Actress Kate Levering is a self-described “secret design junkie.” She lives in Newport Beach, California, with her husband, Reza Jahangiri; their two small boys; and an 11-year-old terrier named Gunther. Levering’s personal style is both chic and low-key — “you’ll find me kicking back at our family ranch in Idaho with a beer or dressed up in NYC, martini in hand” — and her home reflects that juxtaposition. The space is comfortable yet complex, layered with vintage flea finds alongside high-end furnishings in a sophisticated setting with what she calls “simple bones and finishes.”
The vibe is serene and the decor nuanced. “You have to spend time, look closely and ask questions about my house to appreciate the story/intent behind everything in it,” Levering says.
Come see for yourself what she means by that.
When you hear the word “home,” what do you think of? I’m an introvert, so my home is my everything. It represents safety and security for my family. It’s my tranquility and respite from a fairly full life. It’s a warm, positive space where family, friends and their kids come to play, commune and create memories.
Describe your home style in three words: Eclectic. Self-reflective. Warm.
Favorite room in the house? Kitchen/living room.
Favorite thing in that room? The two turquoise vintage lanterns hanging above our kitchen island.
What makes those special? My husband’s grandmother passed them down to my mother-in-law, who handed them down to us. She brought them to the United States from Iran when she fled after the shah fell in the 1970s. They tell such an amazing story — not only design-wise but the story of my husband’s family as well.
What’s the most surprising thing in your space? The massive charcoal sketch of our dog, Gunther — a reflection of bizarre things couples do before children come along. It used to hang front and center in our old house, but now it has a special spot in the back hallway. Sorry, Gunny.
What’s the story on the guitar collection? My husband’s passion has always been music. He’s in finance, but he’s a rock star at heart. He’s collected guitars since he was young. When we were building our house, he wanted a “man cave music room,” complete with recording studio, drum set, etc. He ended up with a slightly more chic version of that, filled with velvet furniture, a huge square grand piano from the 1800s (inherited from my grandmother) and a binder filled with his old-school Garbage Pail Kids card collection.
Are any of the guitars a super special favorite? As a wedding gift, my husband’s brother gave him a 1937 Gibson acoustic guitar. It’s like scotch: The older it gets, the warmer it is.
Do you have any other cool collections? Besides my husband’s Garbage Pail Kids?! My husband has a pretty decent vinyl record collection, as well as a beautiful wine collection that’s featured in our cellar off our dining room. He buys. I drink. Some would argue that I have a nice-size shoe collection.
What would we find on your bedside table right now? My make believe answer is fresh flowers, a wonderful scented candle and my gratitude journal. But the truth is baby wipes, pony tail holders and Chapstick. Always Chapstick.
Levering was tapped to play Annette Hargrove (originally played by Reese Whiterspoon) for NBC’s television revival of Cruel Intentions. You can catch her this summer at our Summit.