A 10-foot-tall crystal chandelier and a set of custom-made silver thrones may not sound like a “contemporary farmhouse.” But Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have somehow felt at home in their lavish yet rural hilltops in Los Angeles.
Inviting Architectural Digest magazine to their six-acre property, the couple discovered the design process behind what Kutcher described as a “home, not an estate”.
But there was a major obstacle to their dream of building an authentic barn-style home: they were not restoring an old farmhouse – they were building one from scratch.
“Building a house from scratch is no small thing,” Kunis was quoted as saying. “It will either make us or break us.”
A 10-foot-tall chandelier hangs in the guest barn of the property. Credit: Douglas Friedman / Eddie
As Kutcher puts it, the property has been made to feel both domestic and “modern and relevant”, and architectural firm Bacon & Gillam Architects has been hired to implement their vision.
The resulting design, which took five years to create, includes a main house, guest barn, pool and a barbecue pavilion. The property has beams made of recovered wood, sliding doors with glass panels and concrete walls to mimic the texture of wood grain.
Architect Howard Bacon said the couple was involved in even the smallest details. “We’ve talked about everything from beam sizes to details of cross bracing at the junction of wooden planks and concrete,” Bacon told the magazine. “These are not the kind of conversations we have with every client.”
Bacon said his celebrity clients are particularly interested in sustainability. According to Architectural Digest, solar panels hidden on the roof of the property’s porch produce “significantly more” energy than household use.
A “bunk room” in the couple’s guest barn. Credit: Douglas Friedman / Eddie
‘Something more contemporary’
When it comes to home interiors, Kutcher and Kunis enlist the help of Vicky Charles, who is about to step down as head of design at the exclusive member club, Soho House.
Kunis said the pair were “passionate” about Charles’ work, which included Soho Farmhouse, a British country estate that was a favorite of celebrities from Victoria and David Beckham to Prince Harry and Megan Merkel.
“We liked the way she blended the fabric, the pattern, the texture – really her whole aesthetic,” Kunis said.
Charles said that throughout their discussion, the actors preferred to build a comfortable home for their family, which includes their two young children, Watt and Dimitri.
“We spent months looking for materials and colors to find the right visual language,” said Charles, who spoke to the magazine. “Our conversation was not only about land and architecture, but also about the future of their families.”
The June issue of Architectural Digest features the story. Credit: Douglas Friedman / Eddie
Charles balanced his clients’ aspirations for both smooth modernity and the warmth of the farm, combining dark wood with neutral gray and brown. The plush touch comes through designer Montauk’s emerald velvet couch and contemporary lighting fixtures made by Hector Finch.
“Over time, the design has moved away from the aesthetics of a traditional farmhouse to something more contemporary,” Charles said.
A huge chandelier and a set of silver thrones, commissioned by Kutcher on a trip to India, had already given Charles a chance to do something fun with the interior. The thrones went to the main bathroom, while the chandeliers were moved to the guest barn.
“We thought it would be fun to hang this incredibly rich (chandelier) in a barn,” Charles explained.