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Inside Adwoa Aboah’s Delightful London Townhouse

Today Architectural Digest is welcomed by British model, actor, and activist, Adwoa Aboah, to tour her charming London home. When the Top Boy star first viewed her Victorian-era home five years ago it was falling apart at the seams but despite this, she knew it was home. Together, architectural designer Lewis Kane and AD100 designer Beata Heuman, helped Adwoa transform the fixer-upper into a delightful space bursting with color, pattern, and profound character. Heartfelt mementos from Adwoa’s life fill the space, and with a garden landscaped by her aunt and her sister’s artwork hanging on the walls, these familial touches make her house feel like home. “Friends have said if they could imagine a house that described me, this would be it. I feel very at peace here. It is like my sanctuary.” SAG-AFTRA members are currently on strike; as part of the strike, union actors are not promoting their film and TV projects. This interview was conducted prior to the strike.

Released on 09/05/2023


[doorknob clicking]

Hi, AD, it's Adria Burr. Welcome to my home.

Come on in. Take your shoes off and come in.

[Adria giggling]

[upbeat lounge music]

We are now in my living room, drawing room,

lounge room, whatever you wanna call it.

This is where I sit and binge-watch TV,

but I don't like how a room can center around just the TV,

so we decided to make a very nifty TV cabinet.

Big up, my Uncle Steve, Steve Husband

from Yorkshire, who painted this amazing still life for me,

and then look at this, fat TV, Netflix, Apple,

whatever you wanna watch on here.

This house was, like, falling down,

so I had to really kind of, like, pull it apart

and put it back together, and I really wanted to keep a lot

of the original stuff, like all the banister is original,

the floor that you saw in the entrance,

this corner thing was based off the corner thing

that was already in the house.

My interior designer's called Beata Heuman

and she's mega, and her lovely partner in crime, Fosca.

I'm prone to fluffy, pink, Hello Kitty, leopard print,

anything that's, like, kind of repulsively tacky,

so it was quite good to have someone tone that down.

I grew up in a really colorful house.

I'm not really interested in everything, like, matching.

I'm obviously not a minimalist,

so from top to bottom, it is a reflection of who I am.

I am prone to being quite a neurotic house owner.

I definitely have OCD, so people were quite impressed

when I built this house how chilled I've actually become,

and so I think it's more of an enjoyable space for people.

When my friend, Ruby, first came, she's danced on this,

knocked that down, and I didn't even get annoyed about it,

so I thought that was quite impressive.

This is my pride and joy.

There's quite a few things I would save in a fire.

I would try my best to get this out the house.

I don't know if it's possible.

As you can see, it's humongous.

This is by the very mega

and talented Ariana Papademetropoulos.

I commissioned this piece years ago.

I lived at my mom and dad's house.

It was the first money I ever made and I put it

into buying a piece of work that I really loved.

I'm a big manifester, so I kind of was just manifesting

the idea that one day, I'd have a wall to put it up on.

Oh, fuck, this is the coolest. This is the coolest.

So anyone who knows me really well knows that I'm obsessed

with anything kind of, like, phallic or obscure or risky,

so this penis lamp has been made and commissioned

by an amazing furniture maker who's

a great friend of mine, Max McClintock,

and my friend, Celia Burton, commissioned it

for them, they made it for my 30th, and

then Alice Palmer made the lampshade.

I always love it in AD, like, all those funny videos

of everyone going on about their wood pieces,

so I might just lie and say this was, like, carved

by monks in the 18th century as a voodoo,

ritualistic kind of thing against all men.

It wasn't.

[upbeat lounge music]

This is quite, like, an odd room

because it took a little bit longer to make kind of cozy.

I think I had this idea that, you know, I was gonna sit

and have, like, romantic dinners around this table.

I definitely don't do that, so this has kind of become like

a museum of my life and my weird things and my knickknacks.

My friend Mercedes makes all

these weird and wonderful ceramics.

My sister, Kesra Boa, is an amazing artist,

so this was her piece

when she graduated art school in New York.

Oh, fuck, this is sick!

So, To Adria. Love, Kirsten Dunst.

