Inside Robert Downey Jr.'s Whimsical Windmill House in the Hamptons: 'We Definitely Don't Like Boring'

The actor and his family create a one-of-a-kind summer retreat

Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t mince words when it comes to design.

“Our previous experience with designers was sucky,” the Iron Man actor writes in the foreword of his interiors guru Joe Nahem’s forthcoming book. “We’d pretty much surrender to the will of the experts, then harbor a white-hot resentment.”


Needless to say, his opinion of his current creative partner, with whom he outfitted a quirky Hamptons retreat for himself and his family — wife, producer Susan Downey, and their children Exton, 5, and Avri, 3 — was a much more pleasant undertaking. In fact, it became a fairytale.

Francçois Dischinger

The home, a former playhouse in the shape of a functioning windmill, features wild colors and patterns, furry and fluffy furniture that looks straight out of Alice in Wonderland, and to top it off, a 15-foot grasshopper on the front lawn.

Francçois Dischinger

“We wanted something we haven’t seen a million times,” Downey Jr. tells Architectural Digest in their December issue. “We didn’t set out to do something conspicuously wacky. We just enjoy a bit of whimsy and fun. And we definitely don’t like boring.”

Francçois Dischinger

The finished product features a sunken living room with a one-of-a-kind fireplace, a stripe-covered entryway in the base of the windmill, and a pool area worthy of a resort. Adds Downey Jr., “These kinds of collaborations require a leap of faith, but that’s part of the fun. We enjoy the experimentation.”

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