Living With Kids: Laura Tremaine

By Gabrielle.

I can’t wait for you to meet Laura Tremaine. As her blog’s name suggests, she is a Hollywood housewife. Equal parts red carpet and playdates, she has a sweetly grounded view of an L.A. life that would prompt me to pinch whoever was next to me! Not Laura. She still calls Oklahoma home, even though it’s been years since that’s been true. I know most of us who’ve moved out – but never really on – will understand this. Home is sometimes a tricky place to define, isn’t it? Lucky for Laura, her Hollywood house also plays the role of home quite convincingly! I know you’re going to enjoy the Tremaine tour, Friends. And, action! (Also. No fish were harmed in the making of this tour. I promise.)

Q: Please tell us all about the family who makes this stunning house a home.

A: We’re a family of four who makes our home in the Hollywood hills of Los Angeles. I’m a blogger and a writer, and my husband Jeff is a producer and director for both television and film. Together we’ve created a spunky little girl who is three, and a hilarious little boy who is one.

Our life is unusually chaotic. We live in a beautiful area of a glamorous town, but our red carpet life has a hefty dose of kid vomit and toddler tantrums. We celebrate both the very surreal and the very normal parts of this season.

Q: How did the house become yours?

A: My husband owned a home directly under the Hollywood sign when we got married. We lived there until my daughter was born, but the house was just not family friendly. We discovered our home one weekend when we were hitting up open houses in the next neighborhood over. We immediately loved it and also decided it wasn’t for us. It was bigger than we needed, and the outside had zero character. It was just a big gray box – it looked like a compound! Also, it had been on the market for over a year and was in a little bit of disrepair.

But for weeks we just kept talking about it. We decorated it in our minds. “You know, if we bought that house, we could…”

It is a 1920s home designed by a well-known architect. There was no doubt that the house was beautiful and had lots of potential. We were wary of how long it had been unoccupied, but we weren’t scared of a fixer-upper. We got a great deal on it, and it is still our favorite place to be on earth. We have a long list of things we want to remodel, but we try to keep within the character of the Hollywood Regency style. We’ve done a ton of landscaping and redecorating, and last summer we completed a big kitchen remodel.

Q: When was the first moment you fell in love with the house?

A: I loved the house right away, even before we admitted to ourselves that it was The One. But I knew for sure it was calling to us when we went back with a realtor the second or third time. While on the market, the entire interior was painted a pale yellow that was not to my taste. My husband and I were standing in the empty living room and at the same time we said variations of, “This room would look great painted pink!” And that’s when I knew.

Q: You’ve got little ones and a lot of little lovely things. How do you mix the two without anything – or anyone! – getting broken?

A: Well…things do get broken. Recently I had a really cool whale platter that became a casualty of my son. We do have nice things in the house, and we also have a lot of plastic toys. We all live here, you know? We have no great strategy, just common sense. I try to keep the most precious items out of reach of little fingers, and the most priceless stuff – our art – is secured to the wall.

Q: That is an enormous fish tank!

A: It is! That 1,200 gallon fish tank is quite the attraction and did not come with the house. My husband is an avid animal lover, and had been bugging me to get a large tank for awhile when the opportunity fell into our lap. The Animal Planet show Tanked made an episode about our tank and its installation. (You can see some behind-the-scenes antics from the filming here!)

I was so resistant to that ginormous thing at first, but I have to admit that it’s become like part of the family. My kids love it, and yes…I’ve already thrown a party with a fish theme!

Q: Your blog is wonderful. What are your hopes for it?

A: Thank you! I am really passionate about blogging. It’s the perfect medium for me. I love how it can be serious one day and silly the next. It feels like you’re really taking a journey with the blogger.

Blogging has changed my life in many ways, introducing relationships and opportunities. I’ve met some of my very best friends on twitter, and have traveled as far as Sri Lanka thanks to the blog. But writing is my first love, so in my wildest dreams I would write a book.

Q: Your husband works in Hollywood! (Other peoples’ jobs always sound so romantic, don’t they?) Can you share the Hollywood moments of your day…and the not so Hollywood moments, too?

A: It’s true, my very un-Hollywood husband is successful in the entertainment industry. He’s a creative genius, a strong leader, and a workaholic. We met on the set of his first movie, where I was a production assistant. His job takes us around the world on press tours and red carpets, but we always joke that we’re a half-second away from getting kicked out of these events.

Currently, he is shooting a feature film and has two television shows airing on two different networks. What looks very glamorous on the surface – and does include a lot of fun – translates to a lot of time in the edit bay or planning re-shoots. Since having children, he has limited his travel as much as possible, and nine days out of ten he gets up with the kids and cooks breakfast.

