Sting’s Home : Architectural Digest

The musician Sting was on tour in Mexico when his wife, actress and film producer Trudie Styler, called to tell him that she had found the perfect house. “He asked if I liked it,” Styler remembers. “I told him I loved it. He asked why I wanted to buy it. I gave him a lot of reasons. There was silence. Then I told him that there was a three-hundred-and-fifty-year-old tree in the garden. ‘Buy it,’ was the quick reply.”

That ancient copper beech is now one of his favorite retreats. He disappears often. A fugitive look comes to his eyes and he’s off, guitar in hand, to the shade of that tree, to a hammock in the boathouse or cushions in a bay window, in search of a little solitude where he can “read or meditate or think or maybe not even do that,” always working out the music that is on his mind.

“Writing songs is a solitary business,” he says. “I like having people around, I like the house to be alive, and I’ll be sorry when the last builders go, but there’s always Sartre’s definition of hell. I can disappear in a house like this.”

From the solitude of songwriting to the final recording and editing in the studio he has made in the dining hall, Sting’s music is now a product of Lake House, the residence in Wiltshire that he and Styler have created. All the songs for his last album, Ten Summoner’s Tales, were written and recorded here. “Fields of Gold” was inspired by his love of the surrounding fields and the wildflower meadow beside the house. His next album, which will be released this spring, was also written and recorded at the house. Call it a cottage industry of sorts.

sting's music room

And that’s only part of what goes on at Lake House. Styler has her office here, and the couple’s four children, Mickey, Jake, Coco and the new baby, five dogs and uncounted cats find their territory everywhere else. One day Styler is working on a scene for the first feature film she produced, The Grotesque (which she also stars in, with Sting); the next day musicians and technicians are arriving to rehearse for Sting’s latest tour. One night it’s a celebration for the cast and crew of her film; the next it’s a birthday party for a gang of five-year-old pirates.

Never a dull moment, but, as Styler says, “If it all happens here, then we’re all here too.”

Getting themselves all in one place wasn’t easy. Moving around had become a habit. Sting, who was born Gordon Sumner, grew up in Newcastle, and as a boy he accompanied Beatles records on a guitar abandoned by an uncle. He became an English teacher by day, played in local jazz clubs by night and acquired his nickname the night he wore a yellow-and-black striped sweater. There was time on the road in the late 1970s and early 1980s when he was lead singer and bassist for The Police, then more touring when his solo career took off later in the 1980s and travel to locations for acting in such movies as Plenty and Stormy Monday.

See More At: Hollywood At Home: Sting : Architectural Digest