By Rebecca Silverstein
We always knew that Busy Phillips was a doting mother and hysterically funny actress, but we never thought of her as a design enthusiast. Alas, we were wrong. Busy and her "Cougar Town" co-star Courteney Cox are teaming up with home-decor flash-sale site One Kings Lane for a specially curated sale of vintage home items, including items from their very own homes. All proceeds from the sale, which launches tonight, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m. PT, 9 p.m. ET, will benefit L.A. children's nonprofit The Art of Elysium. Read on as we chat with Busy about vintage shopping, what she's learned from her house-flipping co-star and why she hasn't let motherhood change her decorating style.
WW: What is your home-decor style?
BP: It's a bit eclectic. My husband and I have been really conscious of not only being able to blend our styles but also having a nice balance in the house between vintage, antique and modern. Even though we live in a Spanish-Mediterranean-style home that was built in 1923, we just didn't want to go over-the-top Spanish with the interior. We have a 1960s Italian chandelier, but we also have a nod to the Hollywood regency style a little bit too. We just try to make it all flow.
WW: Courteney Cox used to flip houses. Has she ever given you a really great tip about decorating?
BP: Courteney is so incredible. She has impeccable taste -- anyone who spends some time with her will tell you that. There haven't been any specific tips [she's given me], so it's more just by osmosis. By just being in her spaces and spending some time with her, you really get a chance to see how she so perfectly is able to blend different styles and bring in her fantastic taste in everything that she does. When we started doing "Cougar Town," they were constructing her Malibu home that she now lives in, so we got to see that process with her.
WW: Did having your daughter, Birdie, change your style at all?
BP: No, I don't believe in it.
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WW: Has she ever broken anything vintage?
BP: Things are things, and people are people. So while we haven't had an incident of something antique or valuable being broken, if something antique or valuable were to be broken, it would be a bummer for five seconds, but it's not that big of a deal ultimately. When she was a baby we put the really fragile things up on high shelves. You teach your kid very early on, "One finger. You touch it with one finger." That was our whole thing. She's great. She has fragile, beautiful things in her room too, and she's very careful with those things.
WW: What's been your best vintage or antique furniture buy?
BP: Many years ago, I was able to buy Elizabeth Taylor's chairs from her Palm Springs estate from Modern One Gallery here in Los Angeles. I love them with every bone in my body. Actually my daughter did kind of put a little hole in the caning. It sucks, but the caning can be fixed. It will be fine. We just bought this beautiful bench that's from the 1800s from some bakery in Sweden, and I just love it. It's so cool, and we are refinishing it so that it can be an outdoor bench on our upstairs balcony.
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WW: Which items from your personal collection will be up for sale?
BP: Well, there's beautiful Lucite lamps -- late '60s, early '70s -- that I bought in Palm Springs and that lived in our bedroom for a while, and my husband deemed them "too girlie," so they were relegated to the closet in our guest bedroom. I'm sad to see them go, but you know what? They're going to find a better home, and they're being donated to charity so it's all for a good cause. My coffee table from my old home, before I was married, with the capiz shell inlay that I loved -- sadly, again, there was no place for it in our new house, and so that also is on its way to the sale. My husband's beautiful sofa from before we were married, before we melded our lives together -- I have really good memories of watching "American Idol" and eating Pinkberry on it when we were just dating and falling in love, so I thought, I hope it brings someone else good luck.