Earlier this year we went on a winter trip. On the flight home we were that family with shrieking kids and dazed-looking parents. We barely arrived at our house before a car came to take us to a friend’s major movie premiere. I’m pretty sure I went with dried up cookie on my boots. So that fairly encapsulates our current stage of life.

Q: What do you hope the decor you’ve chosen is teaching your children?

A: My husband is an artist first and foremost. He paints the most amazing pieces. He painted the turtle and flamingo in the playroom, and the skateboards and snowboards in the man room are printed with his creations. I can barely draw a straight line, but love decorating a space. Between the two of us, we’ve filled our home with things we love, not worrying much about if they “go.”

The thing that visitors comment on most in our house is the artwork. Most of it is original and some of it is controversial. We put a lot of effort into displaying our art because it makes us happy. I was surprised when we moved to our current home and friends said that it had the same feel as our previous one, even though the two houses are very different. So I guess we do have a certain style, though I would be hard-pressed to define it.

My husband likes “worldly” or “cultural” pieces. You can see his taste in the statues and the dining room table, and especially the carved doors we’ve added to the living room.

My touch comes out in the rooms with bold wallpaper and the gold faucet and pulls in the kitchen. I like the drama. On paper, these things shouldn’t go together. But somehow they work. So I hope I’m teaching my kids that art and beauty isn’t formulaic.

Q: When does your home work best? And what is it missing, if anything?

A: I am in love with our old home, but I admit that when I visit open concept floor plans, I get a little jealous of their ease. With my kids so little, having the kitchen and living areas accessible to one another would be so convenient. The living areas and playroom are out of sight to the kitchen, which is the heart of our home. It’s not something that’s missing, just something we have to work around.

Our home works best on sunny California days, when we can throw open all the french doors and enjoy true indoor-outdoor living. We splash around in the pool, or have a picnic in the yard. I try never to take for granted the gorgeous Los Angeles weather.

Q: What has been your favorite part about living with your own kids? What has surprised you about it all? And what do you already miss?

A: I love being a mom and sharing this life with my family. It’s funny, when I was pregnant with my first child, all I heard was the negative parts about becoming a parent: loss of sleep, time, wrinkles, diapers. It’s like this generation of moms swung the taboo pendulum too far to the other side. It’s my mission to tell women how much joy and fulfillment comes with being a mother.

Secretly, though, I did dread the clutter and craziness that comes with adding kids to the house. But I just have to shrug my shoulders at it now. This is who we are. These little people – and their toys – have an equal share on our space. The time will come soon enough when I’ll miss stray crayons under my feet, when my house will look perfect. That time is not now.

Q: Please finish the sentence: I wish someone had told me…

A: …to start writing and creating when I was much younger. I had a grand ole time in my twenties, but I should have been selfish in a different way. I didn’t truly start down a creative path until I was already in the thick of motherhood, so my attention is now forever divided. Better late than never, though! My life mantra is Start Where You Are.


Laura, thank you so much for the celebrity treatment! You’re probably so accustomed to it all, but I have to tell you it’s always a bit of a thrill to see how families are living – especially when they’re living in a place so different from anywhere we’ve ever lived! (I get the same responses from others about our time in France, and remember how interesting Erin’s tour was to us all?)

I love mantras, don’t you? They can make any goal touchable. Every challenging moment a little easier to endure. Do you have a meaningful one of your own that’s whispered whenever you need it most? I’d love to hear it.

P.S. — Take a peek at all the homes in my Living With Kids series here. And if you’d like to share your own home with us, just send me a note! It’s a lot of fun…I promise!

78 thoughts on “Living With Kids: Laura Tremaine”

  1. Wow! Lovely! What is the wallpaper in the bathroom? What is the color pink called? And who is the artist behind the awesome hippo photo in the kid’s room? Thanks so much in advance! Very wonderful home.

    1. Thank you! The wallpaper in the powder room is designed by graphic designer/blogger Oh Joy! and it’s called Petal Pusher.

      The pink paint color in the living room is custom mixed by my husband, because we tried dozens of colors that just weren’t quite right.

      The hippo print is a black & white getty image that my husband then color corrected with photoshop and we had printed canvas. I plan to do a tutorial on this process on my blog soon.

  2. I have two mantras, “I can handle today” when I need to accomplish a difficult task or a when I’m feeling especially nervous about something I have to do. My other is “it’s just life, you get through it”, which I use when I am taking life too seriously.

