Inside James Coburn’s house: “We live in a house of travel treasures.”
If anyone ever lived with the things they love,” say actor James Coburn and his wife Beverly, “We do. We’ve toted all kinds of things back from trips and far-flung movie locations.”
Yet, with the help of interior designer Tony Duquette, the house is far more than a collector’s paradise. “For all its glitter and color and Moroccan patterns, it’s surprisingly serene.”
And completely exotic. The temple bells jangling over Mr. Coburn’s head came from Bangkok, as did the guardian dogs at the front door.
The Coburns’ pet monkey haunts the Persian pavilion — a lattice-work room with banquettes which are upholstered in Kelim rugs.
“We are very happy living with all this vivid color and pattern.”
Kipling to the contrary, East and West blend beautifully in the Coburns’ living room. A beamed ceiling, that was “very Spanish, very stark.” became a fantasy canopy with Indian fabric, gold paint, mother-of-pearl shells.
“The whole family worked on it.” Designer Duquette outlined the general plan of the house, then let the Coburns execute much of the work. “In this way, the house really belongs to its owners.”
A rich Indian fabric stretched on the walls by Mrs. Coburn turned a small closet into a handsome bar. She also bordered a door framing of old tiles with black and white stenciling.
“We always keep the house loaded with flowers. They make the dark spots come alive.”
The warm, welcoming living room
By day, vivid yellows and oranges light up the once austere living room, and at night, the Coburns and daughter Lisa relax in the glow of candlelight. “Life in this house is as casual as we can make it.”
“We collect atmosphere as well as things.”
The Coburns house is like looking into a wonderful old chest — the more you look the more you discover.
Tucked into a stairwell, a little music room, is washed in six subtle shades of turquoise.
The collection of instruments is more than exotic decoration. “Many of our parties end up here, because we have a group of friends who play the flutes and drums. My husband, particularly, is a great drummer.”
As interesting as the instruments and painted Indian furniture are such imaginative touches as a tray of candles and a burst of flowers placed, votive-like, in a niche with an Oriental statue, a black and white border painted around a window hung with an Indian fabric.
Inside James Coburn’s home: The guest bedroom
The guest bedroom was gloriously Far Eastern with a fabric-paneled ceiling, colorful doors, and a magnificent Chinese canopy-style bed.
ALSO SEE: Charles Bronson at home (1975)