The art collection in actress Anne Dudek’s living room isn’t just aesthetics and decor — it’s a family affair.
Along the perimeter of white walls in the airy, open space, you’ll find pieces created by the actress’ son, her father and, most predominantly, her ex-husband, painter Matthew Heller. Dudek and Heller remain close friends, and Heller’s large canvas behind the couch featuring lyrics by the band Air Supply is still her favorite piece.
“Painting this was so painstaking and deliberate that I just love the memory of how it was made and the grandiosity of the final product,” said Dudek, 42, who stars in Comedy Central’s “Corporate.” “It’s a good reminder about anything in life — it’s the tiny, little things you have to do to create something grand and massive.”
The open floor plan of the 1,500-square-foot Santa Monica home allows an abundance of light into the living room, highlighting other natural elements such as the dark hardwood floors and fur rug.
What makes this room so special to you?
I love that this space is more or less the only adult area in the house. I have two kids, a 5-year-old and a 9-year-old, and they run around everywhere. And it’s not that they don’t run in this room — there’s nothing precious about it — but it’s a space where I can come and sit and there’re no toys. It’s calm and beautiful and has a lot of things I really love.
How would you describe the design style of this space?
I really appreciate the period details that came with this home. There weren’t many, and this wasn’t a super-high-end home when it was built, but there are little delicate, graceful elements to it that I love, like the mantel. I like that kind of traditional style mixed with contemporary pieces, so I tried to achieve that in here.
Main use for this room?
This is a place where I’ll hang out with my friends at night. Sometimes the kids will be in the playroom watching TV, and this can be more of a quiet area for conversation. We also put a piano in here so it’s a place for music. I also have a bass and an old Fender tube amp.
You’re quite a world traveler. Do you have any pieces from your adventures?
This piece of coral from the Vietnam ocean from snorkeling.
How does this space reflect you?
This space is a mix of a lot of things. It has a lot of different textures, furniture styles together, uses and purposes. What I enjoy about being an actor is I get to be a whole bunch of different things and explore different ways of being a person and other lifestyles. It’s nice to have that in my life as well, a whole mish-mash of things. This room feels a little bit like that.
Tell me about the small penguin sculptures and the penguin painting behind it.
My dad was an architect and also a watercolor painter. He sent a painted card to my son on his first day of school, and for some reason it happened to be of seals and penguins. Then for Christmas, my son made me these little penguins on the mantel, and I said, “Oh, my God, Akiva, you and my dad have this psychic connection!”