On the one hand he is a refined and polite gentleman - on the other hand he is proud owner of the so-called "playroom". The latest part of our WallpaperStories column is all about Christian Grey!
Everybody is talking about it: Some love it, others hate it. But everyone has an opinion when the topic comes up. "Fifty Shades of Grey" is the blockbuster movie of the year. This love story "with a twist" around timid, inexperienced Ana and successful, aloof Christian captivated readers and cinema audiences alike. I read the first book, too - and of course I watched the movie! It's a shame that the story is often reduced to just its erotic content. The real love story frequently remains neglected. Christian is mostly seen as the devil incarnate, when it would be so much more apt to question what formed his character, why he cannot accept love, and why his life is the way it is.
At first, the relationship between the two is quite reserved. They meet over an interview for Ana's university student paper. Christian is attracted to her immediately. But Ana initially feels confused and intimidated by him. As they get to know each other better, he slowly reveals his innermost secrets. And Ana Steel, once a shy young girl, turns into a proud woman. But the further she enters into Christian's world, the more she realises that she cannot - and, more to the point, that she does not want to - fulfil his expectations and demands.
Christian was adopted at the age of 4, after his birth mother committed suicide in his presence. She was a crack-addict prostitute. He was neglected and quite possibly abused. These early years marked him for life. Not only did he suffer physical scars, his psyche was also permanently damaged.
As a small child, he'd never experienced love and affection - the only attention he received was associated with pain. So it comes as no surprise that, at the age of 15, he embarked on a relationship with a friend of his mother's. She introduced him to a world of reward and punishment, subs and doms, bondage and whips. In a way, she created the foundations for his future desires.
His career, however, went from strength to strength. As the CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings, he acquired enormous wealth. His riches are evident - not only does he own a helicopter, in which he takes Ana to Seattle, but also his luxury apartment in the Escala building. This huge open plan abode boasts beautiful views across the city's skyline.
This is a man who likes straight, clear lines and minimalist design. His home looks like a showroom. The floors and some of the walls are made from the most expensive marble. Glass walls and split-level floors separate the various living areas. Large windows as well as predominantly white furnishings and walls create an environment suffused with light.
Of course, not everyone can afford expensive marble, but these wallpapers will introduce the look to your home.
Submissive Ana's student room is also light and airy, but much more feminine. During her relationship with Christian, it becomes her safe refuge. And of course she has furnished it in her own personal style. A beautiful delicate wallpaper adorns a feature wall, not unlike these:
In contrast to the light-flooded rooms where he entertains, Christian's "Playroom" (or "Room of Pain", as Ana calls it) is reminiscent of a dungeon. The colours black and red dominate the space. The walls are decked out in red leather. The "equipment" is made from dark wood. Everything in this room is functional yet stylish. Let's not forget that red is the colour of love and that leather doesn't have to be kinky or tawdry.
I personally think the extreme differences between the "public" part of his apartment and his "playroom" are a clear indication of Christian's torn personality. What do you think?
Until the next WallpaperStory...