A 10-foot-tall crystal chandelier and a set of custom-made silver thrones can’t scream “modern farmhouse.” But Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher somehow made them feel right at home in their palatial yet rustic hilltop home in Los Angeles.
Inviting Architectural Digest to their six-acre property, the couple delved into the design process for what Kutcher describes as “a home, not an estate.”
But there was one major obstacle to their dream of creating a real barn-style home: they didn’t restore the old farmhouse, they built it from scratch.
“Building a house from scratch is not an easy task,” Kunis is quoted as saying. “It was to either make us or break us.”
There is a 10 foot high chandelier hanging in the guest shed. Credit: Douglas Friedman/AD
To bring his vision to life, the architectural firm Backen & Gillam Architects was hired and tasked with making the house both cozy and “modern and current,” as Kutcher puts it.
The resulting project, which took five years to build, includes a main house, a guest shed, a swimming pool and a barbecue pavilion. The home features recycled wood beams, tall glass-paneled sliding doors, and concrete walls that mimic the grain of wood.
Architect Howard Buchan said the couple were involved in even the smallest details. “We talked about everything from the dimensions of the beams to the details of the cross braces and the joints between wood planks and concrete,” Buchan told the magazine. “These are not the kind of conversations we have with every client.”
Buchan said his celebrity clients are particularly interested in sustainability. Solar panels hidden on the roof of a porch produce “significantly more” energy than a home consumes, according to Architectural Digest.
“Apartment room” in the couple’s guest barn. Credit: Douglas Friedman/AD
“Something More Modern”
When it came to the interiors of the house, Kutcher and Kunis enlisted the help of Vicki Charles, who was just about to step down as head of design at the Soho House exclusive members’ club.
Kunis said the couple were “obsessed” with Charles’ work, which includes furnishing Soho Farmhouse, the British country home reportedly loved by celebrities from Victoria and David Beckham to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
“We loved how she mixed fabrics, patterns, textures — her whole aesthetic, really,” Kunis is quoted as saying.
Charles said that throughout the discussion, the actors prioritized creating a comfortable home for their family, which includes their two young children, Wyatt and Dimitri.
“We spent months studying materials and colors to find the right visual language,” said Charles, who also spoke to the magazine. “Our conversations were not only about land and architecture, but also about the future of their family.”
This story was featured in the June issue of Architectural Digest. Credit: Douglas Friedman/AD
Charles balanced his clients’ desire for sleek modernity and farmhouse warmth by pairing dark woods with neutral grays and browns. Plush touches come from emerald velvet sofas by designer Montauk and modern fixtures designed by Hector Finch.
“Over time, the design has moved from a traditional farmhouse aesthetic to something more modern,” said Charles.
A giant chandelier and a set of silver thrones commissioned by Kutcher during a trip to India, meanwhile, gave Charles the opportunity to do something playful with the interior. The thrones moved to the main bathroom, and the chandelier was moved to the guest barn.
“We thought it would be fun to hang this incredibly luxurious (chandelier) in the shed,” Charles explained.