An Actress’s Hollywood Hills Home Is the Embodiment of a Hug

published Aug 29, 2018

An Actress’s Hollywood Hills Home Is the Embodiment of a Hug

published Aug 29, 2018
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Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Janet Varney, her boyfriend Brandon, and dogs Scott and Whitley.
Location: Hollywood Hills — Los Angeles, California
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 14 years, owned

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Colorful with patterns and textures, actress Janet Varney‘s home is also airy and relaxing…surely a much-needed respite from her busy career. She was the voice of Korra in the animated television series “The Legend of Korra.” She currently co-stars as Evie Barret on “Stan Against Evil” (season 3 will premiere on Halloween!) She plays recurring character Becca Barbara on “You’re the Worst.” You might have even seen her on popular shows like “Entourage,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Shameless,” “Key and Peele,” “Psych,” “Bones,” and others.

But wait, there’s more! She also hosts her own podcast called “The JV Club,” where she interviews women in comedy who she thinks “set an example for girls who are trying to find their voices and be comfortable in the world.” And she’s the co-founder/creative director/producer of SF Sketchfest. While her passions are clearly rooted in comedy and acting, art, design, and decor play big roles in her life, too, as evidenced by her home’s interior. And actually both sets of passions collided in the recent project created by and starring Janet, the IFC series “Fortune Rookie” coming this October. It was filmed in her house!

Nestled in the hills of Hollywood and canopied by huge trees, the house is inspired and surrounded by nature. Sunlight pours in through big windows and lots of plants fill the corners of rooms. But nature also shows up in decor accessories, from the birch wood wallpaper accent wall in the dining room, to the cactus-shaped pillows Janet hand sewed from the fabric of vintage dresses.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Hmm… maybe like whimsical mid-century modern?

Inspiration: Our closest family friends on my dad’s side are Danish, and I grew up going over to their house and marveling over the little hidden charms of their decorating style. I’m sure that had an enormous influence on both my dad and me!

Favorite Element: It would probably be the big windows and how private the house feels.

Biggest Challenge: Dog hair.

What Friends Say: Both my podcast (“The JV Club”) and my house have been described by others as the embodiment of a hug.

Biggest Embarrassment: Dog hair and soap scum!

Proudest DIY: Cactus pillows I hand sewed from a vintage dress that looked awful on me but whose fabric I loved.

Biggest Indulgence: A couple of Bodo Sperlein bowls. I had more of his pieces, but… stuff breaks!

Best Advice: Keep things around you that make you smile. It’s a lot harder to be in a sour mood.


The goose in flight came from either a vintage place on La Brea or somewhere in Venice in one of its little pockets of shops on Venice Boulevard or Abbot Kinney.

There are two main spots I’ve returned to time and again for some of my larger pieces of Danish furniture in LA: Denmark50 and Midcenturyla.

Most of the plants in the house come from Sunset Nursery or Potted, two wonderful small businesses in Los Feliz.

I’ve been kind of accidentally buying the same yellows, blues, and greens for about 15 years now. I guess I like what I like!

The felt rocks I’ve had so long, I can’t remember anymore where I got them—but they still manage to fool people who come over for the first time and think they’re real boulders!

The porcelain black cat in the low portion of the sofa end table was from the “Dinner and a Movie” set—they let me take it when the show ended.

The lamp in the right corner and the little coltish table next to it came from the beloved San Francisco local store Fillamento, where I worked in the buying office until it closed in 2001.

I’m from Tucson, Arizona, and have slowly collected a few wonderful works from some of the Native American artist galleries downtown.

The original painting by Amanda Kavanaugh is from the terrific

The little bud vase was a gift from a best buddy.

I made the white felt flowers in the cloche.

The framed poster on the end table by the sofa is a wonderful image created by Nathan Diffee for an episode of “Spontaneanation” with Paul F. Tompkins. The skull and raptor “snow globe” sculpture is by Jen Renninger.

The ceramic trio in the left corner were Etsy finds. The calendar above them is a family calendar from my aunt Maureen, my mom’s sister, and it has cool tidbits about all my aunts, uncles, cousins, and their kids, including, of course, everyone’s birthday!

On the far left of the dining table is an original Rex Ray, whose work was being featured in Jonathan Adler’s shops in San Francisco in the early 2000s when I lived there, and I met him and cannot say enough what a delightful man he is.

The colorful sailboats next to Rex were a thrift store find.

I love West Elm for rugs and Urban Outfitters for tapestries that make great tablecloths!

Globe lamp was a Rose Bowl flea market purchase.

The framed Willard’s Mill map was a wrap gift from my dear, dear friend and “Stan Against Evil” co-star Deborah Baker, Jr, and our brilliant production designer Molly Coffee.

The two prints are from Dan McCarthy—I have a ton of his stuff all over the house.

The crotchet hanging jellyfish in the jar was a gift from one of my most stylish friends, Ellen.

The foremost artwork above the modular shelves are by Annie Lapin and Jen Renninger.

A long-coveted “Slice” chair from Modernica.

Porcupine Charlie Harper Pillow from Land of Nod.

The painting hanging above the bed was found about 13 years ago in a fairly dark, dusty thrift store in Montrose.

On the far right are Susie Gharemani woodblock paintings. She’s wonderful!

Thanks, Janet!

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