Saturday, November 5

Celebrity Home: Ben Kingsley

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I saw Hugo last night; a beautiful movie by Martin Scorcese in which Ben Kingsley has given one of his most poignant performances. The whole period look of the movie reminded me so much of Kingsley’s residence, Spelsbury House. The large period property is set in its three-acre grounds, surrounded by beautiful Oxfordshire countryside and was featured in Architecture Digest some years back. 

Here have a peep! I know you can’t wait to, but I also know it would surprise you. For unlike the typical over the top celebrity houses, Kingsley’s house is very warm and homely. A place for big family gatherings, for bringing up children and for growing old gracefully. It matches Kingsley’s personality very well, down to earth and completely unpretentious. 

This also comes across when he describes the house for AD, for he mentions all the small domestic details, “In the morning, when the walls of the kitchen glow yellow,” he explains, “it’s like coming into a pot of glowing honey. And the terracotta hallway in the afternoon is breathtaking—pure liquid light.” Kingsley based the house’s dramatic wall colors on the palette Henri Matisse used for his paintings in Morocco.

The entrance hall. Patrick Morrison’s The Accordionist, circa 1996, hangs in the stairwell
A Victorian pine table in the kitchen serves as a gathering place for Kingsley’s extended family. 

The furniture was produced locally in Oxfordshire and influenced by the history and mythology of the area.
Kingsley purchased the rugs in the living room while traveling in Morocco. 
An Oscar, won for the actor’s work in Gandhi, stands in a corner of the living room on a Rococo style console table and near a walnut William Morris armchair and a 19th-century painted Italian mirror
The bedroom features more finds from Ben's travels - a rosewood four-poster bed, a Swiss blanket chest and a Louis XV–style settee.
A couple of views of the house and formally laid out gardens. 
 All images courtesy Architecture Digest.

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