The Glee creator opens up about his redecorating habit and gives a tour of his modernist beach retreat in Architectural Digest

By Mackenzie Schmidt
Updated January 04, 2017 08:07 PM
Credit: Douglas Friedman

“A cream-and-black-leather tribute to Scarface, then a cozy beach shack inspired by Mildred Pierce, then, after a trip to Asia, a textural Balinese home, then a blue-and-white homage to Bel Air.”

Ryan Murphy, 51, could easily be speaking about the sets of his successful TV shows and movies. But, as the director reveals in the February issue of Architectural Digest, these are actually the many incarnations of his beloved Laguna Beach home, which he has decorated and redecorated countless times over the last 13 years.

It’s an ambitious feat for any amateur interiors enthusiast, but perhaps not a surprising one for the creator of American Horror Story, a show that famously changes up its storyline and setting for every season.

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“Moving trucks would show up, old furniture and art would be carted off to storage or sold, and a new vision would be carefully placed, scrutinized, and curated with feverish enthusiasm,” writes Murphy of the exhaustive and exhilarating process, in a self-penned feature. “Then I would start thinking about doing it again.”

After he married photographer David Miller and they had their sons, Logan and Ford (both born via surrogate in 2012 and 2014 respectively), the renovation became a family affair. Murphy brought the original architect on to help combine the house with another property next door, had a landscape designer rebuild the “nightmare of a garden,” and worked with decorator Cliff Fong, who he collaborated with on his Beverly Hills home (previously Diane Keaton’s house), to perfect the decor.

Credit: Douglas Friedman

Murphy also reveals in the feature that his proclivity for quick-change decorating started early. He transformed his childhood bedroom in Indiana into a Studio 54-inspired lair, then, a year later, a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock. “Design has always been a passion of mine, a place to pour anxiety and joy in equal measure. I’m a bit of an addictive personality, to the point where, when my business manager complained of my Laguna hobby, I replied, ‘I figure it’s either furniture or cocaine.'”

See more of Ryan Murphy’s home and read the full feature on, or pick up the February issue.