There's a giddiness to this bachelorette pad; it's everywhere, from the Polaroid portraits of friends on the bedroom wall (Jennifer takes her camera to all of her red carpet events) to the eye-catching Tord Boontje barrel chairs that flank the backyard tepee ("I saw those in New York and immediately thought, 'They're perfect for Jennifer,'" Ariel says). But there's also a distinct sense that Jennifer learned a lot about design through her collaboration with Ariel. The actress not only knows what she likes now, but to go after it when she sees it: Pointing to a pile of rock-shaped pillows in the living room, Jennifer says, "Before, I would have seen those at the store and said, 'Those are cool,' and then gone straight for the sale rack."
In Jennifer's living room, an Ikea sofa, felt rock-shaped pillows, and a metallic stool by Ligne Roset provide plenty of seating. A framed game board from her childhood hangs above a photo of her latest obsession, Bob Dylan.
Jennifer is not afraid to treat herself every once in a while—to delicate water glasses or colorful tableware. "I always thought you needed cabinets to hide your dishes," she says, remembering her first impulse to build doors around the open shelves in the kitchen. "But not if you have pretty dishes."
Ultimately, Carpenter says, she understands that it's sometimes those little things—whether earthy pottery that complements your countertops or, yes, even mosquito netting to dress up an air mattress—that make the difference in how you live your life.
Dishware from Lawson-Fenning East, clear glasses from Roost, and vintage woven cups sit on open shelves in the kitchen.
Relax! Using Ariel's five pointers for easy living leaves plenty of time for fun and games.
- Buy neutral furniture and bring color in with accessories. It's easier to replace a candlestick than a sofa that suddenly feels outdated.
- Take a laid-back approach to art. We used game boards and Polaroids. And who says everything needs to be hung on the wall—or even framed?
- Big names aren't always best. I like to mix highbrow and affordable furniture because it's hard to feel comfortable in a room that's all design, design, design.
- Erase the barrier between indoors and out. Furnish your deck, porch, or patio as if it were your living room. Then you can't help but enjoy the good weather.
- Don't bother with fussy drapes. In fact, if privacy is not an issue at your home, you have my permission to skip curtains altogether.
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