Take a Look Inside Amber Valletta's Santa Monica Abode
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.
The Back Patio
Thanks to a recent renovation, most of the rooms in supermodel and actress Amber Valletta's house open out onto the garden.
The Family Room
For this room, she purchased a metal Moroccan side table in Tulsa, the city where both she and her husband, Olympic volleyball player Chip McCaw, grew up.
The Living Room
A Robert Indiana 1967 lithograph anchors the room. The throw pillows are covered in vintage African textiles, which Valletta's Chihuahua-pug mix Mumsey has “a particular taste for—unfortunately, she likes to chew them.”
The Dining Room
In the dining area a handpainted de Gournay wallpaper mural of birds and purple flowers "adds a traditional flavor to a very contemporary space," says interior designer Ross Cassidy.
The pendant lights glowing in the kitchen, purchased at the L.A. store Obsolete, were originally used in a Midwestern factory. Small appliances are tucked behind walnut panels.
The rough-hewn texture of a large stone basin in the powder room plays against glistening handmade tiles from Morocco.
Vintage Furniture and Fabrics
While new couches and upholstered pieces in Valletta's home were made custom by local artisans who work with natural fibers and sustainable woods, she also loves to collect antique pieces. "That’s a version of being eco-friendly since it’s a way to avoid acquiring new stuff," says her interior designer Ross Cassidy. Pillows on a daybed in her bedroom are covered with a vintage embroidered fabric discovered in Paris.
The Personal Touches
Another eco-friendly piece is this beautiful carved wooden table in the living room. It was picked up at an antiques shop in Tulsa. “There’s a sense of playfulness here,” says Valletta. “I wanted a home that’s fun, not fussy.”
Valletta's office is where she brainstorms new concepts for her upcoming projects. The books are organized by hue. "I have a thing about color-coding," she says.
The books in Valletta’s cozy Dutch blue office are organized by hue. “I have a thing about color-coding,” she says.
A mix of artwork and photos creates an eclectic gallery in the upstairs hallway. A framed collage of Polaroids of Valletta snapped by Richard Avedon leans against a console table.
The Master Bedroom
Hot pink walls in the master bedroom make a bold statement. “It’s such a happy, powerful color; I love the way it deepens at sunset,” says Valletta.
The Meditation Space
An adjoining room that leads into the bedroom serves as Valletta's meditation space and is decorated with a Biedermeier chaise from her old New York apartment and handpainted wallpaper on the ceiling.