Bruce Willis may have just discovered the secret to parenting.
When friend and Elle Décor guest writer M. Night Shyamalan asked the actor where he likes to spend a quiet moment at the Bedford Hills, New York, house he shares with wife Emma Heming Willis and their two daughters, Mabel, 5, and Evelyn, 3, he reveals: “My office works. I’ve made it so boring in there that the kids want nothing to do with it.”
Sneaky decorating tricks aside, Bruce, 62, and Emma, 39, have made their home life family focussed, choosing to raise the girls in a quiet — albeit star-studded (Martha Stewart and Ralph Lauren live nearby) — suburb about an hour outside of Manhattan.
“We wanted our kids to be able to have more room and a yard to run in,” explains Emma, who founded skin-care line CocoBaba. “I also wanted to keep the kids as sheltered as we could from the paparazzi, and that scene is still very prevalent in L.A.; it’s not bad in New York, and it’s zero up where we live. The beauty of where we live is that it’s close to the city, so we get the best of both worlds.”
Shyamalan notes that their style is “at once refined and casual,” relieving any assumptions of an uppity abode as soon as one crosses the Craftsman-style threshold.
“First and foremost, we want our home to be comfortable and warm,” Emma says. “I’m not crazy about the idea of anything in our house being too precious. I want people to come in and feel 100 percent comfortable putting their feet up on our sofa.”
And while Bruce is partial to Stickley furniture and Craftsman design, the two have found a balance between upscale and welcoming that allows them to enjoy the day-to-day as a family.
“Our home is really filled with joy and the laughter and chatter of little girls being themselves, in a place we created with them in mind,” she says.
For the full details, pick up the November issue of Elle Decor, on newsstands now.