Hollywood star Walton Goggins shows us the man behind the shield | South China Morning Post
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Hollywood star Walton Goggins shows us the man behind the shield

Every piece of furniture in actor Walton Goggins' bright home tells a story, writes Nina Hobert

 

SPEC CHECK
 

RESIDENTS
Walton Goggins, his wife Nadia Conners and their three-year-old son Augustus
 

LOCATION
Los Angeles, California
 

CLAIM TO FAME
Goggins starred in and co-produced The Accountant, which won an Oscar. He has appeared in TV series The Shield and blockbusters Django Unchained and Lincoln.

 

For those who have watched the American TV series The Shield, this would not be what they'd expect from Detective Shane Vendrell's home. Something slightly seedy and unsettling? Perhaps. Imbued with more than a tinge of corruption and guilt? Likely. What they wouldn't expect to see would be a bright, sunlit home filled with warmth and laughter. Welcome to the home of Walton Goggins.

Goggins has more than his fair share of celebrity. In addition to his portrayal of Vendrell in The Shield, he is also known for his performances in films such as Django Unchained by Quentin Tarantino and Lincoln by Steven Spielberg. Goggins also starred in and co-produced a short film - The Accountant - in 2001. The production won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.

His CV certainly gives you an idea of someone who has eschewed the easy path in pursuit of his creative visions. Nevertheless, Goggins is first and foremost a family man, and it shows in the way he interacts with his three-year-old son Augustus and his wife, filmmaker Nadia Conners.

The family live in a two-storey brick home that they found on a house-listing site in October 2010, when Nadia was six months pregnant with their son. Goggins calls the house "an anomaly", and it's easy to see why. The 1920s building, set in contemporary Los Angeles, features architectural elements spanning several decades that look surprisingly refreshing in a new, modern context.

"The irony is that our house was built by a man who owned the biggest lumber yard in the city of Los Angeles," Goggins says. "From the outside it feels old, very European. We wanted to honour that initial impression and continue it throughout." He adds that it was their ambition to replicate a feeling of history rather than be restricted by any design or decade.

The home is certainly not lacking in sophistication. The brick home reconciles two different styles, modern and historical. Wooden flooring, leather sofas and soft shades of brown create a gentle environment with an exquisite atmosphere of experience and history.

Each room has generously-sized windows and pronounced focal points. An abundance of natural light amplifies the airy rooms, while the enigmatic design details and palettes of deep hues add a playful touch to an otherwise conventional space. "We wanted it to feel elegant, bohemian and comfortable," he explains.

The house is a beautiful blend of luxury and vintage, and it speaks to the homeowners' globetrotting lifestyle. As a result, nothing about the interior design is generic or safe.

There are rugs and pillows from Morocco, a framed leaf from the Bodhi tree in India, a painting from the previous owner that has hung there for 45 years, not to mention artworks and furniture from the couple's many travels to India, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Egypt. This mishmash of accessories and objets d'art was deliberately chosen to showcase the couple's personalities.

"Our home is a reflection of who we are as people. It tells the story of us - the books we read, the places we've been, and the people we've met along the way," Goggins says. "I think you build a home the same way you build a group of friends - one at a time."

To showcase these collectables, the actual furniture in the home is kept clean and unfussy. From oak tables and classic modern dining chairs, to a cosy fireplace and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, it's clear that this home is a haven and source of comfort for the family.

Together, the husband-and-wife team have created a place where their mutual vision of design and composition, comfort and peace - with a touch of rustic elegance and bohemia - has manifested into a beautiful home. It's no easy feat bringing together so many different styles in one home, and it's the couples' shared interest in interior design and their easy co-operation that made the process possible.

"Both my wife and I are equally interested in interior design. Design and composition are very important to us," Goggins says. "I'm the hunter. You will find me driving up to the house with something attached to the roof or sticking out of my trunk - my wife calls it 'stagging'. She's more of our editor. She helps decide what stays." The resulting interior is an aesthetic feast for the eyes, and every piece of furniture tells a story. More importantly, it offers the busy couple a way to escape from their busy schedules.

"Our house has a feeling that I have tried creating everywhere I've lived in Los Angeles. [It's] a place to retreat," Goggins says. In contrast to their hectic lives at work, a typical day at home is spent playing, talking and reading together, and that's exactly what the actor wants.

"We moved in two weeks before our son was born - it's as if he wanted to call this place home," Goggins says. "And we're extremely fortunate to collectively call [this place] just that - our home."

 

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