Laura Dern said she had this fantasy of moving her two children into a tree house when it came time to find a new space to live. And while tree houses are hard to come by in metropolitan Los Angeles, the actress and star of HBO’s "Big Little Lies" found the next best thing.
Tucked away on a piece of land so lush and jungle-like that it could make you feel like you’re in "Jurassic Park" (one of Dern’s iconic films), a minimalist 1953 post-and-beam sat just waiting for some TLC.
In a new feature for ArchDigest.com, Dern shares her journey of how she turned this house into a home, and spoiler alert: The finished product is absolutely breathtaking.
Working with close pal and architect Michael Kovac and getting advice from director David Lynch — a midcentury architecture buff whom she first worked with on the 1986 drama "Blue Velvet" — Dern opened up the three-bedroom, 2,464-square-foot home with a couple of renovations.
One of the most notable updates was replacing the walls with glass to bring the outside in. “It’s a different feeling being in the trees,” she told the magazine. “There’s an almost 200-year-old oak tree in the front, and an almost 200-year-old avocado [tree] in the back. I fell in love with those trees, and it felt like the right spot.”
The living room’s decor was inspired by the Hemingway Bar in the Ritz Paris, one of Dern’s favorite spaces in the world.
“It felt like this cave of beautiful colors and art and different textures and fabrics, club chairs and backgammon sets and found pottery. My living room is very influenced by that feeling.”
The interior was also given a brighter palette — crisp white paint covers the walls, while gorgeous pieces of art give the space pops of color.
In the dining room, a giant claro-walnut slab table is accented with a triptych of emerald-hued trees hanging on the wall behind it — the piece is the work of Jodie Foster’s wife Alexandra Hedison.
Hints of Hollywood are scattered throughout the home. A mini Tyrannosaurus rex figurine (a gift from "Jurassic Park" director Steven Spielberg) guards the door, the hat her dad, actor Bruce Dern, wins at the end of "Nebraska" lives in her daughter’s room, and the dress Lucille Ball wore in "I Love Lucy’s" iconic Vitameatavegamin episode hangs in Dern’s closet.
“I really like joyful space,” she said. “I loved dollhouses growing up, and it does feel like a dollhouse where you’re always looking in to something magical, like a treasure box.”
See more of Dern’s home at ArchDigest.com.