Acting is only a part-time job for Drew Barrymore: Behind the scenes, she’s a creative powerhouse. In addition to her production company, Flower Films, and past work as a co-creative director for Cover Girl, she’s launched Flower Beauty cosmetics, Flower Eyewear, Barrymore Wines and has now expanded into home decor, partnering with Shutterfly on a collection with a decidedly California feel. Here, we talk with Barrymore, 41, about her free-spirited sense of style, how the newly single mom to daughters Olive and Frankie plans to keep family traditions alive and the art of giving the perfect gift.
Both you and Shutterfly are expanding into home decor — how did that partnership come about?
I actually use their products. I just made my entire family — my kids, their father, grandfather, their aunts, uncles and cousins like five different books of years’ worth of pictures. Like photo albums, digital photo albums — it’s such a bear of a project to weave through it and get done, but it’s just one of the things you have to do, otherwise it just lives on your phone and hard drive. Photo albums are such a cool thing, and they were such a big part of growing up. I just really respect the art form, and this is the new, modern way of doing it. And [Shutterfly] is just groovy and chic to work with.
There are no rules. I got so frustrated with someone the other day who said, ‘No, you can’t do that. There are rules.’ I was like, ‘There are not rules. That’s just ridiculous. What are you talking about?’… Design in the home, or anything cozy or decorative, is such a good way of expressing who you are, you’re like painting your life.
What is your history with home decor and design?
I started making a home 17 years ago, and I remember being so influenced by people’s homes when I was a kid I actually wrote about the Strasbergs’ house in my book “Wildflower” [Anna Strasberg, a wife to famous acting teacher Lee Strasberg, is Barrymore’s godmother]. After 17 years, I’ve finally achieved my version of that house. I think design is about what makes you feel good because it’s fun and it can look so many different, great ways. There are so many great tastes, whatever makes you feel happy, relaxed, inspired and moved.
No. I keep it really simple. … I have that box of ornaments and Christmas lights that just gets screwed up every year … and of course I have a menorah too because my children are half-Jewish so I recognize that for them, and their side of the family celebrates both as well, so it’s good to keep that tradition alive. So — yep, that’s pretty much my Christmas jam.
What’s the most important element when giving a gift, and what do you appreciate when you’re receiving a gift?
I have a very simple answer: You give the gift that you want so badly for yourself so that when you hand it over, you’re like ‘Ooooh yeah. This is good!’ And the best gifts that you receive are the ones where you’re like ‘Oh yeah. I know you know this is good.’ You find something that’s perfect for that person but you happen to love it yourself.
Your new collection has an L.A. vibe to me — it feels very California-friendly.
I am an L.A. girl. I am a Cali, Cali, Cali girl. Absolutely.
Everyone is stressed during the holidays, particularly worried about money. What advice do you have for keeping it all together?
Yeah, absolutely. I feel like, you know, just to take the monetary out of Christmas, make it thoughtful. Another gift I would feel so grateful to receive would be anything engraved because you know that person thought about it beforehand, they didn’t just grab a bunch of stuff in a Christmas frenzy. It could be the smallest thing but if there’s something personalized about it the thought is so much bigger than the money.