The American television writer, director, and producer Ryan Murphy, well known for his shows such as Glee, American horror story, Scream queens, Ratched, Pose, etc., is also a creative genius and a design enthusiast.
Ryan mentions that he was allowed to decorate his room at the age of eight and that is when he discovered his bold and colorful design language. His house of that time was located in Indianapolis and while the overall color schemes heavily inclined towards beige, Ryan decided to go bold with his olive-green walls, brown carpeting and topped it off with a gold disco ball.
Growing up he retained this sense and preferred colorful bold rooms which housed a collection of items. Throughout the years Ryan Murphy has owned and lived in various houses and these houses are a reflection of his creative language.
Let us have a look at these beautiful homes owned by Ryan Murphy.
1. House at Laguna Beach, California.
This modern residence stands on a two-acre plot with a panoramic view of the pacific ocean and is redesigned by Architect Mark Singer. It is not just a home but a design Laboratory to Ryan Murphy who constantly reimagines and redecorates this space. By far the house has been a cream and black colored leathered tribute to Scarface, a beach shack inspired by Mildred Pierce, a textual Balinese home and a blue and white themed place as a homage to Bel Air.
The house is a weekend home with bold and odd modernist gardens by Bridget Hedison and minimalist concrete and glass construction. Interior designer Cliff Fong worked on the final details of this masterpiece inspired by local artists. The house became a tribute to the local photographers, furniture designers, potters, and decorators.
Ryan Murphy and friend Bart Brown bought the two adjacent houses and the two were tied together with a pool pavilion and Citrus allee.
The living room of the house adorns a velvet sofa designed by William Haines, and a text sculpture ‘NOW’ by Doug Aitken.
A monumental 1950’s clay sculpture of Paul Robeson adds to the kitchen design.
Next to the bed in the master bedroom are two huge chinoiserie lamps covered in white porcelain flowers.
The Family home is a reflection of Murphy’s idea of California—Glamorous yet effortless. It is a place to dream, retreat, and rejuvenate with its peaceful, modern, clean-lined, and oddly quirky elements.
2. House at Beverly Hills
The Beverly Hills house is an 8500 sq ft, 1920s Spanish Colonial Revival-style house designed by Ralph Flewelling. The house was previously owned by Diane Keaton before being bought by Ryan Murphy.
The house is entered through a combined foyer and library space that lies under a soaring groin-vaulted ceiling. The space houses dark wood and glossy terracotta tiled floors along with its arched fireplaces, hand-forged wrought iron accents. The period light fixtures add to the exposed wood ceilings enhancing the overall ambiance.
The house consists of seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and two powder rooms. The formal living and dining rooms, a gourmet kitchen, and a den that doubles as a media room form the main living spaces of the house. The house also includes a fitness room, a study, and a guest house.
Many of the rooms open to an arched colonnade through beautiful French doors. The arched colonnade envelopes a bricked courtyard at the heart of which is a water fountain and is shaded by pepper trees.
Two bedrooms in the main house are located on the ground floor for the guests and staff while the owner’s suite is located on the first floor and houses two baths, a warm fireplace, and two balconies, one with a view of the courtyard and the other viewing the backyard.
The main house and guest house are separated yet tied together by the large patio that sits in between the two wrapped by towering cacti.
3. House at Provincetown, Cape Cod.
The house at Provincetown had served as a studio for nearly two decades to Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann who in turn had bought the space from artist Frederick Waugh in 1945. The house stood as a testament of these creative geniuses and that was something Murphy and husband David Miller wanted to preserve.
“The room is its own work of art,” states Murphy as they worked to restore and renew the space with the help of designer David Cafiero who worked or renewing the place for Murphy while retaining the presence of Hoffman. Murphy realized the space was big but instead of filling it, what they aimed for was to empty it. Various antiques and sculptures are displayed throughout the studio while taking care not to go overboard.
In addition to found objects, we see two black-and-white Herb Ritts portraits, including one of Elizabeth Taylor, are displayed in the house. In the living we see a Georgian chandelier-lit using candles, anchored using ship rigging. We also find the existing elements like the giant hearth and window being preserved by the designer.
The design of the kitchen is kept clean and earthy using wood boards and ship timber while taking special care of placing all the appliances under the counter covered by cabinets. The existing prefab cabinetry was replaced with whitewashed shiplap along the walls carrying the overall theme.
