Let’s take a tour Inside Celebrity Homes: A couple of years ago, Minnie Driver sold what she calls the “big old Spanish-style house in the hills,” where she’d lived for 18 years, and bought a 1940s ranch house, also in the Hollywood Hills, with less square footage but a larger garden and a pool.
Driver knew she wanted to enlist a designer to help with her new home. “I simply didn’t have the time to do it myself,” she says. “But I had a clear idea of what I wanted.” Her mother, English interior designer Gaynor Churchward, suggested she look through decorating books and magazines in search of ideas.
“It turned out that every drawing room or bedroom or chair that I loved was by Peter Dunham,” says Driver. “I thought, there’s no way he’s going to be American — he must be European.” Her hunch was correct: Dunham, like Driver, was born in England and moved to Los Angeles in the 1990s.
The actress and the designer share an eclectic aesthetic, Dunham says, because “we’re English gypsies.” Driver was raised by well-traveled parents and spent much of her childhood in Barbados; her mother, who recently turned 80, is now a consultant for a Turkish textile firm. Dunham was brought up in Spain and France and returned to England for boarding school, where many of his friends had parents and grandparents who had been colonial officials during the last days of the Raj.
“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.” Those influences have informed Dunham’s line of spirited and colorful fabrics, which are adorned with paisleys, Indian florals and tribal motifs. And yet Driver was initially drawn to this house for its quintessentially English feel.
See also: Inside Fashion Designers Homes – Part I
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