Diane & Design


Diane Keaton’s career scorecard reads “films: 44, design books: 2”—but that doesn’t mean paper isn’t winning.

The actress teamed with writer D.J. Waldie to create House, an oversize, lush book that draws upon Keaton’s earliest inspirations to portray a look that is thoroughly of the moment. The tome is divided into two parts, “Factory” and “Farm,” and features homes and buildings (many of them by California architects and designers) whose aesthetics fall into these categories.

Keaton was first drawn to the industrial look as a girl growing up in Southern California, where she spent a lot of time gazing out the back window of her parents’ car at the factories lining the Santa Ana Freeway. Her favorite was the Pabst Blue Ribbon plant, a building she was irresistibly drawn to, although she describes it as “big, dark and overwhelming.” After she spent time on a farm in Oxnard when she was 10, Keaton developed an appreciation for the agrarian. “To me, that farm looked like a small village of wooden buildings,” she says.

The seed of an idea that would grow into a design book featuring both styles was planted by an Elle Decor profile of Annabelle Selldorf, a New York architect known for spare, context-driven work. After discovering projects reinforcing the factory–farm idea on websites such as Remodelista.com and books such as Tiny Houses and Country House Architecture, Keaton contacted her publisher.

“At the age of 66, I’ve been around a while. I’ve seen and read a lot of things,” she says. “I had a spontaneous response to this material, and I created this book. It’s the same thing I do as an actress: respond to material.”

This article was published in California Home + Design’s Spring 2013 issue. Click here to subscribe.

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