Lily Allen and David Harbour’s Brooklyn Townhouse Might Make You Want a Carpeted Bathroom

published Feb 7, 2023
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The Carroll Gardens home of actress and musician Lily Allen and her husband, “Stranger Things” star David Harbour, is just as unusual as you’d expect it would be from the two — maybe more so. So it’s not hard to be fascinated by the colorful late-19th-century Italianate brownstone in Brooklyn, which Allen’s own children refer to as the “clown house.” In a new video tour, the couple opened up the home for Architectural Digest.

“Lily is someone who lives with color in a deeper way than most. Her taste is bold, silly, fun, eccentric — it’s exciting,” says Harbour. However, when the couple came upon the house, it was in quite a different state. The space had been through a series of renovations and needed the years of work peeled away to get back to its original glory. Together with designer Billy Cotton, they overhauled the space to infuse both Italian and English inspiration.

The kitchen, which Allen calls “our plain English kitchen,” is the “central engine” of the home. With a large center island and window-side banquette table, it’s where the kids do their homework while Allen cooks under elaborate chandeliers and the original molding of the building. Hoping to make the room as bright as possible, Allen had it painted a lacquered cream shade she calls “luxurious and warm and functional.” Harbour cites the coffee station with its own hot water tap as one of his favorite features of the space. 

One of the most unusual rooms is the primary bath/sitting room, filled with wall-to-wall floral carpeting, patterned wallpaper, and “sink stands crafted from Louis XVI–style commodes of gilt bronze and parquetry” which flank the fireplace. Even the bath fixtures are unique, designed to look like swans. Don’t miss the embroidery of sexually-transmitted diseases that sits on top of the fireplace.

The windowless bedroom is also interesting, and not just because it’s entirely cloaked in pink bedding and pale pink walls. Dual pocket doors close off the space, which Harbour fancies since “he’s a vampire” who likes to sleep in, says Allen, who jokingly calls it a “bed womb.” Her closet is larger than the bedroom itself and serves as a hangout area for herself and the kids. 

In the rear of the home, the living/garden area embodies its name with rich green colors on the ceiling and lining the windows, which are cloaked in chintz. A green double-sided sofa is covered in tufted emerald velvet and an English chandelier hangs overhead. The fireplace is also green and serves as a spot for the family to read books and play games. The space overlooks the rear garden, which features a Finnish sauna and cold plunge pavilion.

On the ground floor is the media room, covered in a tiger-print carpet and a tiger-print couch. It may not be traditional, but it’s exactly the type of fantasyland that fits the outlandish taste of the couple.

“I’m a suburban boy from Westchester, so I’m accustomed to a more middle-of-the-road aesthetic. But I love that my wife has her own vision and isn’t afraid of taking risks,” Harbour noted.