  3. I love the eclectic mix of everything and how it feels so homey. I love how she wants to tell people that motherhood can be fulfilling and beautiful too (everything is so negative all the time; it’s nice to focus on the positive side). I also have to comment on her “non-open” floor plan. It may seem hard now, but you’ll love it when the kids are older and enjoying their own noisier hobbies. They will be able to go and “get away” into their own spaces and it will be less noisy for you. :) The years while they are little are so short; so you’ll be loving your home layout soon! :)

  4. Yep, the first thing I noticed upon entering this gorgeous home was the incredible artwork. The second was that in spite of the zip code, the scale of the house, and the overall fabulousness of it, how homey and filled with love it is!

  5. I’ve wanted to see laura’s home for as long as I’ve read her blog – thanks so much for featuring it. Laura your house is really beautiful and I’m drooling over that bird and tree wallpaper ….

  6. Your home makes me think Southern California, it’s lovely. I enjoyed the interview getting a glimpse into your life. I agree with not realizing how much I love writing until having kids. I guess it’s how life works itself out. Thank you for opening your home to share.

  7. What’s the paint color of the blue bedroom toward the end of the post? That just might work for my own home renovations.

        1. Thank you, Amy, for asking this, and, Laura, for responding. I was wanting to know the same thing!

          Lovely and inspiring home, Laura. Thanks for letting us in to have a peek!

  8. I love this – and I love the mantra! I just need to hear from moms with kids in thier teens/early 20s…you know, when they drive you crazy and are trying to find themselves. That seems like a beast!

    Also, I just tried to get to your blog and my websense filter blocked it with the subject of “sex”. It made me laugh (and maybe wonder what I’m missing out on by not reading your blog! haha, jk).

  9. Laura – loved the Katherine Graham & Truman Capote picture. Is there a personal tie to that picture? I loved the Katherine Graham’s autobiography – one of my favorites of all time.

    1. The personal tie is that I loved her autobiography, too! Honestly one of the best things I’ve ever read. And I like Truman Capote (and went through a conspiracy theory phase where I was convinced that he actually wrote Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird). So when I found the two together, I had to have it.

  10. I’ve read Hollywood Housewife for several years. It’s fun to get a little peek of the house. And the pool area? AMAZING! Thanks for sharing your home with us.

  11. I have scrolled through this post four or five times just trying to take in all the big and little details in each room. I can tell you I’m nowhere near done. lol. Gabrielle, thanks for sharing this with us. You know I LOVE this series. Laura, thanks for letting me wander around your home. It’s been delicious fun. Thanks for opening your door. :)

  12. Oh my–the very next time I get invited to a baby shower, I’m using Laura’s rubber duck idea! The ducks are so sweetly comical, all piled up in the glass container. :)

    Laura has a beautiful, incredibly interesting home, but what will stick with me is this comment on making a creative life: “…in my twenties, I should have been selfish in a different way.” I can so relate! So now I’m working on saying “no” (which is not easy in my small town) and putting that energy into writing. Even when–especially when–it feels like a complete waste of time.

  13. This house. Oh, this house. It is truly a thing of beauty and the artwork is so inspirational in it. I love the eclectic feel of textures, art, and yet how homey it all feels together. I am so inspired!

  14. Wow! How pretty and colorful, perfect for entertaining. Love hillside homes in LA! I think my favorite design element is your gold wallpaper in the bath. Absolutely beautiful!

  15. Laura, it’s wonderful to see you featured on DM! And even more wonderful to see sides of your house we haven’t seen before. As a long-time reader, this reminds me of how it feels when I see a talk-show host being interviewed as a guest on another talk-show host’s TV show. You just get to see little bits of the person or their “work” that you don’t typically get to see, which is a lot of fun. Thanks to you both for the great feature!

  16. so lovely! i’m especially enamored with the textile that is hung on the wall…i have a similar one but have no idea how to hang it…is it attached to a canvas? so beautiful!

  17. Thank you!! Laura, when you say:
    “.. all I heard was the negative parts about becoming a parent: loss of sleep, time, wrinkles, diapers. It’s like this generation of moms swung the taboo pendulum too far to the other side. It’s my mission to tell women how much joy and fulfillment comes with being a mother.”
    I feel exactly the same way and do the same. I have loved every minute.

  18. Beautiful home! And “Start Where You Are” is such a great mantra. Laura, do you have any tips/devices for pool safety with little ones around? We’re moving to a house with a pool soon, and I’m equal parts excited about it and terrified. Thanks!

    1. We take pool safety really seriously, because it scares me, too. Our pool is fenced in from other parts of the yard, which is helpful when playing outside. But as you can see, there are several sets of doors that lead to the pool area directly from the house.

      Of course you can’t tell, but from where I shot the photo, I’m standing on the device that houses an automatic pool cover. We put that in when we moved in. It was an investment, but worth it.

      We’re also putting the kids in immersion swim lessons this summer. I should have done it earlier with my daughter, but she was naturally more cautious. My son isn’t so much, so we’re starting him now.

