PETER DUNHAM

When i moved to LA about three years ago, and was in the process of decorating my new home, i discovered a very chic little showroom called hollywood at home a few blocks away. at first i was drawn to the red awnings and red doors, the potted plants flanking the entrance and the layered windows. when i went in i  found the most fabulous fabrics and furniture collections. this is when my love affair started with carolina irving and soon after that i found myself in love with the peter dunham- the brilliant interior designer and owner of hollywood at home.

i love peter for many reasons. an English gentlemen with great wit, immense style and great taste. i miss my early morning elliptical chats with him- soon i will be back on schedule. he is always lovely, warm and charming- truly the antithesis of all we think about LA.

his fabrics have become my go to for most projects. his hand printed textiles are everything- they feel vintage with Indian, Mediterranean and Turkish influences. his samarkand fabric, all 10 colors, is hands down my favorite fabric- i love it on walls, drapes and sofas. i can’t get enough of it, especially mixed with ikat fabric and kashmir paisley.

i love peter’s style. i think he single handedly has defined the new California aesthetic- a casual bohemian vibe with a mix of english layers and ethnic influences. when you see a dunham room you know it’s peters. you also know it not only looks fresh, comfortable and new, but that it will stand the test of time.

what can i say? peter is just like his rooms and his fabrics- elegant, refreshing, witty, warm and chic!

please enjoy getting to know a little more about my dear friend peter dunham- one of my favorite designers and one of the best things that ever happened to me in LA!

 

MDS- How would you define your style?

PD- Atmospheric, eclectic. David Keeps defined my style in The Los Angeles Times as, “Merchant Ivory Moderne.” I think that’s pretty accurate.

Peter Dunham Designed Sitting Room for Veranda’s “House of Windsor” Show House.

Dining Room from a Hollywood Hills Residence designed by Peter Dunham.

Bedroom from a Hollywood Hills Residence designed by Peter Dunham.

Peter Dunham-designed Space at Hollyhock for LCDQ.

Woodside Project Sitting Room by Peter Dunham.

 

 

MDS- Where did you grow up and how do you think that influences your work?

PD- France, England (for school) and Spain (summers). Each has influenced me with its own strong, different type of style. From France, restraint, balance and elegance; from England, color, comfort and layering; and from Spain, organic, modern rusticity. All play very strong roles in my projects and I like to mix them together.

Also, my mother notoriously picked my schools by their looks. Coincidentally Ashley Hicks, son of the great David Hicks, was one of my closest classmates. Through them my eyes were opened to the world of design, particularly textile design, which is part of my business today.

Family House in Country Outside Paris.

Peter’s Parent’s Deco Apartment.

One of Peter’s Boarding Schools.

Another Boarding School.

 

MDS- If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?

PD- This is my second career and, as challenging as it is sometimes, I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

Benedict Canyon Project by Peter Dunham.

Benedict Canyon Project Library.

Benedict Canyon Project Bedroom.

 

 

MDS- Who or what is inspiring you right now?

PD- I’ve really stepped up my travel schedule to more exotic places. India, earlier this year and again in February. Weekend trips through the central coast of California or out in the desert. The new energy at LACMA has been really inspirational too.

Peter, During a Recent Trip to India.

Fort Alhiya, India

 

 

MDS- What is the favorite room in your home?

PD- My bedroom. It’s a small room with a lovely view through palm trees in West Hollywood. I upholstered the walls in my peacock Kashmir Paisley and plastered them with my collection of photos, Mughal drawings and 19th-century photos of India. There’s a coral and blue dhurrie. And, I made a four-poster bed from Georgian posts I bought at a One King’s Lane Tony Duquette sale that dominates the room. Combined with a great mattress and ironed sheets, it’s my idea of heaven.

Framed 1920s photo of the Calcutta Riverbank from Hollywood at Home.

Framed Taj Mahal Photo from Hollywood at Home.

Peter Dunham Textiles Kashmir Paisley in Peacock.

 

 

 MDS- Is there anything you obsessively collect?

 PD- Indian memorabilia and textiles, especially anything pre-1900.

Photo of Mahraja Holkar of Indore at Hollywood at Home.

Vintage Indian Print Pillow at Hollywood at Home.

Stone Indian Sculpture for Sale at Hollywood at Home.

 

 

MDS- Fill in the blank: “I could never own too many ____________ .”

PD- Photos. I’m never without some kind of camera. I take pictures of things that inspire me, pictures of items I need to remember, pictures of things i have to go back for, to fix or to buy. I take pictures of architectural details or colors I like for use sometime later. They’re the eye’s memory bank.

Photo Peter Took of the Le Courbusier-Designed Sarabai House in India.

 

 

MDS- If you could decorate anyone’s house – who’s would it be and why?

PD- Lenny Kravitz. He’s sexy, creative and collects art.

Lenny Kravitz

 

 

MDS- What do you want to be known for?

PD- For doing timeless interiors, both contemporary and traditional, that stand the test of time through their quality and look.

Beverly Hills Home Designed by Peter Dunham

Beverly Hills Home Dining Room

Beverly Hills Home Designed by Peter Dunham

 

MDS- What do you think is chic, stylish and glamorous?

PD- Paris (chic), London (stylish), New York (glamorous)

London, New York, Paris Print

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  1. Peter has always been a man of taste and style. I have known him since he was a small child in Paris.He has a great eye for everything beautiful and unusual.He is a great guest and story teller. He is kind,thoughtful and very caring. I love his fabrics and the thought and care that goes into them – peter’s heart and soul is always there to be seen.

  2. I love the way Peter has used the Indian fabrics to cover chairs, sofas and beds. I did the same using old indian fabrics, some falling to bits, but quite beautiful, to cover a tiny room in our Georgian house in LOndon which we called The Indian Room. The indian fabrics were inherited from my husband’s family who were on military service in India during the 18 & 19 centuries….a great way to add colour and interest to a room!!

  3. Thank you so much for this interview. I too am so inspired by Peter’s fabrics (some of my absolute favs). I adore his Ikat & kashmir paisley and of course the samarkand. I never tire of them. Wonderful post!

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