Peek Inside Sarah Paulson’s Cozy Malibu Hideaway

Sarah Paulson didn’t discover her talent for creating homes with what interior designer Amy Kehoe calls “sophisticated whimsy” until she was in her 40s. As a former New Yorker and an actress who has spent much of her adult life on set, buying and decorating a house wasn’t on her long to-do list. “It felt like too much responsibility. Only grown-ups did that, not me,” says the Emmy Award–winning actress, who stars in the upcoming horror thriller Dust. “I always wanted Manhattan life, an apartment with a doorman, if you were lucky. Owning a home has never held that allure.”

A couple of factors changed her mind. The first is that Paulson is an Angeleno now, and it is found that she was one of the holdouts in her friend group who had not taken the real estate plunge. Secondly, she found the magnetic pull of Nickey Kehoe, an elegantly understated housewares shop owned by Todd Nickey and Amy Kehoe, too powerful to resist. “I would walk into that store and think, Can I move in?” she says. “When I finally bought a house, I emailed Amy. Then once I started working with her, it was like, ‘Well, you can forget it. Anytime I buy anything, even a car, you’re doing the interior.’ ”

It was a pleasant surprise for Paulson to discover how much she enjoyed sorting through fabric swatches and 1st dibs listings with Kehoe. It’s the closest thing to a hobby she’s ever had. “I was always so busy working. Sleep was my hobby. Or taking a shower,” she says with a laugh.

Once her primary residence was finished, Paulson went back for more. Nearly a year into the pandemic, she bought a 500-square-foot Malibu trailer after a life-changing visit to the home of a close friend. “It was January, and the tide was so far out that the beach felt like a moonscape. The cliffs and the water and the light were so beautiful, and my dog ​​went bananas,” she recalls. “The ocean never called to me. I’m the person who’s afraid there’s a shark in my bathtub. But the beach was stunning. How did I live here for so many years and not understand the beauty of the coastline?”