How do you make a house a home? If you’re actress Christina Hendricks, you fill it with color, wit, and a wild mix of pieces that hold deep meaning for you.
Christina Hendricks is gleefully out of step with current home decor trends.
The modern matte gray walls, the white kitchens with their glistening marble countertops, and those shaggy boho rugs—especially that one with the diamonds you’ve seen all over—are all perfectly lovely. They’re just not her. “Some people want to unclutter their life and live minimally. I respect that, and I feel comfortable visiting them,” says the actress, who most recently starred on NBC’s Good Girls. “But I always wanted to have one of those places that no matter how many times you visit, you notice something different, something whimsical. I’d love it if my friends’ kids walked into my house and found it magical—an elegant magic castle!”
Done and done. The star’s 1916 Los Angeles Colonial may look traditional on the outside, but the interior is brimming with wit and wonder. And though she treasures her antiques (often sourced online from 1stdibs and Chairish), the space never feels like a set.
“I try to keep a balance—not too many antiques, not too many modern elements,” says the actress, who, despite being associated with the mid-century modern aesthetic due to her iconic role in Mad Men, takes her design cues from earlier eras. Art Deco artifacts and Victorian pieces mingle to marvelous effect with old-timey circus-style letters, vintage Chinese rugs, and Mongolian fur chairs. “I’ve read over the years if you like things, they’ll go together,” she says. “When I buy a new piece, I do try to make sure it complements what’s already there, but if I truly love it, I’ll find a way to make it work.”
As intuitive as she is about design, she’s got the preparedness of a pro. “I keep a list of dimensions and a small tape measure in my purse,” she says, “so that if I do find that dream credenza, I’ll know if it’s going to fit in my house or not.”
Her space has evolved, as has Hendricks herself, over the years. “When I first bought the home, I painted everything white because I just wanted a neutral palette. I’d never owned a home before. And as the years go by, another room gets wallpapered, another room gets painted,” she says.
“When I come home to my things, it feels like a hug.”—Christina Hendricks
Her most recent update came in 2019. “I wanted it to be happier and cheerier inside,” she says. She added yellows and pinks to her previous palette of blacks, deep purples, and grays. “It was romantic and serious, and now it’s romantic and playful.”
Whether it’s her Art Deco bar or dramatic guest bedroom (how amazing is that antique fringed lamp?), the overall result is fanciful, chic, and authentically her own—which explains why she never considered outsourcing the design job.
“Hiring someone to do my house would be like hiring a stranger to make me a mix tape,” she says. “I’m sure that person has great taste and I’m sure there would be some great music on it, but it wouldn’t emotionally affect me because I didn’t choose it. It wouldn’t have memories attached to it. Everything in my home reminds me of something exciting that happened, a place that I visited, a loving moment, or a funny story.”
For Hendricks, decorating is a bit like acting—it’s an avenue of self-expression. But unlike her movie or TV roles, the job doesn’t end when a director yells, “Cut!”
“I travel a lot for work, and I stay in sterile environments for months at a time,” says Hendricks. “So when I come home to my things, it feels like a hug.”
By Laura Morgan | Photographs by Coliena Rentmeester