It's always good to share a creative vision, but few client-designer relationships are as simpatico as that of Amber Valletta and her interior designer-cum-best friend Ross Cassidy. The handsome South African, best known for his role on Bravo's Million Dollar Decorators, first spotted the model and actress nine years ago, when she was working out on the Santa Monica steps, a pair of steep outdoor staircases where locals like to exercise. "I wanted to shout, 'I loved you in last month's Italian Vogue!'" he says with a laugh, "but I didn't want her to think I was a weirdo."
A few months later Cassidy happened to be riding his bike down a sleepy Santa Monica street only to spot Valletta hanging Halloween decorations in her front yard. This time he piped up, and the two soon realized that Valletta had been "stalking" Cassidy's Hamptons-style cottage near the spot of their first meeting, intrigued by the patios appointed with cushy seating, umbrellas, and lamps. She invited Cassidy in, and before long they were chatting like old friends. A year and a half later they started talking renovation—something Valletta's 1929 Spanish Revival home desperately needed.
For InStyle’s Home & Design issue, photographer Dean Kaufman gave us an inside look at the actress and model's eco-friendly home. Click on the photo above to take a closer look.