One Kings Lane Interior Design

Our Malibu Makeover for Minnie Driver

Our Malibu Makeover for Minnie Driver
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Although Minnie Driver’s life at home in the Hollywood Hills and on the set of her popular show Speechless keeps her plenty busy, whenever the London-born actress gets a bit of downtime she makes a beeline for the beach. Eighteen years ago Minnie purchased a two-bedroom house in a Malibu mobile-home community as a low-key seaside getaway, and since then “it has just been a complete and utter retreat,” she says. “When I’m there, I surf, we ride our bikes everywhere, we skateboard… It’s a super-tight-knit community, which is what I was really looking for.”

The design of the space was something of an afterthought. Minnie describes the aesthetic as “cluttered cottage”: surfboards stacked outside, sand on the floor, wetsuits hanging up to dry. Plus, by the beach, Minnie says, “everything rusts. So it was never too precious a place.” When Minnie’s son came along, she turned a portion of the living space into a playroom, and things worked swimmingly for a few years.

Eventually, though, the need to create a space her son could grow into led Minnie to embark on a few renovations. She walled off the playroom to create a third bedroom, reworked the layout of the kitchen, and gave everything a fresh coat of paint. But the challenges of decorating the space persisted.

Cue the team from One Kings Lane Interior Design. With Minnie’s inspiration guiding the way, our designers set about creating a restful, beautiful, and functional space that’s as ideal for unwinding after a day spent in the surf as it is for hosting cozy dinner parties. Read on to get a glimpse inside the space, then shop the look here.

Minnie’s checklist for the living room seating: streamlined, white, slipcovered (see: sand), and deep enough to curl up on. “I always feel like you want to be able to tuck your legs under you without your knees falling off the edge of the sofa,” she says. “To me that’s the mark of a great, comfortable family-living-space sofa.” The striped rug and the bathing-suit artwork are vintage, the table lamps are by Ralph Lauren Home, and the window treatments are by The Shade Store.

Minnie’s checklist for the living room seating: streamlined, white, slipcovered (see: sand), and deep enough to curl up on. “I always feel like you want to be able to tuck your legs under you without your knees falling off the edge of the sofa,” she says. “To me that’s the mark of a great, comfortable family-living-space sofa.” The striped rug and the bathing-suit artwork are vintage, the table lamps are by Ralph Lauren Home, and the window treatments are by The Shade Store.

One Kings Lane partnered with California-based furniture maker Community to source some special upholstery pieces for the home, including the living room sofa, club chair, and custom daybed, all handcrafted in nearby Los Angeles. The modern black woodstove ties into the metal detailing elsewhere in the space, including the dramatic floor lamp and the geometric side table.

One Kings Lane partnered with California-based furniture maker Community to source some special upholstery pieces for the home, including the living room sofa, club chair, and custom daybed, all handcrafted in nearby Los Angeles. The modern black woodstove ties into the metal detailing elsewhere in the space, including the dramatic floor lamp and the geometric side table.

Back to Basics

A decor enthusiast with a unique sense of style that blends pattern-happy English charm with a fresh California sensibility, Minnie came to the One Kings Lane team with plenty of ideas and a foundation for the design already in place. A pale blue-green wall color Minnie had used (and loved) in a previous home set an airy tone in the living room, while a deeper duck-egg blue made the kitchen cabinets pop, and sleek wooden shelving added natural texture. The result was a restful atmosphere with a definite seaside feel. “I didn’t want a huge amount of pattern, and I wanted it to be this kind of streamlined, calm space, so that was my jumping-off point,” Minnie says.

At the same time, she wanted to maintain the home’s fuss-free appeal. “It’s a double-wide trailer, and there’s no point in trying to make it look like the Taj Mahal,” she says. “I just wanted to streamline everything, because fundamentally it is still a place to go and retreat and surf and hang out with friends and cook. But I wanted to make the space calmer and less overwrought.”

Minnie added a wall of built-ins during the renovation process. To pull attention away from the TV, the One Kings Lane design team styled the shelves with a mix of new and vintage pieces, including coral and raw-wood accents and pottery in ocean hues. “It softens the whole idea of a television,” Minnie says. “It’s made it into this really lovely space to look at.”

Minnie added a wall of built-ins during the renovation process. To pull attention away from the TV, the One Kings Lane design team styled the shelves with a mix of new and vintage pieces, including coral and raw-wood accents and pottery in ocean hues. “It softens the whole idea of a television,” Minnie says. “It’s made it into this really lovely space to look at.”

Step one was clearing the clutter, Marie Kondo-style. “That’s the great thing about doing a renovation,” says Minnie of the paring-down process. “It’s good for your soul.” Out went all the extraneous elements, those mismatched flea market plates now off to bring joy to someone else.

Step two was finding furnishings in scale with the home’s petite proportions. An avid entertainer, Minnie often hosts groups of friends and family at the cottage, and they’d either sit crowded around a too-big dining table or end up perched on the floor. “It was all slightly misproportioned,” Minnie says. “It was lovely and charming, but I wanted something that really worked as a space to entertain in, and it really does that now.”

