Hilary Duff is a busy working mother: In addition to reprising her lead role in TV Land's bingeable dramedy Younger, she is also an author, musician, and personal driver to her 5-year-old son, Luca. But that hasn't stopped her from getting lost on Pinterest for hours like the rest of us. "I live on it," she says, with a generous laugh. "I make boards all day."
In an unexpected move, Hilary Duff, holding her Yorkie, Jak, painted the front door of her California home dusty rose, surprising even herself. "I've never seen myself as girlie, and I don't own much pink, even though I love it," she says. The color softens the dark facade.
Hilary's design eye is drawn to vibrant, showstopping patterns. When she recently gave her Los Angeles house a facelift, she wasn't shy about featuring them center stage. She covered a wall in the kitchen with oversize zigzag-pattern tiles and repeated them on a dining counter on the back patio. She hung a colorful, kaleidoscopic painting above an equally eye-dazzling credenza in the living room, and she dressed the main staircase in a runner sewn from three vintage Turkish kilims. "Cutting up the rugs to make them fit exactly was so stressful," she says.
The first piece of art Hilary bought, Damien Hirst's Butterfly Kaleidoscope, hangs above a whitewashed credenza behind the sofa in her living room. Its colors repeat in the upholstery and carpeting.
To pull it all together, Hilary worked with interior designers Shannon Wollack and Brittany Zwickl of Studio Life.Style. They systematically dialed back the rest of the furniture around every punchy color and statement piece Hilary chose. "Hilary wanted her home to feel feminine and modern but definitely lived-in and cozy," Wollack says. Here, three vintage rugs were cut up and sewn together for the runner.
To achieve this look, they mixed contemporary pieces in alluring silhouettes with antique furnishings for aged appeal. They were careful about not adding too much of one style in order to keep an even mix in each room. "It was a balancing act," Zwickl says. "The key was merging all the elements together and keeping scale in mind."
The living room champions retro glamour with a pair of coral velvet side chairs commanding attention. Their tapered bronze legs and the sofa's brass cuff act like jewelry. An imposing cabinet tones down the look and gives the room an edge.
Consequently, each room's quirky decor works together so the whole house flows and feels high-spirited. Whenever Hilary gets seduced by an object's shape, color, or vibe, she gets in touch with her practical side. "This house is a sanctuary for me and Luca, so I always shop with him in mind," she says. "He's respectful of our belongings, but I want him to be able to roughhouse and do other kid things here."
A long-term second consideration stems from her love of timeless things that tell a story. "Whenever I'm on the verge of buying something—whether a chair or a pair of earrings—I ask myself, Will I still love it when I get to be 60 or 70?"
Besides letting in light, a folding glass door maintains a seamless transition between the garden and dining room, where a contemporary chandelier contrasts with a rustic table and a set of well-used chairs. Blue glass shades in the dining room pick up the color of the swimming pool in the backyard.
For someone so tuned in to longevity, Hilary owns few family heirlooms, although her grandmother's brass cookbook stand is in constant use. "I see the things I'm acquiring along the way—the rugs, the art, and anything that Luca makes—as new collectibles," she says. "As a result, the house feels full of memories and also of opportunities—new, old, and yet-to-come."
Here, the designers added recessed shelves in the living room to house Hilary's collection of art and design books. In keeping with her personality-rich style, she mixed in mementos and other objects for a layered effect.
A room enveloped in wallpaper instantly feels warm and cozy. "I grew up with wallpaper. My mom was fanatical about it, so it makes me feel nostalgic," Hilary says. Wollack and Zwickl tracked down this Arts and Crafts pattern by William Morris that Hilary spotted in a Manhattan lobby.
"This house is so versatile; it allows us to open up all the doors and have fun," says Hilary. In the entry hall, a cluster of eclectic furnishings—an intricate midcentury credenza, Gothic spool chair, and oversize mirror framed in leather and tiger maple bands—makes a striking first impression.
Hilary loves to cook, and California's yearround good weather made bringing the kitchen outdoors a no-brainer. In the backyard, the kitchen's graphic Ann Sacks tiles make a repeat appearance.
"The tiles screamed at me when I first saw them," Hilary says of the Ann Sacks pattern. "They were so happy. I knew they'd bring a jolt of energy into the house."
The Designers' Top Tips
Shannon Wollack and Brittany Zwicki, the duo behind Studio Life.Style, share their top home design tips:
- Take a risk: Don't be afraid to alter something to make it fit. Curtains, rugs, pillow covers — they can all be stitched back together.
- Scale up: Using oversize items makes a powerful statement. It is easy to capitalize on this through lighting, an entry mirror, or one statement piece of furniture.
- Work with what you have: If you love something, start with it, then decorate the rest of the room around it.
- Create contrast: Everything doesn't have to match. Mixing textures and materials feels unexpected and fresh. "I was apprehensive when they suggested mixing brass and gold hardware in the kitchen," Hilary says, "but it totally works."