Oh, yes. I bought an original Art Deco town house in New York and decided that I wanted to live in L.A., but I kept the light fixtures and architectural wall trim. Then I built an Art Deco house in California. I decided to do it black to gray and rose to pink, and nobody looked good in it. You couldn't walk in that house wearing turquoise. The whole project took five years, and by the time I was done, I didn't like Art Deco anymore.
And all that tin molding, and the pink mirror medicine chest where I displayed all the iridescent shells I found on the beach in Malibu. I kept maybe four things from that house. They are in a little sweet shop that I have in my basement because they go with the stainless steel frozen yogurt machine.
Maybe Art Deco is just too modern for you. Do you like anything contemporary?
Modern leaves me cold. It just doesn't grab me. Anything old is always better. I did go to the Bilbao museum by Frank Gehry, and that was quite astonishing. So far it's the only thing I've liked that's modern.
How would you describe your design sensibility these days?
You know I am making a book called "A Passion for Design," which will come out for Christmas 2010. It will document the last design project I did, my house in Malibu, which took 5 1/2 years to build. Everything is based on architecture in 1904. I used old beams and floors and furnishings from around that period, whether it's by [Scottish Arts and Crafts designer] Rennie Mackintosh or Greene and Greene, which is more rare and complicated, made from mahogany and cedar with ebony pegs. It's a mill house and a farmhouse around a pond with a water wheel and vegetable gardens and a chicken coop so we can grow our own vegetables and have our own eggs.
Do you still go antiquing?
I love New England. We drive up the coast and go up to all these wonderful shops, but I don't buy something unless it is very special.
Do you get a good deal because you are Barbra Streisand?
That works both ways. Sometimes people will see that I like something, and even though I'd be happy to pay for it, they insist upon making it a gift. And other times, there are dealers who think they can charge me double because they know I can afford it. That usually doesn't work for them because I have a pretty good idea of what things are worth.