All the World’s a Stage For Bridgid Coulter


If Bridgid Coulter’s star-studded interior design career is any indication, her new textile line will be a hit. The designer, who is working on a home for Matt Damon and just finished a project for Alfre Woodard, has a client list that reads like the end credits of a blockbuster movie. Members of the Hollywood A-list are drawn to Coulter’s use of clean, modern lines punctuated with tribal elements and pops of color, as well as her understanding of where they are coming from. Because when it comes to a life on stage, Coulter has been there, done that. “There’s some kind of shorthand,” she says, referring to the acting life. “An understanding of the transient nature of the arts is helpful.”

Coulter (whose grandfather is blues musician Matthew “Boogie Jake” Jacob) appeared in films such as Always Outnumbered and television shows including Martin, Family Matters and Class of ’96. But as she was building her acting career, she was also refining her design chops by constantly fixing up and decorating her homes, including a major remodel on the Venice house she shares with her longtime partner, Don Cheadle. After a short break to raise their children (girls Ayana Tai and Imani), Coulter opened her own interior design studio in Santa Monica. Her small by-appointment-only shop, Bridgid Coulter Designs, is currently stocked with her new fabrics—graphic prints on linen—inspired by her travels throughout Africa. The first three fabrics in the line include Floral Block Party (a botanical take on African cloth), In an Orderly Fashion (influenced by the image of Jeep tracks left in the Saharan sand), and Pledge Allegiance to the Plaid (tribal lines on an all-American checked print).

Coulter, who is returning to the stage for the first time in eight years in a Walter Mosley play staged in New Jersey, says that although the world is already filled with beautiful prints, she adds something. “My fabrics bring geometry, visual interest and a multicultural perspective to a room,” she says. “In acting, what is in your brain is revealed onstage; in design, it’s revealed in rooms.”

This was originally published in California Home + Design’s Summer 2013 issue. Click here to subscribe.

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