Written by Julia Szabo
Produced by Doris Athineos
ARIES / March 21—April 19
Ruled by the warrior planet Mars, fiery Aries are the zodiac’s trendsetters, their work always aptly described as “bold.” Consider Paloma Picasso’s daring designs for Tiffany (not to mention her penchant for crimson lipstick). Or the fearlessly fabulous interiors of David Hicks. His vision was so forceful that after his death in 1998, the sycamore coffin he’d designed for himself had no handles, per his specifications. (He deemed coffin handles “frightfully common.”)
Ariens’ uncommon traditional homes outlive them as lasting landmarks. For example, 10th president John Tyler’s Sherwood Forest Plantation became the site of the longest frame house in America when Tyler added a 68-foot ballroom for dancing the Virginia Reel. Or see Dodge House in Council Bluffs, Iowa, home of Civil War veteran, Congressman, and railroad builder Grenville M. Dodge.
This fire sign’s favorite color is a natural: red. It appears everywhere, from the Web sites of Arien designer Robert Couturier to William Morris’s Red House at Bexleyheath in Kent, England. Arien J. Pierpont Morgan didn’t design the library-museum that bears his name (that job went to architects McKim, Mead and White), but many Rams take a DIY approach to home design. Multitasking Charlie Chaplin, notorious for his hands-on approach to every aspect of filmmaking, designed his own Hollywood home, located a stone’s throw from Pickford, the legendary manse of fellow Ram Mary Pickford.
The headstrong Aries symbol rears and kicks in many decorative forms, from artist Marc Swanson’s black crystal-paved ram’s-head sculpture, the talk of the 2011 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse, to the remarkable ram’s-leg table by P.E. Guerin.
TAURUS / April 20—May 20
Visitors to Washington, D.C., may see two monumental works by Taurean architect John Russell Pope that embody the respect for classicism that courses through the Bull’s blood: the Jefferson Memorial and the original West Building of the National Gallery of Art.
GEMINI / May 21—June 20
The work of architect Frank Lloyd Wright is celebrated in all its contemporary classic splendor at not one but two Wright-established venues, as befits the sign of the Twins: Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona.
CANCER / June 21—July 22 Moon-ruled natives adore white furnishings and will feel especially welcome in the pristine, lunar-white interiors of Ian Schrager’s Public Chicago, the Cancerian hotelier’s transformation of the Gold Coast’s famed Ambassador East Hotel.
LEO / July 23—August 22
Luxury-loving lions will roar in recognition of fellow Leo John Saladino as he throws open the doors to his sunlight-drenched California home in his book, Villa. This opulent tome is at once instructive and exalting—how typically Leo!
VIRGO / August 23—Sept. 22
Sir John Soane’s Museum in London is the meticulous—and meticulously preserved—former residence of an architect who was a textbook Virgo, the zodiac’sperfectionist. For Soane (1753-1837), God was definitely in the details. (Check out the museum’s amazing staircase.)