Exclusive: Tour Actress Constance Zimmer's Soulful Family Home
As the star of Lifetime's new unREAL—which gives a fictional behind-the-scenes look at a competition dating show—and Entourage, Constance Zimmer has already had a busy summer. Lucky for us, she saved some time to give us a peek inside her warm and personal Los Angeles home. Though she tends to play intense, tightly wound characters, Zimmer herself is relaxed and at ease, with a home that reflects the same casual friendliness. Virtually everything in the house, from furniture to lighting to accessories, has a story. From the tennis rackets Zimmer's husband scored on a Brooklyn stoop that now hang over the fireplace in their family room to the marquee "flavour" sign proudly displayed in their classic kitchen, the home exudes a warmth and soulfulness.
A lack of a definitive interior style enables the collected and assembled home to feel genuine and personal. “Our last house was a 1949 midcentury modern we spent nearly two years furnishing from flea markets and auctions,” the actress tells us. “In addition to some great midcentury-modern pieces we couldn’t part with, we added farmhouse, art deco, and Spanish pieces, and somehow it works.”
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Zimmer’s home is wholly personal and unique, decorated with pieces found over the years and from a wide variety of sources. “I love finding something that I wasn’t looking for,” the actress says when it comes to shopping for décor. “But I do like to scour websites like One Kings Lane or Chairish for specific things. My favourite finds are vintage, which usually means flea markets and eBay.”
The living room’s oversize phone is a prop left over from a commercial shoot. “It has such a great pop-art feel and always reminds me of my childhood,” the actress says.
The family didn’t do any major renovations inside the home when they moved in just under two years ago but made aesthetic changes here and there to give the space some personality. “We gave the house dimension and rooms more character by adding vintage lighting, window treatments, painting cabinets in deep but muted tones, and painting a ceiling in the living room metallic gunmetal grey,” Zimmer says.
Narrow shelves in the family room, which Zimmer’s husband built out of salvaged wood and plumbing pipes, display black-and-white photography in a casual but sophisticated manner.
The family’s spirited and friendly dog, Nico, lounges in the family room.
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In the timeless kitchen, a vintage-looking marquee sign steals the show. “My husband had the sign made years ago for a commercial he was shooting, and we’d always talked about having it in our kitchen one day,” Zimmer says. “And then we bought this house, which just so happens to have the perfect spot!”
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For an alternative spin on a classic nightstand, Zimmer opted to use pieces she had been collecting over time. “I love old suitcases and how they evoke the sense of a life lived,” the actress tells us. “We had several throughout the house and no nightstand on one side of our bed, so I grabbed a few that worked together and stacked them, which immediately made the room feel cosy and warm.”
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Off the master bedroom, an expansive veranda overlooks the home’s backyard. The perfect place to retreat to, the space features vintage patio furniture and a picturesque hammock. “The hammock is my favourite spot to read or nap,” Zimmer says. “My daughter likes to use it as a swing.”
“The metal bird wall sculpture on our patio was something we found in the back of a picker’s truck,” the actress tells us.
When it came to decorating her own bedroom, Zimmer’s seven-and-a-half–year-old daughter, Coco, took charge. “When we moved into this house, she definitely had something to say about what she wanted and where she wanted it,” Zimmer says. “She played the role of art director when my husband was hanging art for the collage wall, and it was her idea to come up with an interchangeable way to display her artwork on the pom-pom string with clothespins.”
The outdoor dining room table is Zimmer’s favourite piece in the home. “We have this great outdoor table made from reclaimed teak,” she says. “We’ve created so many memories at that table—I love it.”
Though little work was done on the interior of the home, the enviable backyard received an update when the family moved in. “We worked with the husband-and-wife team from ECO Landscape to create something that felt like an extension of the house,” Zimmer says. “They specialize in drought-tolerant and eco-friendly landscaping, which seemed like a good fit for the Santa Barbara–Spanish vibe we were going for.”
The backyard’s teepee is a big hit with Coco and her friends. “The kids love the teepee for snack or dinnertime,” Zimmer says. “Then we remove it, and the platform becomes a stage for whatever after-dinner entertainment they’ve come up with.”
A sitting area with a fire pit is a popular spot for after-dinner drinks. “The fire pit is probably our favourite place to hang, and we use it often!” says Zimmer. “Our daughter loves making s’mores, and after that, it’s cocktail time for the adults.”
When asked what she most wants her home to exude, Zimmer doesn’t hesitate. “I want my friends and family to come over and not want to leave,” she says. “We’re hoping the house evokes a feeling of well-being, comfort, and ease.” Indeed it does.
What's the most personal piece in your home? Share with us in the comments!