The Fifty Shades of Grey star shows off her tranquil "treehouse" full of Hollywood mementos

By Mackenzie Schmidt
March 11, 2020 08:20 AM
Simon Upton

After growing up with a “gypsy lifestyle” that saw her constantly relocating thanks to her two famous actor parents, Dakota Johnson has loved putting down roots at her unique Los Angeles home.

“I thought it would be healthy to have a base,” she tells Architectural Digest in the magazine’s April cover story. “With my job and the velocity at which my schedule can change, it’s important for me to have a place to go to and it be mine. Psychologically, I’m moored somewhere. This place is my anchor.”

She found the house, which she purchased with her first big paycheck from Fifty Shades of Grey, after looking at only one other property. “I was immediately drawn to how it was clean but also cozy,” she says. “I thought, I’ll never want to sell this place.”

That place is a two-story, architect-designed retreat on a quiet cul-de-sac that was previously owned by Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy.

“It’s like a tree house. On a boat,” she says of the leafy setting and unique architecture, which includes floor-to-ceiling sliding glass walls in place of the front door and others that open like garage doors onto the pool.

Simon Upton

Johnson worked with design firm Pierce & Ward to make the property her own, particularly in the master bath, where she added a soaking tub — “Candle, book, and a salt bath, every night I can” — and double sinks. “I think the key to a healthy relationship is double sinks,” says the actress, who is in a relationship with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and splits time between this house and his home in Malibu.

Simon Upton

The mementos found inside the newly remodeled house are what make it most personal: a seating card with Patti Smith’s phone number written on it; a note from her grandmother, Hitchcock heroine Tippi Hedren; and a photo of her alongside Taylor Swift, Derek Jeter, Sarah Palin, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and 50 Cent from Saturday Night Live’s 40th-anniversary episode.

“I guess I’ve had a big life already,” she muses.

To read the full feature and see more photos, pick up the April issue of Architectural Digest or visit