Furnishings that flex to bridge the living, kitchen, and dining areas are key to the new flow. Rather than blocking off the living area with a set of bulky chairs, the design team added a daybed that allows conversation to move in both directions. The backless barstools are similarly versatile, and the slim dining chairs are easy to reposition.

With plenty of space for friends and family to hang out while Minnie cooks, the revamped kitchen is entertaining-central: “It’s so convivial,” Minnie says. Cheery blue lower cabinets combined with light-toned open shelving help the small space feel airy and open, while accents of dark metal in the chairs and the pendant light lend an edge to the seaside scheme. Sleek sink fittings and hardware by Waterworks help complete Minnie’s ideal “cook’s kitchen.”
 
 

With plenty of space for friends and family to hang out while Minnie cooks, the revamped kitchen is entertaining-central: “It’s so convivial,” Minnie says. Cheery blue lower cabinets combined with light-toned open shelving help the small space feel airy and open, while accents of dark metal in the chairs and the pendant light lend an edge to the seaside scheme. Sleek sink fittings and hardware by Waterworks help complete Minnie’s ideal “cook’s kitchen.”

 

 

Minnie’s terracotta plates provide a warm contrast to the cool blue surroundings, while woven place mats and a fringed fabric light fixture add organic allure.

Minnie’s terracotta plates provide a warm contrast to the cool blue surroundings, while woven place mats and a fringed fabric light fixture add organic allure.

It was lovely and charming, but I wanted something that really worked as a space to entertain in, and it does that now.

— Minnie Driver

Mastering the Mix

The design process was collaborative at every step. After poring over the One Kings Lane site, Minnie created wish lists of favorite items, “which is just such a great way of figuring out what you like,” she says. “And then the design team synthesized that and added things that I hadn’t thought of.” One such piece, a burl-wood coffee table, is now a favorite of Minnie, her young son, and her frequent houseguests, who have taken to tucking seashells into the sculptural base’s many nooks and crannies. “This coffee table has now evolved into this incredibly beautiful art piece that also has this story of the people who came to stay,” says Minnie.

The One Kings Lane team also made sure to incorporate a bit of the pattern-on-pattern look that Minnie loves while maintaining an overall streamlined feel. Indigo pillows and ottomans live happily alongside rust-toned kilim pillows in the living room, while vintage striped rugs in the living and dining rooms contribute another subtle layer of print. The mix matches Minnie’s vision to a T. “I knew very much what I wanted, and what was so brilliant about the design team was that they translated all of my ideas,” she says.

“I always love to have a bench at the end of my bed,” says Minnie, and this leather-strapped version by Community provides the perfect spot to toss decorative bed pillows or a robe while adding a touch of color and organic texture to the room. The upholstered bed, also by Community, meets Minnie’s criteria of a “statement bed” while aligning with the softly streamlined feel of the rest of the home.

“I always love to have a bench at the end of my bed,” says Minnie, and this leather-strapped version by Community provides the perfect spot to toss decorative bed pillows or a robe while adding a touch of color and organic texture to the room. The upholstered bed, also by Community, meets Minnie’s criteria of a “statement bed” while aligning with the softly streamlined feel of the rest of the home.

Seating was another of Minnie’s must-haves for the master bedroom, so the design team added a comfy chair and a glass-top side table just off the door to the back garden. The patchwork-stripe rug is by Ralph Lauren Home, and the wooden surfboard is Minnie’s own.

Seating was another of Minnie’s must-haves for the master bedroom, so the design team added a comfy chair and a glass-top side table just off the door to the back garden. The patchwork-stripe rug is by Ralph Lauren Home, and the wooden surfboard is Minnie’s own.

I knew very much what I wanted, and what was so brilliant about the design team was that they translated all of my ideas.

— Minnie Driver

A One-of-a-Kind Retreat

Seeing the final result, Minnie recalls, “I was absolutely blown away… It is so beyond what I expected. I knew it was going to be lovely, because we picked everything out, but seeing it go from rendered drawings to actually there in the space, it’s made me so happy. I absolutely love it.”

Minnie’s beachside haven is made all the more precious by the knowledge that it was almost lost. When wildfires broke out across Southern California in 2018, Minnie’s neighborhood was surrounded by flames. While Minnie and some of her neighbors helped deliver supplies by boat, a group of residents, including a few retired firefighters, stayed put and protected the homes from damage. “Our community was saved by 10 men who refused to evacuate,” Minnie says. “It was absolute heroism. Everything burned around us.”

As the area continues to recover, the overwhelming feeling among Minnie’s tight-knit community is gratitude. “We were so lucky,” Minnie says. “We’re so grateful.”

The front patio is “where everybody congregates,” Minnie says, whether they’re sitting down to a relaxed lunch in the shade of the umbrella or watching the sun set over the trees. “For me, particularly in the summer, that is the most important spot.”

The front patio is “where everybody congregates,” Minnie says, whether they’re sitting down to a relaxed lunch in the shade of the umbrella or watching the sun set over the trees. “For me, particularly in the summer, that is the most important spot.”

It is so beyond what I expected... Seeing it go from rendered drawings to actually there in the space, it’s made me so happy. I absolutely love it.

— Minnie Driver

Shop the look of Minnie Driver’s Malibu home →

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