By Julie Vadnal for Clever, Photography by Jenna Peffley
“I always dreamed of having a pink velvet couch,” actress Laura Harrier says of her plush vintage Marenco sofa by Arflex, the centerpiece of her living room, and the jumping-off point for the rest of her cool vintage-filled den. In a pre-pandemic world (we visited Laura back in February), it’s easy to picture her and her friends lounging there with cocktail or a book, some cool music wafting through the space that you’d stealthily Shazam for future reference. The nimbus-y sofa is a lot like Laura: warm, inviting, and hella cool. You could even say it’s the perfect shade of millennial pink? “Well, when you call it that, it makes me like it less,” she says, laughing.
But the 30-year-old actress, who stars in Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood, isn’t one to totally defy her generation. After all, she found Tiffany Howell, the interior designer who would help her find that not-millennial pink sofa, in the most millennial way possible—on Instagram. “I realised she had a little storefront for a while in Silver Lake that I would always walk past and just stop on in,” Laura says. “And I thought that things were really beautiful, but I had no idea that she was actually a designer.”
The two hit it off and started mood-boarding the actress’s ideal hideaway for hosting family and friends: “Please don’t take this out of context, but I wanted it to look like it was owned by a rich lady in the ’70s who just got divorced and is maybe gonna throw an orgy,” she says. “That sort of Studio 54 vibe, but at the same time make it grounded in reality.” Movies like Paris, Texas and music by Sade, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and Chaka Khan all inspired the curved lines, moody hues, and fluffy textures.
“I’m not really attracted to things that are hard or uninviting,” the actress says. “As cool as Lucite furniture is, that’s not what I want to sit in. I want everything to be soft.” Getting the space a cozy place took some work. When Laura bought the four-bedroom Silverlake house, it was angular, hard, and painted black—on the exterior and interior.
Twenty or so coats of white paint later, it was ready for Laura and Tiffany’s touch, which included transforming two of the bedrooms into a movie room and a glam room, respectively—the former is a place for popcorn and screenings, and the latter is a what Harrier calls a dramatic, “kind of extra” place where she and her style team can prepare for red carpet events.
The result of Tiffany and Laura's hard work, from the Moroccan-inspired hammam to the blush bedroom walls, is feminine, sexy (but not too sexy), and undeniably cool. Laura says she’s come to terms with all the rosy details. “I did have a little freak-out toward the end of the project, or I was just like, Oh, my God, did I just build a whole pink house? Am I insane?” she says. “But now that I’m living in it, it feels much less pink pink.” It’s not too millennial or too ’70s or too anything, really—it’s just her, all the way.
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