Thursday, March 9, 2017

Actress Minnie Driver’s ‘English Gypsy’ Boho Home

www.BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
William Abranowicz photo / Elle Decor

Actress Minnie Driver teamed up with textile designer Peter Dunham to create interiors in her Hollywood home that leave me big-time-boho weak in the knees. It’s an eclectic aesthetic she and Dunham share because they’re both “English gypsies.”

Though Driver has lived in Los Angeles for some time, she’s British and spent a good portion of her childhood in Barbados. Both parents were well-traveled. Her mother, now 80, has a design background and consults for a Turkish textile firm. It was she who advised Driver in her search for a designer to look in magazines and books for ideas.

“It turned out that every drawing room or bedroom or chair I loved was by Peter Dunham,” Driver says. And it turned out that Dunham’s childhood had a lot in common with Driver’s. Although raised in Spain and France, he went to boarding school in England, where many of his classmates had families who’d served as colonial officials.

“The English have always had a fascination with other cultures, whether Mediterranean, Far Eastern or African,” Dunham explains. “We brought all these different influences back with us when we returned from the colonies.” And those influences have informed Dunham’s line of fabrics, full of paisleys, Indian florals and tribal motifs.


However the look came about, it’s a mashup made in boho home décor heaven.


www.BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
William Abranowicz photo

You can tell someone boho lives in this circa 1940s Hollywood Hills ranch from first glance, right? 
That armchair is from the 1960s, but there’s one just like it that I’m standing beside in my 1978 college graduation photo. 

Talk about icons of an era!


www.BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
William Abranowicz photo

Inside, the home is a testament to color, texture and global influences, as apparent in the living room, which she says if English in that “it’s not scared of being odd.”

For instance, the two vintage French armchairs in the foreground are upholstered in a 1960s suzani. “You wouldn’t necessarily put a chintz chair with a suzani in a living room and expect it to work, but I grew up in houses like that, and that’s what I’ve done here.”

I say it works, and how.


www.BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
William Abranowicz photo

In the family room, the actress’s own artwork hangs over a sofa re-covered in a paisley Dunham has dubbed “Minnie Maharani” and used throughout the home.


www.BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
William Abranowicz photo

Driver was ready to ditch this set of old dining room chairs because her late dogs had chewed up the legs as puppies. But Dunham suggested restoring them instead, that “it will remind you of your beloved dogs.”

And it was Driver’s idea to re-cover the seats with mismatched Islamic and African textiles. “Minnie loves the participatory part,” Dunham says. “I would bring her options, and she would twist them around. She has an instinct for it.”


www.BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
William Abranowicz photo

Another example of this happened as the pair worked on Driver’s bedroom. Dunham showed her some vintage textiles, and she immediately went to an Indiana block print and zeroed in on the border. They blew it up on a laser printer, repeated it, and that’s how “Minnie Maharani,” which is used practically everywhere in the bedroom, was born.

“It was a huge leap of faith,” she says. “I was terrified I was going to hate it…[but] it’s exquisite…like being inside a kaleidoscope.”


www.BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
William Abranowicz photo

In the room of Driver’s eight-year-old son, Henry, the medallion-patterned bedding is from her own home collection for HSN.


www.BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
William Abranowicz photo

Driver’s serene boho bathroom is fit for a harem. I love the vintage rug and that gorgeous robe draped over the sinuous tub.


www.BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
William Abranowicz photo

Although this house has less square footage than her previous home, the pool and gardens are larger. The garden has herbaceous borders and a maypole, as well as this gazebo set up for an English tea. “Everyone who walks in here says they expect to find the queen in the loo,” Driver quips.

I’m coveting the blue-and-white textiles on the gazebo table and the chair on the right.


If you want more…


www.BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
William Abranowicz photo

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