Following their 2020 nuptials in Las Vegas, “Stranger Things” actor David Harbor and British singer/actress Lily Allen picked up a “very lived-in” 19th-century Italianate brownstone in Brooklyn’s leafy Carroll Gardens enclave. The couple subsequently enlisted the services of architect Ben Bischoff of MADE and designer Billy Cotton, and embarked upon an extensive renovation; now they’re finally giving folks a look inside the eclectic abode, via an Architectural Digest tour.
Drawing on three distinct design themes — traditional English, modern Brooklyn townhouse and layered Italian, in a nod to the neighborhood’s Italian-American roots — Cotton’s goal was to preserve the original details and character, but also create a casual, family-friendly atmosphere. The result? Eccentric yet inviting interiors boasting chintz balloon shades, crystal chandeliers, pink silk, tiger-patterned textiles and Mylar wallpaper — throwing in some whimsical swan-shaped fixtures and a flamingo portrait for good measure.
The first order of business? Creating a warm and functional kitchen, complete with Plain English cabinetry, an Ann Sacks-tiled backsplash, a pricey Officine Gullo range, custom dining table big enough for dropping off shopping bags and completing homework, and coffee station with a hot/cold water tap installed especially for Harbour. From there, a green-hued living/garden room is anchored by a boxy fireplace, Zuber wallpaper and a custom double-sided green sofa enveloped in tufted emerald velvet.
Other highlights include a primary bath/sitting room anchored by carpet and shades from Pierre Frey, yet more Zuber wallpaper, Ralph Lauren Home sconces, Henri Caillon armchairs, a pink soaking tub, and fireplace bookended by vanities crafted from gilt bronze and parquetry commodes. A separate space holds the toilet and combination shower/tub, while pocketing doors open to reveal the intimate and windowless “bed womb,” which sports bookshelves on either side of the bed. There also are two walk-in closets — one a dressing area with bespoke Florense shelving for her, and another black-clad space with desk for him.
A narrow staircase descends to the more contemporary lower level, which is spotlighted by a powder room flaunting an ebony sink and toilet set against bold geometric wallpaper, as well as a media room adorned with a stone fireplace, and carpet and sofa dressed in tiger print. A door flows out to the enclosed and gated backyard, which hosts two structures housing a Finnish sauna and cold plunge pool.
Harbour told AD that the townhome’s style is a big change from that of his former New York City loft in Nolita. “I’m a suburban boy from Westchester, so I’m accustomed to a more middle-of-the-road aesthetic,” he said. “But I love that my wife has her own vision and isn’t afraid of taking risks.” As for Allen, well it seems she has fully achieved her overall desire for something truly “weird and wonderful.”