Viola Davis And Julius Tennon Home: Barnaba Fornasetti’s cloud wallpaper covers the walls of the adjoining living and dining areas in actor-producers Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s Los Angeles residence. The renowned pattern, which has long been a favorite among aestheticians and design experts, is contradictory in that it simultaneously conveys calm and chaos.
The gentle grisaille color scheme of the cloudscape gives it a pillowy, dreamlike appearance from a distance. When examined more closely, the sky image changes to a windy one. The storm itself and the tranquil, peaceful eye at the center of the storm are two seemingly incompatible illusions that the design captures.
The multifaceted nature of Davis and Tennon’s Toluca Lake home, which they lived in with their daughter Genesis, 12, for almost five years before beginning a makeover with LA designer Michaela Cadiz, is nicely complemented by the Fornasetti pattern. Despite strongly disliking clutter, they wanted their house to be less stark and austere.
They yearned for color to liven up the previously monochromatic design, but they didn’t wish to wild color. “I always want to go big and aggressive, but not too bold, not garish,” says Davis, the acclaimed actor, and co-founder with Tennon of JuVee Productions.
This firm creates projects for film, television, theater, virtual reality, and the internet. Davis is an Oscar, Emmy, and Tony Award winner. While the remodeling was taking place, Davis says, “We were working in South Africa, filming The Woman King, and were inspired by the tremendous color and culture there.
Cadiz, born and raised in Hollywood and spent many years as a set designer before transitioning to domestic design, understood the task very well. The designer remarks, “Viola and Julius had such bright personalities, but their house was minimal—50 shades of gray.” “They want something comfy, unpretentious, and a place to unwind and replenish their energies. However, they also desired something unique, a feast for the mind and the soul. The secret was finding the correct combination, she says.
A metallic Matthew Williamson design with a dragonfly motif—symbolizing transformation and self-realization—on the ceiling of the main dressing room; a coral-toned palm frond paper in a guest room; and a dynamic hand-screen in the home gym—are just a few examples of the soothing, sophisticated interior ensembles that Cadiz and her team created for their high-profile clients.
Tennon says of the punchy pattern, “When you think about The Champ, you think about his strength and resilience, his contributions to the US and the globe.” “Having him there, observing you, really keeps you on the treadmill,” Davis continues. (The physicality of her remarkable performance in The Woman King demonstrates how well the motivation has worked.)
Davis and Tennon like spending time in the kitchen, which is more than just a showpiece situated around a large island lit by glass globe pendants, while they are home despite their busy schedules and occupations. “Right now, Viola and I are cooking for our 50-person Thanksgiving dinner.
Tennon asserts, “We’re not playing, then shares some wise counsel on how to make a delicious smoked turkey. The couple’s bedroom, decorated in muted tones of ivory and pastel yellow, serves as the house’s tranquil heart if the kitchen serves as its social hub.
Cadiz extended the bathtub in the bathroom to meet the couple’s preference for taking a bath together after exhausting days on the stage and in the spotlight, in addition to using plush appointments and subdued hues. With the help of this essential amenity, Davis explains, “we speak, we laugh uncontrollably, and we reconnect.” “This is a refuge, and that’s what home is to us.”
The small sitting room off the bedroom is where the principal suite’s color scheme picks up a notch; here, pinks, golds, and faint hints of green liven up the muted background. Among the furniture is a set of lounge chairs from the 1950s that were purchased at an estate sale in Hancock Park.
Tennon says of the antique furniture and auction finds that adorn the home, “It’s good to have a table that tells stories, things with history. He is an expert, having worked for nearly ten years in a Santa Monica furniture store named Prince of Wales that specialized in English antiques and replicas, in addition to his vast acting and producing accomplishments.
In the home office, where Cadiz edited and arranged a collection of pictures, awards, and keepsakes, a complete picture of the couple’s rich and diverse lives—before and after their fortuitous meeting on the set of the CBS medical drama City of Angels in 1999—emerges.
“To be honest, I hardly ever went inside before the refurbishment. It was too much to handle. The awards are still present but don’t seem to be the topic of discussion. It’s a lot more tranquil,” Davis says. “I want guests to stroll into our lives when they enter the house. Furthermore, we have far more to live for than just an Oscar or a Tony.