The 4,000-square-foot pad is a master class in personality-packed living
Anyone who has sat in one of Chris McMillan’s leather chairs at his Beverly Hills salon knows that the celebrated hairstylist is fast-talking and fast-moving. He’s also a news junkie.
Drop in at his midcentury home in West Hollywood, and you’ll likely find him toggling between four flat-screen TVs in different rooms—often with two going at once—watching cable news shows in the morning while he drinks his coffee, or at night while he cooks.
“In the evening I like to watch MSNBC’s Chris Matthews leading into Chris Hayes leading into Rachel Maddow leading into Lawrence O’Donnell leading into Brian Williams. I’m obsessed,” says the tattoo–covered McMillan. He’s about to take off for a fashion shoot in Bangkok before jetting right back to L.A. to work with client Justin Theroux for a day of interviews promoting the actor’s HBO show, The Leftovers. McMillan—whose clients also include Theroux’s wife Jennifer Aniston (for whom he did the famous Rachel hairdo during her Friends days), Michelle Williams and Zoe Saldana—estimates he’s spent nearly half of his days on the road for work in recent years.
His abode, a 4,000-square-foot pad set just above Sunset Boulevard, provides a nice dose of balance to his hectic pace. Designed by Trip Haenisch and incorporating furnishings McMillan has collected over the years, spanning a Frank Lloyd Wright floor lamp to a George Nakashima rough plank bed, it’s a surprisingly calm, tangibly warm environment, carefully edited with a discerning eye. “Chris likes smart, interesting things, and I like to design a collected look, so it was a great match,” says Haenisch.
A rich brown palette, from the oak floors to the cognac- and caramel-color leather chairs, sets the tone. The focused nature of the color scheme mimics that of McMillan’s own wardrobe: a uniform of AllSaints gray trousers topped with a James Perse T-shirt in black, white or gray, and classic Vans slip-ons. Pops of color in his home derive from his art collection, which includes cartoon-inspired pieces by street artist Kaws and a mug shot of Jane Fonda following her arrest for protesting the Vietnam War, awash in a pink tone (his favorite color).
McMillan’s condo is part of a seven-unit apartment building with a striking semicircular design built in 1954 by the late prolific architect Edward Fickett, whose wide-ranging output includes a master plan for Edwards Air Force Base and homes for the likes of Joan Crawford, Dick Clark and Ava Gardner.
Haenisch and his business partner Hadi Halawani bought the condo in 2012 and completely renovated it, covering black metal columns in reclaimed wood, opening the kitchen up to the dining area, wood-paneling the home office (“I wanted one room to be a cozy room,” says Haenisch), and adding wood beams to the ceilings.
“I got a call about five years ago from Hadi and Trip,” recalls McMillan of first hearing about the place. (The designer and the hairstylist, who cuts Haenisch’s hair, have been friends for years and share a client in actress Courteney Cox.) “I had a flight to Berlin that afternoon, and I looked at it and made an offer from the car on the way to the airport.”
Lately, McMillan, who recently took over sole ownership of his salon, is spending more time at home with his trio of Parson Russell Terriers, with whom he shares his bed. It’s an arrangement that jives with his reputation for being open-hearted and loyal—the sort of industry power player who even after making it big, honored the original rate he charged the elderly clients who came to see him when he was starting out in a little salon in Manhattan Beach. It stands to reason that his home base would be equally devoid of pretension. “It fits him,” says Haenisch of the surrounds. “It’s masculine, it’s organic and it’s fun.”
Photography by SAM FROST.
Written by DEGEN PENER.