When Julianne Hough steps away from "Dancing With The Stars," home takes center stage. It's a place of calm, where she can kick off her shoes and relax.
Some people furnish their homes to impress or to maintain a certain image -- especially in Hollywood. But Julianne Hough's house is truly all about her.
"My life is instant. I'm always on the go, and I travel a lot," says the dancer-turned-actor, whose high-energy moves and heartfelt judging on ABC's reality dance competition have made her a household name. "So to balance it all, I've created a safe, special place where I feel like my true self."
Natural textures, raw wood, and leafy garden views make Julianne Hough's dining room -- where she loves gathering friends for dinner parties -- a snapshot of her decorating style.
Julianne's passion for design dates to her childhood in Utah, when thinking up new ways to configure her bedroom was her kind of fun. The urge to rearrange remains as strong as ever, even influencing the choices she made with architect Steve Wunderlich and interior designer Jake Arnold. For example, all the side tables, chairs, and accessories are meant to fit in anywhere in the house.
Comfortable, versatile furniture and a pulled-from-nature palette make the house a nurturing antidote to Julianne's busy public life. "Muted, earthy greens, browns, blues, and some yellows feel grounded and protective," she says. "But I also love pops of color. They symbolize pure joy."
The colors flow through furniture she treasures. It's an attitude she picked up during the five years she studied dance in London. She remembers visiting houses where people considered their belongings to be treasures, no matter their provenance or age. "Rather than buying on trend, Jake and I were both attracted to things that felt timeless," she says. "I like it when you can't tell an object's age, when you don't know whether it's brand-new or a century old."
A chaise covered in green linen gets a sense of age from its exposed frame and nailheads. French doors in the living room open to views of the garden.
The been-here-forever sensibility in her home comes from accessories and furniture that display the patina of age. The living room's mix includes a vintage rug, the almost rusty-looking metal legs of a table, raw and reclaimed woods, and an armchair covered in nubby linen. A woven linen blanket -- one that's easy to throw in the washer -- dog-proofs the deep, pillow-topped sofa for Julianne's spaniels, Lexi and Harley. "They pretty much own the house," Julianne says.
Julianne persisted until she got the color of the kitchen cabinets -- a custom mix of baby blue and green -- just right. The glass-front cabinets are backless so they appear to float on the wall. Hanging them just below the ceiling makes the ceiling seem higher. A library ladder keeps top shelf items within reach.
Julianne created an informal and intimate breakfast nook at one end of the kitchen with floor-to-ceiling breakfront cabinetry that works like a hutch, a pedestal table, and rattan bistro chairs with woven seats.
"I'll browse a furniture store over a clothing store any day. I appreciate a vase, chair, or table for how much effort went into making it," Julianne says.
Two chairs dressed in shearling add quirkiness to the otherwise tranquil master bedroom. Beams draw eyes to the pitched ceiling. Black window casings work great for framing views.
As much as she loves sharing her living space with her dogs and fiancé Brooks Laich, who is an NHL hockey player, Julianne values quiet time. She often heads to the patio for its fragrant flowering plants. "I think differently when I'm looking at nature. A clarity comes when I sit there and breathe in the light and the colors."
Her relaxed style extends to the garden where an oversize mirror on the sandblasted brick chimney adds a decorative touch to the outdoor living room. Pillows and throws on the rope chairs add extra comfort.