So back in the day, I used to go

and paint pottery in Ladbroke Grove with my sister,

and we saw this woman that looked

exactly like Kirsten Dunst, so we went up to her

and we were like, Oh my god.

Has anyone ever told you

that you look so much like Kirsten Dunt?

It was Kirsten Dunt.

So we got her to sign

[Adria giggling]

our plates and I've kept it ever since, prized possession.

It should really go in, like, a glass cabinet.

I've never been the person who likes

to just kind of hide things, so photos

of my mom and my cousins, and friends

and family who are no longer here.

This room could have been that room where you

just kind of dump all your stuff in,

but actually, it's definitely my favorite.

Oh look, this is cool!

My Barbie, she's got a prized place in her own throne,

but I was very lucky enough to have been able

to create my own Barbie with Mattel.

She's got her girl's talk look,

she's got her bougie outfit, so we love that.

Beata and Fosca got this mirror made

in, like, Italy, and I love the idea

of, like, all the artwork reflecting back into it.

I bought this in Tetbury and I completely fell

in love with it.

It just feels like a grand disco ball.

These are cool.

[light slamming]

[Adria giggling]

No joke, that's a real croissant and that's a real baguette.

I found them in Paris and I thought it

was the coolest thing I've ever seen, to be quite honest.

[upbeat lounge music]

This is the kitchen, which is amazing.

You know, I spend my life here cooking souffles and curries

and Sunday roasts and, you know,

extravagant chocolate cakes.

[adria giggling]

I don't. I don't, actually.

I don't. I don't cook anything in there.

My boyfriend or my sister, my cousin, George,

is an amazing chef at Brat, so he comes

and cooks me amazing dinners.

I'm a really good cleaner, I can do all the dishes,

but when it comes to cooking, I'm not amazing.

When you have skylights like this, what I thought is

that you had to have quite, like, kind of ugly shaving,

but Beata and Fosca are genius and they found

these ratan ones, so, I mean,

I rarely open them 'cause it is like a hot box in here,

but there's something really beautiful

about when the light comes in.

The thing is about this kitchen is I'm as urban as it gets,

I couldn't be less country, but it does give

off this kind of, like, modern country-esque vibe,

do you know what I mean, without being too, like, kitsch.

I would say my style is kind of like a tacky granny maybe.

Yeah, something like that. Yeah.

[Adria giggling]

I think.

We've got, you know, a heart boner here.

My friend Jeff made that.

It started with this chopping board,

and then we put it on the island

because who doesn't want an island

that has a heart boner on it?

And you know, teak, teak, teak,

[palm smacking table]

and we covered these in leopard print.

I didn't want you to come into a house, or for me to live

in a house, where everything felt like it

had just been made, so a lot of the furniture is,

like, old and being reupholstered.

This is probably my favorite.

This is by an amazing Ghanaian artist called Gideon Appah

and it's all based around, like, kind of found photos,

and I just completely fell in love with it.

My magnets are a great obsession of mine.

I change the photos up,

but the magnets I've been collecting since, like,

for years and years and years,

so I'm proud of my magnet collection.

Look, a fridge magnet for your fridge.

Sorry, I think that's cool.

If I have a few minutes, I'll just sit here

in between, like, calls or the podcast

or whatever it is that I'm having to do

and I'll just, like, have a moment to myself.

The sun, because it's south-facing my garden

I get amazing light that comes in here,

so I just get to, like, lounge.

[upbeat hip hop music]

Come out to my amazing garden, my pride and joy.

My auntie Sarah, Sarah Husband,

you should definitely use her.

She's an amazing gardener.

I didn't want something that looked so pristine,

and she did it in such a beautiful way.

My mom and dad fought me on having grass.

I kind of agree with them, it is annoying to maintain,

and my sister's dog keeps pissing

all over it, so that's annoying as well.

It's like a rainforest back here.

I've got so many bees, robins, I do my part

for the environment and I have a compost over there.

I'm about to have some friends over.

It's all laid out very neatly

and we're gonna just sit here and share this one lemon.

