannot abide Hollywood Regency furniture—it actually sends shivers down my spine.

My home in Los Angeles, which was built in 1961, has square lines, but I counter them with the curves of an early Milo Baughman chair and a Pierre Cardin chandelier with a waterfall of round beads. Curves make my brain happy. There’s something sensual and comforting about them. I really enjoy the work of Zaha Hadid—she definitely loved them.

My dream is to put a dome over my house in L.A., just to create my own biosphere. I don’t know if I’ll ever achieve that dream. Second to that, I just wrote a pilot for a show called Children of God and sold it to Amazon. It’s the origin story of a cult, how they get on their feet and start. I’m having them all live in geodesic domes. Why? Because it’s my cult and I can. I want the domes to be made of a synthetic version of an animal hide that’s at about 50 percent opacity, so I can shoot from the outside and see the silhouettes of people inside and get an amber glow off of it.

Amber light is another design tic of mine: I travel with a 10-pack of five-watt amber light bulbs, and I change them out wherever I go, usually leaving them for the next person. I can’t stand careless lighting. I wish more people understood that dimmers are their friends.

If we were living in a land of domes, America would obviously be cooler. Domes, in my fantasy, would overtake America—not in a rapid clip, but fairly steadily. Of all the geodesic domes I’ve ever seen, the ones at Drop City in southern Colorado stand out for me. The people there reflect their surroundings. It’s just wild to be around people who think differently, who see things differently, and who, like me, enjoy other people who enjoy a circle. People don’t realize the effect of an environment on their mood, on their thoughts, or on how they see the world. They think design is out of reach. It’s not. As long as you can really think about your surroundings, why wouldn’t you curate your own existence?

Rose McGowan is an actress, activist, and film director.

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