In her pri­vate life

Living Etc - - HOMES / ETC -

Danielle Bux is far from be­ing a drama queen. In fact, she’s dis­arm­ingly down-to-earth. But in her home, she can’t get enough the­atri­cal flour­ishes. ‘I wanted this house to feel like a stage – with all the old-school glam­our that sug­gests,’ she says. Right from the en­trance hall, with its daz­zle of Deco glass, floor-to-ceil­ing vel­vet cur­tains, se­ri­ous chan­de­liers and the dusky gleam of bronze, the house an­nounces that the play’s the thing. That’s be­fore you even reach the cinema room with bar (whisky sours, op­tional) and its stretch-out crim­son arm­chairs that ri­val a direc­tor’s suite for dou­ble-bill com­fort. Yes, each space of this fam­ily abode whis­pers ‘glam­our’ as se­duc­tively as a For­ties femme fatale, but with a mod­ern-day dash of Danielle’s own per­son­al­ity.

The house is home to Danielle, her daugh­ter Ella, her ex-hus­band Gary Lineker and his four sons. ‘I’m still step­mum to his boys and he’s still step­dad to Ella, so this re­mains a fam­ily home for all of us,’ she says sim­ply. ‘Peo­ple seemed so shocked that we still get on, but I don’t know how else we would be­have, ex­cept as de­cent hu­man be­ings. Gary’s my best friend.’

It’s that straight­for­ward, no-mess­ing at­ti­tude that helped bag Danielle this prop­erty in the first place. ‘I’d ad­mired it from the out­side for ages,’ she re­calls, ‘but the agent told us that it was com­pli­cated – it was di­vided into four flats, so it wasn’t likely to come on the mar­ket for a few years.’ In­stead, she and Gary did up a place a stone’s throw away. They had barely moved in when the agent called to say that this house had un­ex­pect­edly come up. ‘I couldn’t be­lieve the tim­ing,’ says Danielle. ‘Gary’s im­me­di­ate re­ac­tion was, “Forget it – we’ve al­ready found some­where”. But the agent and I talked him around. It was a dream house and too good an op­por­tu­nity to miss.’

Danielle had bought and done up sev­eral houses since Ella was a baby, so was less fazed by the prospect of an­other move, but even she lost heart when the build dragged on and on. ‘The ren­o­va­tors were com­plete per­fec­tion­ists, but in the end, I just booked a re­moval van, turned up and said, “Okay, you’d bet­ter fin­ish up and leave now…”’

To trans­late her glam vi­sion for this house into a re­al­ity, Danielle called upon the skills of in­te­rior designer Jo Ber­ry­man. ‘I just loved her style – and the fact that with Jo, noth­ing is generic,’ she says. Right from the be­gin­ning, Danielle and Jo were ‘on the same page’. Mad Men was an ini­tial in­spi­ra­tion, says Danielle – ‘we both loved the ca­sual glam­our, the tex­tures, the moody sense of drama’. Jo also brought artis­tic in­flu­ences into play; the colours of the dress­ing room are rem­i­nis­cent of Paula Rego’s at­mo­spheric paint­ings and sexy painterly pinks dance around the mas­ter bed­room.

Tac­tile tex­tures, from vel­vet to soft leather, and de­li­ciously dark shades of teal and sea green are a flow­ing un­der­cur­rent to this home. Skirt­ings and win­dow frames in dark­est grey – which Danielle and Gary had spot­ted at the Chiltern Fire­house – also flicker through the spa­ces, like black trim on a reel of film. ‘Jo’s ap­proach is al­ways cre­ative,’ says Danielle. ‘The way she in­ter­prets a space is more like an artist than an in­te­rior designer.’

Jo Ber­ry­man called in light­ing and fur­ni­ture from New York and rugs from Is­tan­bul for a unique feel, as well as in­te­grat­ing pieces that Danielle and Gary had cho­sen for their pre­vi­ous home. You get the feel­ing Jo and Danielle had a blast to­gether. ‘Gary wanted to be quite hands-on too, but we tended to take the mickey and send him off to make cof­fees,’ Danielle con­fesses. ‘To be hon­est, he did have some good ideas – like re­jig­ging the dress­ing room and the mas­ter bath­room – but we weren’t go­ing to let on!’

The re­sult of this col­lab­o­ra­tion is a look that’s glam, but knows when to stop – and that’s just short of flashy. Part of the trick, says Danielle, is choos­ing an­tique and vin­tage over shiny and new. ‘Things that have lived a lit­tle are much more at­trac­tive to me. Gary says maybe that’s why I like older men too…’ she quips.

Danielle cur­rently di­vides her time be­tween here and LA, where she’s work­ing on sev­eral screen projects (un­der wraps for now). ‘LA is fiercely com­pet­i­tive, but oddly, it feels like a more level play­ing field,’ she says. ‘Here, I was al­ways an easy tar­get – “Oh, she’s just Gary Lineker’s wife”.’

Her dra­matic home has the odd twist in the plot as well, such as Gary’s steely-eyed por­trait hang­ing in the down­stairs loo. ‘Yes, ours is an un­con­ven­tional ar­range­ment,’ Danielle ad­mits. ‘Things might change, but for now, it works. And, hey, who wants to be con­ven­tional?’ To see more of Jo Ber­ry­man Studio’s in­te­rior de­sign port­fo­lio, visit jober­ry­man.com

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