Inside the New Orleans–Inspired LA Home of Designing Women’s Annie Potts

The actor makes her own design rules, naturally, in a house full of joyful treasures and stories

Potts boldly mixes goods imbued with personal significance that trigger emotional responses, and she treats spaces as continually evolving. “I move things around all the time,” she confesses. A weathered zinc-topped century-plus-old oversized French florist table has been relocated from house to house and placed both indoors and out. The formidable black stone dining table was gifted by a friend who hosted legendary guests for salon-style meals, and is now capped with armchairs upholstered in green Chinoiserie fabric Potts bought in New Orleans. The large curved orange midcentury sectional sofa that anchors the family room happened to have caught Potts’s eye—and caused her to make a sudden and perhaps questionable U-turn—while she was driving past Sunbeam Vintage in LA’s Highland Park area.

Whimsy plays a pronounced role. “I decided I can do all the bathrooms in birds,” she says, pointing to the avian theme expressed through patterned wallpaper. The concept begins with the Gucci Heron print that emblazons the downstairs powder room, which Potts selected to complement a painted mirror she bought at sidewalk sale for $11 during the 1970s and eventually embellished with a gilded bamboo style frame. Along with heirloom photos and mementos on display, every item has a rich tale that reflects her family's experiences.

Perhaps most tellingly, Potts values material possessions but nothing feels too precious, especially since she and Hayman’s frequent visitors include their two young grandchildren. In this warm, idiosyncratic environment, connections are made organically across generations, styles, and places. Her modest pride shines through too. “I know who I am, and I have the confidence to do it,” Potts says about her design endeavors. “Sometimes I make mistakes—and I just change it out again.”