The loft where artists once worked on his backdrops was converted into an office letting the paint splashed walls serve as an inspiration to the writers.
An easel used by Hoffman marked with strokes of paint along with a stool that he used as a palette adorn the house and are a reminder of his art and the artist himself.
The studio is used as a guesthouse by Murphy and Miller where they entertain family and friends and hold creative gatherings.
4. House in Los Angeles.
After living most of his life with colorful, bold, and quirky elements this house was when Murphy turned towards minimalism and craved for less color and clutter. This realization was a significant edit to his life.
The house when bought by Murphy was a wreck, but it also had the potential to be rejuvenated with its high ceilings and oversized rooms. This reimagining was aided by Stephen Shadley. It was taken down to the studs and the footprint of the building was altered with the addition of rooms and pause points.
Murphy mentions that out of this process of alteration and reimagination arose three rules of ‘Minimalist luxury’ that are:
1. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
This rule aims at finding three materials you love and using them rhythmically. For the house, the materials that caught their attention were white chalk plaster walls, dark tile, and wood floors, and black and white Malibu tiles laid geometrically.
2. Make it big.
This rule gives a lesson on monumentalism, the grand elements that draw focus and declutter a space. This rule governed the design of most spaces in the house such as the brick fireplaces that give a walk-in effect and the huge plaster horse-through fountains that stand in front of the house.
3. Don’t use color.
Murphy mentions this being his favourite and the most difficult rule. Pam Shamshiri who worked on the interiors sought materials in their muted shades, all furniture such as the dining table with the bench, bathtub, sofa, rugs were big and bold yet natural hues brought tranquillity.
4. House in New York City.
The house in New York City is designed keeping in mind the Zen-monastic style that Murphy craved at the time while also paying homage to Swedish heritage elements by designer David Cafiero. This balance was achieved using Swedish furnishings and pottery.
The library floor is lined with yards of bleached birch shelves that house a collection of books on arts and sciences. The library is set with the French cocktail table and Pierre Jeanneret chairs.
The kitchen is designed with white oak cabinetry and wolf hood and range. A glazed concrete-topped island sits in the middle with customized pendants hanging above it.
The master bathroom contains a stone soaking tub and is decorated with a Hugh Steers painting and a hand sculpture by Adam Kurtzman.
David Cafiero also designed a few of the larger pieces in the house including the master bed keeping the design big, bold yet quiet. The art displayed in the house was sought from artists who were affected and taken by AIDS-like Robert Mapplethorpe, Hugh Steers, and David Wojnarowicz. Overall the house carries a calmness that is aided by the monochromatic subtlety and restraint observed in the whole design.
In the end, even though a few of these houses are no longer owned by Ryan Murphy, the changes and reimaginations that these houses went through while discovering their quirky, unique and bold character are noteworthy and stand as a reflection of Ryan Murphy’s creative language.
Murphy, R., 2021. Inside Hollywood Hitmaker Ryan Murphy’s Serene NYC and L.A. Homes. [online] Architectural Digest. Available at: <https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/ryan-murphy-nyc-and-la-homes> [Accessed 9 June 2021].
Ana Rosado, C., 2021. Inside ‘American Horror Story’ creator’s LA and NYC homes. [online] CNN. Available at: <https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/ryan-murphy-architectural-digest-home/index.html> [Accessed 9 June 2021].
Friedman, D., 2021. Ryan Murphy’s Brilliant Beach House. [online] Architectural Digest. Available at: <https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/ryan-murphy-california-beach-house> [Accessed 9 June 2021].
Mark David 2021. Ryan Murphy Sells a Beverly Hills House for $16.25 Million – DIRT. [online] Available at: <https://www.dirt.com/gallery/showbiz/producers/ryan-murphy-house-beverly-hills-1203377637/ryanmurphy_bh5/> [Accessed 10 June 2021].
Martel, N., 2021. Ryan Murphy Safeguards Hans Hofmann’s Former Painting Studio in Provincetown. [online] Architectural Digest. Available at: <https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/ryan-murphy-safeguards-hans-hofmanns-former-painting-studio-in-provincetown> [Accessed 11 June 2021].