For all intents and purposes, Courteney Cox lives a charmed life—a cliffside oceanfront home on the Malibu shoreline, a successful career as the star of Friends and more recently Cougar Town, and the latest: a charming British boyfriend, musician and producer Johnny McDaid, to share her life and home with. While the actress clearly plans to stay put in her Malibu modernist residence, as the old adage says, out with the old, in with the new.
But the actress isn’t entirely redecorating from scratch: The home she built with the help of architect Michael Kovac and interior designer Trip Haenisch is dear to her heart. After being in the space for almost 10 years, though, she feels it’s high time for a refresh—and we’re so glad she does.
“This is a house I’ll never move from—it really is so special to me, but because I like to move more than I’m able to (because now I’ve found the perfect home!), I have to shift my furniture style,” she says.
For assistance with this task, Cox partnered with One Kings Lane to sell a few beloved pieces that have overstayed their welcome and don’t fit her current lifestyle. Want to own a piece of this stylish star’s Malibu home? Shop it before it’s all gone.
What’s the most important aspect of a home, according to the actress? “First of all, the most important thing is to be comfortable. But it also has to reflect your personality in some way.”
“Before I was kind of into organic with modern, and now I’m into really old mixed with cleaner stuff," says Cox. “I’m not really changing everything, just a shift—because why not?”
At first glance, the oceanfront property doesn’t seem to need any redecorating. The two-acre property, which includes guest cottages and a tennis house, is decorating simply with light modern pieces made to pay homage to the beautiful vistas.
“If it was up to me, everything would have been one color—monochromatic, very simple,” says Cox of her original décor. “When I got this house, my designer, Trip Haenisch, was able to bring in the pops of color and the interesting pieces I wouldn’t have necessarily gone for. We had a fantastic time doing it.”
“I think pillows are the easiest thing to switch up a room,” says the actress. “I’m constantly changing pillows—constantly. If you buy pieces that are very basic, they can go with any colors; that’s what I’m trying to do. Because just by changing your ornaments or your decorative pieces—it just changes the whole room. That’s an easy way to redecorate without having to start from scratch.”
Cox, a décor aficionado herself, studied architecture before pursuing an acting career. Her passion has resulted in a love for all things modern and vintage—two styles she blends effortlessly.
“My kitchen is white lacquer, and it’s very stark and very bright—and that’s what a beach house should be,” says the actress. “It’s a very open, airy thing. But then because this is my primary home, I also want it to be cozy. So I just painted some of the rooms darker and made it a little more—just cozier.”
“My boyfriend is from Ireland but he lives in London, and I’ve been going there a lot,” explains Cox of her affinity for English antiques. “And then I did Lisa Kudrow’s show Who Do You Think You Are?, and it turns out I’m very English. So I just thought that’s a nice shift to be able to add in old with the new.”
For Cox, this property is all about embracing the joys of indoor-outdoor living—without sacrificing coziness. This moody dining room is the perfect respite to endless days of sunshine, and the ideal space to entertain.
“I’ve been going to a lot of flea markets. I’ve been going to England back and forth—I’ve probably been six times in the last eight months—and any little towns outside London are fantastic,” says the actress. “It’s really easy to find things there that you have to be a scavenger for at the flea markets here—something that is in every single little antique shop in England, and for a quarter of the price.”
It seems that the newly shacked-up couple gets along in the decorating department: “When we go shopping now, we tend to gravitate toward the same things,” says Cox. “Then we have to decide who gets to take it—does it go back to America or does it stay in London? Somehow I negotiate pretty well and I get to take a lot of the things back.”
One can understand why Cox will never part with this home. And while many of us will enjoy the furniture and accents she parted ways with along her decorating process, she will forever enjoy the breathtaking views of the Pacific surf below.
“Because I have the basic pieces and I’m just kind of filling in, now I’m looking for old wood things,” she adds. “Antique fabric for pillows. And I’ve bought a lot of little lamps, which I think changes the feel of something.”
"Mostly now I just want to make it stuff that I collect over time—that means something to me, that’s part of my new life with my new relationship,” she says. “Johnny and I go shopping together a lot. So now it’s bringing in a new world.”