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MICHELLE PFEiFFER OnWhat She's Learned

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SUMMER STYLE PROBLEMS SOLVED


HOTEL BELL P

She has layed a high school sleuth, an e ectric supervixen and a heartbreaker namkd Sarah Marshall. But in her off hours KRISTEN BELL slips into her favorite role of all: hostess

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en Kristen Bell first saw her seven-bedroom Spanish-style house nearly three years ago, she knew how she would fill it. I'm going to have 10 kids, thought the actress,who was theninvolved with alongtime beau. But thereIationship ended,leaving her to rework that notion. "As I've grown up alittle more, I've realized that that: may not be so realistic," says the 28-year-old. Instead, she has filled the 5,500-square-foot home with different treasures-finessing the layout and dkcor to comfortably accommodate an ever-revolving group of guests who have become her surrogate family in L.A. "It makes me really comfortable to be a caretaker: says Bell, who provides the voice of the unseen title character on the CW's Gossip Girl and stars in the upcoming comedy When in Rome with Josh DuhameI and her boyfriend, Dax Shepard. 'When I'm domestic, I feel empowered," she says. The home and its rambling 2.5 acres, dotted with lavender, bougainvillea and abundant jasmine, give her plenty of opportunity to gather friends together. Since snapping up the property, the Michigan native has thrown countless parties, making great use of her pool, spacious patio andmultitiered grounds. There's even awinding path that leads to awooded knoll where Bell andcompany built amakeshift fire pit they usefor weekend campouts. (The only rule: The house is off-limits, except for the loo.) "I have such an amazing view, and the air is so fresh up here," says Bell, who quickly adds, "that's probably the first time anyone has ever called the smoggyLos Angeles air fresh!" BY

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To spruce up the somewhat dated interior, the actress workedwith L.A. designerstaceyvuduris. Their 1 1 MO was simple: Create a signature design dement for each room that managed to blend Bell's passion for sleek, modern lines with her penchant for fernif . 0 ~ o7l t p nine accents. "I'm still evolvingin my style and taste," , says Bell, "so I had to learn to commit." Vuduris /lO@Y/ / f 11 was a big support during the six-month overhaul /2~?. that included gutting the master bedroom and bath. "Kristen loves mixing raw and industrial with pretty and fresh, so we had to find that balance," says the designer. The dark1980s-style kitchen was the first order ofbusiness. Painting the cherry-finish cabinets snow white and adding brushed-nickel pulls immediateIy brightened the room. New stone-colored counters replaced worn yellow tile and also modernizedthelook. "It's anamazingspace andthere's enough room to crawl around on the countertops," says Bell, as she hoists herself up to perch on the island where she often preps suppers for her rotating live-in brood. She's currently hosting three pals, "but at one point, I had six roommates-it's like a sorority or frat house," she says. Her raucous American Idol parties draw diehard fans, while Scrabble tournaments are as competitive as high-stakes poker. "I once got, like, 84 points for the word %oobies'! I was ecstatic," she says, laughing. Luckily, Bell's teakbarn-wood dining-room table can seat 14. "I'm so drawn to the look and feel of raw wood," says Bell, eyeing the wall of &stressed custom-built walnut shelving that replaces a traditional sideboard. Faux-suede-and-chrome chairs from CB2,a ceiling warmed by custom wallpaper and a chandelier of clustered globes from Shades of Light provide a sophisticated contrast to the m r a l I relaxed feel. Still, even a tireless hostess sometimes needs to retreat. "My bedroom is like my own private apartment when I want to be alone," says Bell. She altered the original design to add more windows and a balcony where she catches the occasional sunrise. Sheloves it when her boyfriend notices her attentionto deI tail. "Daxwill surprise me by saying,'Oh, I love that wallpaper' An ottoman is a great multiuse substitution for a or'That's a beautiful soap dish,'" she says. The attached master coffee table, and in a lively print or pattern it can bathroom, with its marble-topped tub for two and custom vanbecome a chic focal point. Echo the fabric's colors in ity, is her other oasis. "I spend so much time here, from getting accents throughout an otherwise neutral room. At Ballard Designs (ballarddesigns.com),you can choose ready to pamperingmyse1fwithamasque:'says Bell, whomakes from 17styles of ottomans and customizewith your her own body scnrbsfrom brown sugar,honey and baby oil. pick from more than one hundred fabrics, including No doubt she would gladly whip one up for a guest too. At prints like toile, ikat or cheetah. After your piece is Bell's house, there's always homemade lavender lemonade in delivered, consider treating the fabricwith a stain the fridge and a place to put your feet up. "I'm in a lucky posiprotector such as Scotchgard. Cotton, twill and linen tion," she says blissfully. "Everyone ends up comingto me!" are generally the most durable.

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TURN YOUR WALLS INTO A THE BEDROOM "I love that the wallpaper looks painted on,"says Bell of the elegant floral print by Trove behind her bed. For maximum impact, covera windowless wall, ideally behind the room's largest piece of furniture. Use the wallpaper calculator at Lowes.comt o estimate how many rolls you need.

:ustom Plantation covered it with fabric in t h e Chiang Mai Dragon pattern from Schumacher (fschumachcr.com).

PUT IT ON DISPI THE DINING ROOM

Think of built-in shelving as aframe for objets d'art and distinctive dishware. Designer Vuduris says to use a bracket every 2 feet to keep the wood from bowing. A iqinch shelf-depth will accommodate dinner plates without projectingtoo far into the room. Let the finish complementyour design scheme: Raw wood adds a rustic feel; brightly colored lacquer looks modern. A good DIY shelving source: Stacks and Stacks ($30-$5o/shelf; stacksandstacks.com).

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KEEP IT COZY

PTHE BACKYARD

I Treat a backyard space like a living room.

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Arrange outdoor furniture on an all-weather mod rug to create a more defined area, and amp up the comfort with throws and colorful pillows-we love the cotton tasseled Ibis pillow (left, 24"x 24': $78; anthropologie .corn). A lantern on an end table adds an ambient glow. Accessories like lacquered trays and even framed pictures heighten the indoor feel-just take them with you when you go back inside. rn

Hotel Bell  

Interior Designer, Stacey Vuduris assists actress Kristen Bell to remodel her Hollywood home.

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