  19. Love everything about this post! Laura, what are the three pictures that are on the wall with the trees (your office wall, maybe?) They look similar but don’t match exactly, is it a series? So curious! And a post about all the art is a fab idea!

    1. Those are magazine photos from the 60’s, a spread of three different shots. Our dear family friend was one of the models in them. Growing up I was in awe of these pictures, they just seemed so glamorous to me. Now they hang in the office where I blog and people always ask them. They’re really meaningful to me.

      1. Thanks for answering, the photos are lovely and look great on that wall. Even better that they have personal meaning ~

  20. I love the carved doors, where did you get them from? I noticed you said they weren’t a part of the old house.. Thank you! Gorgeous home.

  21. We had the carved doors made. The middle panels are very old and my husband found them in Indonesia and had them shipped here. We had them made into doors and stained all the same color. They’re a conversation-started for sure.

    My husband is really great about finding cool things when he travels. I’m lazier about it. :)

  22. Love everything about this home-sweet-home… Another paint question here: what color is the wall in the picture with the fireplace filled with boots/shoes? Thanks so much for sharing!

  23. Wonderful home tour! Thank you for sharing, Laura. I’ve always been a lover of the Hollywood regency style. Do tell, who was the original architect of your home?

    1. I’ll have to go find his name, as a quick google search isn’t yielding anything. He did several well-known things in LA, including Yamashiro (now a beautiful restaurant with the best views in town, was originally a private residence) and the home that was used for the Beverly Hillbillies. :)

  24. Wow! Just love your home. So many beautiful art pieces and those wooden carved doors are AWESOME! The bird houses above the crib are such a precious idea and the toy room is so cheery. I really love that yellow and white striped ceiling!

  25. Gabrielle,
    I love this series and enjoy each home tour, but this one is so fun! I love this house and everything in it from the art, the stripes, the colors, the textiles, the pool, the Hollywood style throughout….that photo with the little shoes and boots all lines up in an opening of a fireplace and the darling photo above it (the little girl sitting on the kitchen counter) just shows how she enjoys and captures life without missing a single moment…I think that photo sums it up best. Happy to be introduced to this blog.

  26. Laura,
    I think your home is so warm, inviting, sophisticated, yet TOTALLY normal.

    I’ve fallen in love with an Otomi red and white tapestry that I hope to display in my living room. All my research has led me to believe that I can only hang it on a curtain rod, but when I saw your suzani fabric behind your bed, I thought that my design prayers had been answered! Could you kindly share how you got the fabric to hang? Is it pulled over a wooden frame? Please share!

    Thank you,

    Gabrielle, I live for this series. Its the bomb!

    1. Hi Bev,

      The suzani in the guest room is mounted on a linen canvas. We took it to a framer, so I didn’t do it myself. Still, it was way cheaper than custom framing. Maybe call your local framer and see if they do that kind of thing.

      To do it yourself, you’d need to cover a large canvas in linen (making sure it’s bigger by several inches all around than the tapestry), and then stretch the tapestry tight. Mine is attached by what I can only describe as clear staples. I have no idea where you would get those.

      I should look into this more specifically and do a post on it, because you’re not the first person to ask. I hope this helps at least a little!

  27. Your house is amazing!! I just want to grab a mug of coffee and my yoga pants and walk around in it and be all, “yeah…I live here…no big deal” BEAUTIFUL!

  28. This home is one of my favorites now from this series. I love the kitchen floor . . . my husband is the guy who can do all things artistic and spends his free time writing, and so he adds lots of creativity to my style. Glad other couples are the same . . . loved the peaceful sense of the home/parenting style that I got from this post!

  29. I absolutely love your style Laura! I wish I had more bold patterns in my house like your striped ceiling. That is super cool and perfect for the kid’s area. I am in love with all of the colors you incorporate, yet it doesn’t seem too wild… just right. Beautiful home. Where did you find those wooden doors outside of your living room… or are they art/antiques that you turned into doors? I have a large open entry similar to that and never would have thought to add doors like that. Love that idea.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. We had those doors made. The middle panels were something my husband found in Indonesia, then we took them to the same wood worker who created and distressed out kitchen island. He made them into doors and then stained them all to match.

      This was years ago, they were originally made to be the master bedroom door in our last house. But we loved them so much we brought them with us! This time in a more high profile room.

  30. What a gorgeous home! Laura, you’ve done a fantastic job making this home both stylish and livable. I really enjoyed this entire interview and reading your thoughts on life and motherhood. I have to tell you, that last paragraph was the clincher for me. “Start Where You Are.” A most perfect mantra. Thank you for sharing this small glimpse into your world.

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