JACQUI GETTY KEEPS HER ELEGANT HOLLYWOOD HOME FILLED WITH PERSONAL TREASURES, COOL ART AND ALWAYS PLENTY OF FRIENDS
BY CAROL WOLPER
PHOTOGRAPHED BY DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN
EDITED BY KENDALL CONRAD
Pink is the color of the new chapter in Jacqui Getty’s house. Not the candy or Harlequin hues that once adorned the walls in her daughter’s teenage bedroom, but a softer, more delicate shade that can be found in the bunches of peonies and dahlias throughout her Spanish-style Hollywood home. This isn’t to say Getty only has one hue on her palette. Her style would never be so monochromatic. As a friend of hers puts it, “When it comes to Jacqui’s house, there is no template.”
The same could be said of her life. Though born in New York, Getty lived in Rome and Napa Valley before settling down with daughter Gia Coppola (Francis Ford Coppola is Gia’s grandfather) in this hilltop house. Over the past 20 years, Getty has juggled being a mom and a stylist (pop culture fact: she chose the black Thierry Mugler dress Demi Moore wore in Indecent Proposal), a costume designer (she worked with Academy Award-winning Milena Canonero on the 2007 movie The Darjeeling Limited), and becoming one of the town’s alpha hostesses.
And what a perfect match for such personality and talent Getty’s house is. It was built in a neighborhood of the Hollywood Hills which, back in the ’20s, was designed to look like a Mediterranean-style village complete with winding roads and lush greenery. An escape from the growing urban sprawl in the flats below, Whitley Heights immediately became desirable to movie stars looking for European charm and an alternative to the trim lawns and predictability of Hancock Park. Carole Lombard, Rudolph Valentino and Marlene Dietrich all lived up here, and it’s not a big stretch to say there’s still something of that earlier glamorous era in the air. Almost a century later the neighborhood remains an arty enclave and bohemian dazzle stills rules the day.
This is a canvas Getty knows how to paint, and it all begins with space and light. One of the most appealing things about the house is that it can be both intimate and spacious—as if it can contract or expand given the occasion. If it’s just a few friends having cappuccinos at the simple wooden kitchen table, there’s a clubhouse-cozy air; if it’s a large affair, guests won’t feel crowded. This isn’t accidental. Getty sets multiple inviting areas throughout her home. No room is off-limits or too precious, so the entire house becomes the stage for a party. Friends might end up chatting away, sprawled on the bed in the upstairs master bedroom, or congregating in the living room as someone improvises on the piano. They might linger around the dining room’s Italian monastery table, or continue the conversation while relaxing on boho-chic backyard chaises with Hermès blankets, over-sized pillows and fur rugs.
The other crucial element Getty gets right: lighting. It’s often said in L.A. (some attribute this quote to hotelier/restaurateur Sean MacPherson), “Life comes down to good timing and good lighting.” The flattering daytime environment in Getty’s home can be credited to the site and the green garden she maintains around it. “Actually,” she laughs, “I let it get a little wild. I like it looking like a jungle.”
The nighttime ambience comes from the soft glow of globe lamps on the dining room sideboard, the sparkle from the chandeliers and, of course, a multitude of candles, including those in the red coral silver-based candleholders designed by friend Sandy Hill.
Rain can be L.A.’s social deal-breaker, especially at night if one is heading up onto twisting, narrow, slippery roads where mudslides and falling rocks are an actual possibility. Even in a storm, no one cancelled on an invitation to a legendary Getty Halloween bash. She recalls when Kate Moss showed up with photographer Mario Testino, and another guest was dressed in costume as Moss. So, too, was a reveler dressed in costume as Johnny Ramone alongside the real thing.
“So many people have passed through. And raising my daughter here, so many good memories…and many more to come.” Can’t help but think that Lombard, Valentino and Dietrich would all approve. •