The actress's interior design influences include Jane Austen, Wes Anderson and her grandmother, she revealed in a new 'Architectural Digest' tour
The actress and director, 42, revealed that the way she and Gabel, also 42, happened upon the home was nothing short of fated in a new archdigest.com tour.
While the couple's primary home is on the West Coast, Howard (who grew up in Connecticut and studied — and met Gabel! — at NYU) always knew she wanted an East Coast residence, and eventually narrowed her search down to the perfect slice of Upstate New York.
“We knew that we wanted to live in this area and so we kept driving around and my husband kept pointing at this house and he kept saying, ‘Oh I wish that house was for sale,’” The Help star says in a home tour video.
Then, a few days later, the stars aligned.
"Someone called us and said, ‘We saw that you were visiting houses in the area. There's a house that's not on the market yet. We want to see if you would be interested,’” Howard recalled. “And it was this house!”
Built in 1937, the vibrant cottage is a replica of an 18th-century home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where Howard filmed her first movie, The Village, two decades ago.
The home is brimming with character, from its older features — like intricate wallpaper depicting strawberry thieves and rare, 90-year-old wood — to its newer details, including a custom tablecloth complete with tulip motifs, an ode to Amsterdam, where she and Gabel fell in love.
It is also speckled with sentimental value — much of which is linked to Howard’s grandmother.
In the dining room, the Twilight alum opted to paint her windows a springy shade of mint, a nod to green depression glass that her grandmother gifted her.
The “depression-ware” also makes another appearance in Howard’s kitchen, the first part of the home she fell in love with and the only part she decorated with Parisian influence.
“There is a ton of depression-ware everywhere in this house. This all belonged to my grandmother,” Howard said, motioning to the colorful, intricate glassware on her countertop.
“I actually had it for years and years and years hidden behind doors and cabinets and whatnot and the moment that [Howard’s designer] Claire Thomas saw this, she was like, ‘Oh my gosh this is the inspiration for the entire house,” she added. “So that's really beautiful.”
A photo of her Grandma Jean also adds a touch of nostalgia to the home’s primary suite.
"This is the most important person,” Howard said of the black-and-white shot. “She was an actress and absolutely a total ham. She was very hilarious and so much of this house has really been inspired by her.”
In fact, the only place where the springy, Grandma Jean-inspired green and pink color scheme does not reach is the couple’s daughter Beatrice's bedroom. Instead, the 12-year-old’s favorite color, blue, reigns supreme.
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Other sources of inspiration for Howard included Jane Austen (she was “obsessed” with Sense and Sensibility while they worked on the house) and Wes Anderson, one of the actress’ “favorite filmmakers.”
The Asteroid City director’s influence is most palpable in Howard’s rose-pink office, which she infused with his instantly recognizable “signature style.”
“There's a kind of playfulness about his filmmaking and his visuals that I really wanted to embrace, and yet it's also incredibly sophisticated,” she said, pointing to various vignettes and tableaus in the room.
And, in Howard’s bedroom, another one of her recurring design strategies — bringing nature inside the home — shines through.
"It feels like joyful springtime," she said of the suite.
Read the full feature and see more photos of Bryce Dallas Howard's New York home on archdigest.com.
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