Mr & Mrs Walter Matthau’s house
The Walter Matthaus: “We’ve given our house a country-look and country feeling.”
By knocking out a few small rooms, designer Miller created a spacious country kitchen where Walter Matthau relaxes — by cooking.
“Most creative men enjoy cooking and are better, I think, than women,” says Mrs. Matthau (author & actress Carol Grace Matthau, who was also rumored to be the inspiration for Holly Golightly in Truman Capote’s story, Breakfast at Tiffany’s).
Upstairs, she “writes, dresses, telephones,” in a flowery retreat of melting pinks and sett fabric. The big collage [partially visible below] was a gift from the artist — Gloria Vanderbilt.
Carol and Walter Matthau’s recently acquired California house, a typical example of 1920s suburbia, became pleasantly untypical with discreet remodeling and a gardenful of flowered fabrics.
Interior designer Gerald Miller, who “believes in sticking to existing architecture,” made only a few structural changes, all of them subtle.
The kitchen was enlarged, and white-shuttered bays were added to the living and dining rooms; country-fresh colors and fabrics work beautifully — to create the illusion of the outdoors.
As Mrs. Matthau says, “I love flowers inside and outdoors. In California, I have the best of two worlds.”
“The outdoors flows right into our house — flowers and all.”
In the Matthaus’ living and dining rooms, fresh greens, white, and the sparkle of rosy red make the perfect bridge between indoors and outdoors.
Delicate green bouquets on a white background cover most of the versatile dining room, where an oval table can be pulled up to the bay area for more seating.
“We’ve only been in the house since September, so we haven’t done much entertaining. Actually, I’m just finding out how to live in the house.”
In the living room, a garden pattern of flowers and butterflies covers furniture and window seat, while a Portuguese neeedlepoint rug lights up the floor. In one corner, an eighteenth-century cupboard makes a triangular bar.