Paradise Regained On Point Dume

How Ridley Scott’s cinematographer of choice and his interior designer wife rebuilt their dream home after the Woolsey Fire

Photography by BRAD TORCHIA


The second iteration of the barn was completed in 2022. Upstairs is a square Spanish hacienda-style balcony. “Most homes would put in another floor to create more rooms, but we sacrificed that to have the open space,” says Becks.


It took a team of no less than 20 men to lift a solid 13-by-6-ft. tropical cedarwood dining table into the Malibu barn where Polish cinematographer Dariusz Wolski — whose camera skills helped define the Pirates of the Caribbean series — resides with his British wife, interior designer Becks. Quite an undertaking, when it had already made the journey from an antique warehouse in Cape Town, South Africa, but a small price to pay to make their house a home again. The couple and their three children lost their abode in the 2018 Woolsey fire in Malibu, which jumped the PCH and wreaked havoc on the residents of Point Dume. They have spent the past five years painstakingly rebuilding it.

A clutch of contorted steel beams from the original house is all that remains of its bones. Now a sculpture grounded in concrete, it serves as a reminder of the dwelling that shaped the Wolskis’ life together. In the mid-2000s, he was designing and building the home on a site he had purchased in 1996 when he and Becks met and fell in love on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean, where she was working as a stylist and costume designer. The house turned Becks into an interior designer after she took a leap of faith and followed Dariusz back to Malibu, where they collaborated on the final design. It was also where the couple got married in 2010, and where they grew their family. They have three children: Cosmo (Dariusz’s son from a previous relationship), Tillo, and Stash.

“Some of our friends say, ‘Isn’t the sculpture a constant reminder?’” Becks says. “But it’s a reminder of our strength and resilience. We got through it and we came out the other side.” The dining table, made from an unusual grain of wood rarely seen in the United States, might not sound significant, but the centerpiece of their indoor-outdoor open-plan living space has become an emblem of harmony restored.


Dariusz and Becks Wolski standing by the swimming pool. 


“As soon as it was installed, I instantly felt the familiarity of the old space come back to life,” says Becks, relaxing into one of the solid oak dining chairs from Belgian furniture company Ethnicraft. “I framed the house and the light fixtures around this one piece.”

The dining table is one of many purchases made in the months following the fire, when the family relocated to Cape Town while Dariusz filmed the TV show Running With Wolves with Ridley Scott, with whom he has collaborated on films such as House of Gucci, Alien Covenant, and Napoleon. Becks threw herself into hunting for furniture and antiques to replace everything they had lost. “The craftsmanship out there is amazing,” she says. “We have a bunch of ebony oak pieces, including the console in the hallway and our bed upstairs. I also picked up soft furnishings like the rug and the baskets.”


“Dariusz walks onto sets every day, so he has the most incredible sense of space and light”

becks WOLSKI


Dariusz stands on a staircase of tiles made from volcanic lava stone by Italian company Made a Mano. Tillo plays on a Kawai piano from Kim’s Piano. “We lost our piano in the fires, so it was important to find a beautiful replacement,” says Becks.


Three months in the Southern Hemisphere before moving to a Malibu rental proved healing, and the barn-like houses in Cape Town also spurred them toward a white plaster finish instead of wood, which they relayed to contractor Arni Osvaldsson.

When designing the original house, Dariusz was inspired by the work of American graphic designer Ivan Chermayeff, who renovated a 150-year-old barn in upstate New York in the 1980s, and French architect Pierre Chareau, famous for his use of concrete, steel, and brass in the 1920s.“It was a combination of everything that influenced me in my early years living on the East Coast in the 1980s,” says Dariusz, who was nominated for an Oscar for his work on the 2020 Paul Greengrass epic News of the World, starring Tom Hanks and set in the aftermath of the Civil War. “I was always aware of modern architecture. I was surrounded by young architects. At one point I actually almost became an architect.”

Design comes intuitively to the cinematographer, whose work spans four decades. “Dariusz walks onto sets every day, so he has the most incredible sense of space and light,” says Becks. Although the finished aesthetic is a little softer than before (think light oak over dark and textures over stark minimalism), the structure and layout of the house is an exact replica of its previous iteration — even down to the industrial island in the kitchen, which Dariusz sketched after seeing it in a New York store 20 years ago.

“We made a conscious decision not to design a modern high-tech kitchen. We still wanted it to feel like a country house kitchen that had charm and character,” says Becks. “The kitchen island and raw steel mesh panels on the kitchen cabinet screens all add to this aesthetic.” Dariusz was keen to avoid the current trend of what he calls “pseudo-Spanish villas that are super modern and too sterile because they don’t understand how to keep the balance between stark and soft.”


A painting by New York–based Polish artist (and Dariusz’s sister) Hanna Will-Wolski, sofas by Sutherland furniture, and an antique fireplace from the Netherlands.


Bringing in old elements, such as an antique fireplace from the Netherlands, definitely helped. “A house needs some old pieces to give it gravitas; otherwise, everything feels new,” says Becks. What was impossible to replicate, sadly, was a memorabilia archive accumulated over a lifetime in Hollywood.

For Dariusz, that included props such as the trunk from Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd, Johnny Depp’s sword from Pirates of the Caribbean, and clapper boards from every movie he’s ever worked on — not to mention his extensive library of art and photography books. “I had a personal library, and it’s what I miss most about the house,” he says. “All my architecture books burned.”

The new library is “quite empty but growing,” he adds, as the family slowly builds a new collection. Case in point: a colorful painting by Brazilian artist Bruno Novelli, given to Dariusz by Greg Berlanti, the director of his forthcoming film Project Artemis, which stars Scarlett Johansson. “Dariusz has a small part in it,” says Becks. “It’s so not like him! The kids are super excited because we’ll be able to go to the premiere as a family. His previous movies have been too grown-up.”

The painting sits at the top of the stairs, below a Kawai piano from Kim’s Piano, which Tillo (named after jazz pianist Thelonious Monk) plays every day. “The best advice we got was to always have instruments out and your kids will play them when they feel inspired,” says Becks, as Tillo launches into an impressive rendition of some Philip Glass.

For the Wolski family, the Malibu barn is more than a house or home; it’s an anchor, a “hub for everybody” to recharge, rest, and play. (The family have a coveted key to the Little Dume gate, where Dariusz paddle surfs.) “There’s something about being here that’s relaxed and unpretentious, and so much of that circulates around the beach. Everyone knows everyone’s kids, so everyone looks out for one another.” says Becks. “We basically don’t need to go on vacation now.”


“I used the same tiles from the staircase in the kitchen to unify the open plan space,” explains Becks, pictured here with (left to right) Dariusz, Tillo, Cosmo, and Stash.


“I have always loved the classic French bistro-style globe lights you see across Europe, so this felt like a modern interpretation of that look,” says Becks about the Alabaster Globe Pendant lights from Restoration Hardware.


The outdoor space includes a skateboard ramp.


Becks collaborated with Cape Town interior design company Lim on many oak pieces for the house, including the bed in the “very calm” primary bedroom.


The living room sits directly below the library. “With an open plan house it’s more challenging to create intimate spaces,” Becks says. “I really wanted this space to look elegant but also invite you in.”





Feature image: “We spent so much time outside and the house is an indoor-outdoor fluid space, so I wanted the garden to have different zones to hang and relax,” Becks says.


This story originally appeared in the Spring 2024 issue of C Magazine.

Discover more STYLE news.


See the story in our digital edition

Receive Updates

No spam guarantee.

Stay Up To Date

Subscribe to our weekly emails for the hottest openings, latest parties and in-depth interviews with the people putting California Style on the map.