Award-winning actress Laura Dern’s updated midcentury residence is a post and beam dream, and it took a lot of work to get it just right, Architectural Digest found when they toured Dern’s house in Brentwood’s Mandeville Canyon.
The star of HBO’s Big Little Lies and the original Jurassic Park purchased the house a few years ago. When she bought it, the place was dark and cave-like, says AD, but it had incredible potential: It was designed in 1953 by Calvin C. Straub of the famed midcentury firm Buff, Straub, and Hensman. Straub was once called the father of California post and beam architecture by noted architectural historian Esther McCoy.
Dern set about remodeling the house with the help of architect Michael Kovac, a friend of Dern’s. Over the period of “a few seasons,” they put glass where there were once walls, added skylights to the house, and enlarged the kitchen. They added a pool and removed a light-blocking hedge.
After renovations were complete, Dern tapped interior designer Trip Haenisch to help her mix her vast collection of personal keepsakes—many of them from movies she personally worked on—with stylish objects and art. So a small Tyrannosaurus rex figurine (a gift from Steven Spielberg after filming the first Jurassic Park) and a stylish leather sofa from the 1970s don’t look out of place.
“I really like joyful space,” Dern told AD. “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 the full gallery of photos over at Architectural Digest.
- Laura Dern's Rustic Los Angeles Home Is a Film Buff's Dream [Architectural Digest]