THE DOSSIER: Jessica Alba. TRADE: Actress, author, and founder of eco-friendly home and baby product brand The Honest Company. VIBE: Modern classic meets Craigslist eclectic with a midcentury emphasis. ABODE: A typically Californian two-story house tucked-away in the heights of Beverly Hills, CA.
When Jessica Alba and her husband, producer Cash Warren, first set eyes on their Beverly Hills house, their overwhelming impression of its aesthetic was that it was contrived. "Faux-aged orange and yellow walls, terracotta everywhere--a combo of Tuscan and Spanish that I'd describe as El Torito-ish," the mother-of-two laughs. Not a promising start--especially considering that off-screen, Alba has made it her mission to embrace authenticity, co-founding the eco-friendly home and baby product brand The Honest Company, and recently penning a lifestyle guide outlining her principles of healthy living, The Honest Life--which touches on the stylish and safe elements she prizes in her own house, from non-VOC paint, to PVC-free vinyl chairs. Still, there was something about the layout of the residence that spoke to the actress, who was pregnant with her first daughter, Honor, at the time: "It felt cozy. It felt like family. And aesthetically, I knew I could do whatever I wanted with it--it was a blank canvas."
FINDER, KEEPER An avowed Craigslist and This Is Not Ikea fan, Alba gravitates toward midcentury pieces with history. "I find that things that are mass-produced these days don't have the touch that older things have--I also like the story behind something, the fact that it's had a life," she says. Antique finds range from her younger daughter Haven's dresser, picked up at the Pasadena flea market and finished with a turquoise paint job and pulls from Anthropologie, to her refurbished carved wood armchair--originally owned by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY "When we moved we asked all of our family members on both sides to send old photos," says Alba, who scanned the vintage pictures in black-and-white to keep the aesthetic consistent, and mounted them in the entryway in gallery frames from Bed Bath & Beyond. "It's nice having the kids grow up with their family around them--especially because they are racially diverse," she says, admiring the Alba-Warren family tree on display. "It's like, this is the fabric of America. Anyone can come here and become whatever they want to. There's something kind of sweet about subliminally reinforcing that."
A CLEAN START Given that non-toxic furniture is a priority for the family, Alba commissioned her living room couches, stuffed with nontoxic filler and covered with flame-retardant-free gray velvet, from a local carpenter in Glendale. "You can't find a readymade eco-couch for under $2500--that's cuckoo," she says, begging the question of whether a furniture line could be next on her list of projects. "I'm certainly passionate about it, and I think there is a need--but it's more of a fun passion," she insists, adding coyly, "But I would love to."
The Rug Company
|Yellow Flower Pillow
Pottery Barn Teen
|Bronze Legs Object & Throw Pillow
|Wallpaper & Wood Pendant, Vintage
|Palmer Garden Stool
|Black Wood Frames
Bed Bath & Beyond
Serena and Lily
|Sibley Floor Lamp and Shade
|Tree Wall Decal
Modern Wall Graphics
Maggie & Sparrow
Hayneedle White Club Chair ($325)
To see more of this home, visit Better Homes and Gardens.
What do you think of the bright color against the neutrals? Let us know in the comments.