The Glam Life of an Actress

August 19, 2020


I swear that I have been looking at shelter magazines such as House Beautiful, Architectural Digest and Traditional Home since I was a toddler. But I don’t think I’ve ever looked at one of those super-glam photos and said to myself, “I could move in that place tomorrow and not change a thing!”


When I picked up the April 2020 issue of Architectural Digest and flipped at once to a description and shots of Dakota Johnson’s Los Angeles home my brain buzzed EUREKA! “Yes,” I muttered to no one in particular, “I could move into this Garden-of-Eden paradise in a nanosecond.” It reminded me of the French artist, Albert Marquet and his St. Tropez landscapes. 


The author of this article, Derek Blasberg writes, “Johnson bought this place four years ago. It was the first major purchase she made with her salary from the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. And, it was the second house that her realtor showed her on the one and only day she went to see LA properties.”

Johnson says, “I was immediately drawn to how it had clean lines – but was cozy. I thought that I’d never want to sell it. As a kid I enjoyed a gypsy lifestyle but now I wanted a place to put down roots. I thought it would be healthy to have a base. At the very least, have one place where you know your stuff is, as opposed to 10 places.”

All photos are courtesy of Architectural Digest, April 2020


Thirty-year-old Johnson was born in Austin, Texas, where her father, actor Don Johnson (of the Miami Vice series, a real game-changer) was working, but she really grew up on movie sets. Her mother is actress Melanie Griffith (who was terrific in the film Working Girl). She is also the granddaughter of Tippi Hedren, who appeared in Hitchcock’s movie called The Birds – possibly one of the most frightening films ever made!


Yes, she’s got that right. In her ground-floor office she has the following memorabilia: a seating card Patti Smith gave her with her phone number on it, a photograph of writer Hunter S. Thompson, who was a close friend of her father’s and a note from Hedren signed, “Love Mormor,” which is “grandmother” in Swedish.

The most surreal memento is a photo from her appearance on the 40th Anniversary Show of Saturday Night Live, where she is surrounded by Taylor Swift, Derek Jeter, Sarah Palin, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and 50 Cent. “Isn’t that the craziest photo of all time?” she says with a laugh.


Emily Ward, the interior designer who helped Johnson redesign the house notes that, “She was fun to work with because she knew what she wanted.” New wood flooring was installed upstairs in the master suite and the adjoining bathroom was redesigned for a deep, big tub and two separate vanities. “I think the key to a healthy relationship is double sinks,” Johnson says. (I’ve always said two bathrooms for a happy marriage, but this is the first time I’ve actually seen this idea in print.)

She sums it all up quite nicely with this thought. “I have a job and schedule that can change often so it’s important for me to have a place to go to and be moored. This house is my anchor.”

Shaun Nelson-Henrick

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