Tour Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli’s Los Angeles Home


When Samira Wiley moved into Lauren Morelli’s Los Angeles home in 2016, the space had been recently decorated by designer Stefani Stein. The couple found happiness inside Morelli’s crisp and colorful bungalow, and yet, “it felt like [Samira] was living in my space, as opposed to something that was co-created,” the television producer and writer says. Three years later, recently married and ready to start a family, the couple decided to find a new home—one that reflected both of their design sensibilities.

But there was a catch: Wiley had no idea what her sensibilities were. “My previous places were pretty spare; I never really did anything with them,” says the Emmy-winning The Handmaid’s Tale and Orange Is the New Black actress, adding that she used to spend more time living in hotel rooms than in her former New York City apartment. “I don’t think I understood the importance of interior design, so a big part of the experience for me was trying to figure out what I liked.”

With the help of Stein, who the couple already knew and trusted, Wiley discovered she gravitated toward earthy hues, laid-back vibes, and certain elements of classic East Coast style. Morelli, on the other hand, was all about bright colors, bold patterns, and feminine motifs. “Having a space without color was not going to be an option, so I wanted to understand how to handle it without overwhelming Samira,” Stein says. “Ultimately the concept that evolved is something I’ve described as California meets the Cotswolds.” 

Indeed, the home displays hints of the English countryside combined with more fresh urban touches, and a color palette that’s strong but not loud, with deep blues and mustards softened by pastels and neutrals. “It was a process to figure out our aesthetic as a couple, because we gravitated toward different things,” says Morelli, who gave birth to the couple’s first child, a daughter named George, in April. “But we agreed that if one of us really cared about something, we’d go for it.”

Something they both immediately loved about the property they purchased—a renovated 3,700-square-foot, two-story house with fairly traditional bones—was the layout of the ground floor. All of the common areas were distinct but connected. The ground floor, to this day, is a sort of enfilade that leads from the main parlor by the entrance into a dining room and then into a kitchen with a breakfast nook and another sitting room. “When I first walked in, it felt really open. One room was connected to the other, and I imagined our friends hanging out there,” Wiley says. “We love throwing little get-togethers; it’s something that we pride ourselves on.”

These days, they do most of the hosting outdoors, at their poolside patio, which is cozily furnished with vintage Italian rocking chairs, a wingback sofa with bleached teak legs, a marble coffee table from the 1960s, and assorted ottomans and side tables.

Although both women have projects on the horizon (Morelli will be writing for several TV shows that are in development; Wiley will soon start filming the fifth season of The Handmaid’s Tale, followed by the play Blues for an Alabama Sky at London’s National Theatre), neither is looking forward to spending too much time away from home. “We had a feeling that we were chasing when we got this house, something calm that felt like a refuge for us,” Morelli says. To which Wiley replies: “Yes, the word refuge is perfect.”


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