[upbeat music]

Barbarella, Boogie Nights,

I love these two paintings that were made

by a great artist in Ghana called Daniel Jasper,

and back in the day, as we all know,

they weren't, like, making, like, you know,

Digifilm posters, so he was one of

the main painters of them back in Ghana.

What I love about them is there's

just something slightly off about them.

Her face is just slightly weird, and so is hers,

but that's what makes them, like, super cool.

My cousin gave me that for my 30th

so obviously, you know, who doesn't want

a light bulb for their 30th birthday?

I was very happy to get one, so I put that up there.

My mom was a photographic agent for years.

Perry Ogden, an amazing Irish photographer,

was one of her first photographers

that she repped back in the, I think the eighties,

so I stole that from their house.

I'm actually, you know what, I'm not one

of those people who has a load

of black and white pictures of themselves on their wall,

but I have these two, and they're small,

so I'm gonna let myself off, but

an amazing photographer called Jack Davidson did these

and I felt like he photographed me

in a way that I hadn't been photographed before.

Look, sorry. Here we are again, Nadine Farage.

[upbeat hip hop music]

So this is my bedroom.

All I have ever wanted was a princess bed

and a TV in my room, because I didn't have a TV

in my room when I was growing up.

Boohoo me, tiny violin, and the third thing I've

always ever wanted was matching curtains to my wallpaper.

I don't think it is that princessy as cool,

do you know what I mean?

I didn't go, like, overboard.

I love to say that I sit here elegantly doing my makeup,

but I don't wear makeup, so this is more, again,

like a shrine for all my favorite people.

It looks a lot cleaner, but usually, I have my Dyson fan,

[Adria scoffing]

and it is the most comfiest bed.

I think I, probably, one of the bougiest things I bought

for this house was a Hastens mattress,

but it was well worth the great expense

and apparently they've got like years and years of warranty.

I was told that someone, like,

comes in and, like, massages it.

I haven't had someone come and massage it, so I don't know

it's time for that, but if it is,

please, Hastens, send someone to massage my mattress.

The carpet, I mean, the carpet is insane!

Nothing really goes in this room,

but I just didn't want to have something

that looked like every other room you see.

Maybe it feels like it would be quite loud for, like,

a room when you want to kind of

have something that's a bit more peaceful,

but actually, this room is like a sanctuary.

It's very peaceful and very quiet, so I absolutely love it.

[upbeat jazz music]

This is my bathroom, which I absolutely love.

I have the best bathtub. I made this with Beata and Fosca.

It was actually just supposed to be my initials.

I mean it's a bit over the top,

but who doesn't like their initials,

like, somewhere, whether it be a wallet or a curtain?

When I first thought about what kind of bathroom I wanted

it was gonna be quite, like, over the top,

I love pink, but working with Beata, we decided

that we were just gonna do, like, certain,

like, pink accents in the bathroom

so it still kind of stayed relatively,

like, clean and serene and neutral.

I've got an amazing shower.

For all my black girls and black boys,

we all know what this is so I'm not gonna even explain it.

My mom has an old chest of drawers

that she turned into a sink,

and so I kind of based that on this.

When I kind of thought of having a house one day

and my own home, there were certain things

that were just kind of non-negotiables,

and so I'm very happy to have my,

like, Murano green chandelier in my bathroom.

An amazing light comes through this window,

and to be quite honest, I know this sounds a bit cheesy,

but I sit here sometimes and I'm like, wow, like, I'm so,

so lucky that I have a home like this

and I worked hard and I was able to do this for myself,

and so sometimes, I just sit here and think like, whoa.

I can't believe this is all real.

This room is particularly, like, special, I think.

As I get out of bed, it's always

the first room that I come to.

I definitely like sitting here a lot.

You can walk through this bathroom into my dressing room.

It is over the top, I'm not gonna lie.

I have an old clothing problem,

shoe problem, that I'm managing, but you know what?

I've been sober for nine years.

We all gotta have a vice and that's my vice.

[upbeat jazz music]

Thank you for coming to my home, AD.

You've been amazing guests, but now, you've got to go.

[lips smacking]

Mad love.

[upbeat jazz music]

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