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Inside Ashley Benson’s Playful Los Angeles Home

Today Architectural Digest is welcomed by 'Pretty Little Liars' star Ashley Benson to tour her playful home in Los Angeles. Designed in 1930 by architect Arthur Kelly, Ashley's home is an Old Hollywood gem–and having had only three owners in over 90s years it's practically untouched. Inspired by her love of Europe and Nancy Meyer’s movies, Ashley enlisted interior designer Nicole Gordon, and architect John Farrace to help bring her home into the 21st century. From astronaut wallpaper to the ultimate coastal grandmother kitchen, Benson has created a playful space with something fun hidden around each corner.“I wanted to make each turn and each room—no matter the size—a unique experience.”

Released on 08/21/2023


Hi, ED, I'm Ashley Benson

and welcome to my home.

Come on in.

[upbeat music]

So this is the casual living room,

but it's really my dog's main bedroom,

house, kitchen.

I've always wanted to live

in a house that felt

like I was on permanent vacation.

When I'm outside

I just feel like I'm like in Italy,

in Barcelona,

like anywhere that kind of like puts me

away from being, you know, in LA.

And this house really did that for me.

I just had such a vision.

I love interior design.

But working with Nicole Gordon,

who's also one of my best friends,

it was very easy.

And John [indistinct] was amazing.

So one fun fact that I loved

right when I saw the house originally,

Arthur Kelly who did the Playboy Mansion

also built this house in 1930.

And I thought that was just a very cool

piece of history.

And I think I was the third owner of this house,

which is very rare.

It just felt very special and timeless.

[upbeat music]

A kitchen is everything to me.

Nancy Meyers is one of

my favorite directors ever.

If you know her movies,

which I'm sure you do,

she has the best kitchens,

like her interiors are amazing.

I wanted my house to feel

very Nancy Meyers esque.

And so here we are.

I wanted a very big island.

I love to entertain.

A lot of my free time

that I have on the weekends,

I have all of my friends come over.

They'll come over with

what dish they're gonna make

and we just spend a lot of time in here.

This is probably the most used room of my house.

The one thing I wanted, I was like,

I need to somehow figure out how I can make

this stove in my kitchen

and also one of these

'cause it looks like I know how to cook

and I'm a professional chef.

I have a bunch of these pans,

and no, I've never used them

and I never will.

I've collected a bunch of pots and pans

and kettles and stuff from Paris,

London, Geneva, Canada, kind of all over.

I was gonna put like a big light

above the island,

but this is far more interesting.

I just think it looks very pretty.

I make all of my friends coffee every morning

if they're over.

If not, I'll make myself coffee.

And believe it or not,

I actually do keep pastries in here all the time

just because I feel like it looks pretty

and it just makes me in a really great mood.

This is not just for show.

This is for show,

but I really always do have like,

little donuts or, you know,

bread, croissants, all the things

just because I wanna look

like I know what I'm doing in here.

[upbeat music]

This is my dining room.

Before it was all white

and I just had a piano in here.

I kind of like the idea of having a dining room

away from my kitchen.

And I made these doors be able to open

to the backyard and the grass

so my dogs can go out,

we can get fresh air.

I have a fireplace here,

which I redid it into gold,

a gold fireplace, which I loved.

And having like a black dining room

I thought was very cool.

It felt very Parisian to me, in a sense.

But, yeah.

In the winter I literally have

this fire going at all times.

My friends come over, we play games,

and we just eat and sit in here for hours.

I have music put on in here

and it's just a really nice room

to kind of relax in.

[upbeat music]

So this is my formal living room.

I wanted to have a space

that felt very adult

and just classy, elegant

and somewhere for people

to just be able to sit down, talk,

for me to like read a book,

enjoy the fire, have coffee,

tea, a glass of wine,

whatever that may be.

Every time I went into people's houses

and I was like, You don't have a TV?

Like, that's so crazy.

But it just feels so much more mature.

I just liked a grand room

without anything like that.

But I also wanted to have

kind of a home theater room.

Being able to watch films

and then having this fire

is just amazing.

[mellow music]

So right now we're in my backyard,

which I actually use as my front yard,

my front entrance.

We have my pool here.

We have these beautiful blue tiles.

The elevated hot tub was really important for me

and like the water flows down when you're in it.

And yeah, it's just very cozy,

and every time I'm out here

I just feel like I'm on vacation.

I feel like I'm in Cabo,

and then also Italy

with all the flowers and stuff.

But yeah, it's very relaxing out here.

This is Mason.

Mason is Nicole Gordon's dog,

who also did my house.

Love you, Nicole.

But Mason comes over all the time.

He's the one creature that goes in my pool

more than I do or my friends.

If he comes into my house,

he goes right through the gate,

jumps in the pool

and he is there for hours.

Hey, this is what we do on the weekends.


Yeah, go.

He also uses steps too.

Good boy, Macy!

Good boy, Macy!

[upbeat music]

I feel like because I travel so much

and I'm constantly living in hotels,

I wanted my bedroom to feel like that.

I love small spaces and to feel very cozy.

And I got inspired by one hotel in Amsterdam

that had weird cages for the bathrooms.

And so I thought of the idea of,

why not make my bathrooms in weird caged rooms?

So here we are.

This copper tub was very important to me.

I wanted something that was different,

hence this.

I'm a very big bath person.

The first thing I do when I wake up

is take a bath

regardless of, you know,

if I have time or not.

I go in here,

I put a little TV in here.

This was an amazing piece.

It's also a steam room,

which I really wanted.

If I'm ever feeling like sick or worn down

or just tired,

I'll sit in here for another hour or two.

And then if you go over on this side.

This just feels very open, very girly.

These sconces actually are original to the house,

and I think a lot of

the sconces in my bedroom are, as well.

But to kind of tie that in with my bathroom,

I picked this mirror

that's kind of covering up a little window there.

[upbeat music]

This is where I sleep.

I was obsessed with blush

and like a mustardy yellow

and a navy situation.

I didn't know how we would make it work,

but we did.

These floating little nightstands

are amazing and so handy

and it just looks more clean.

I love having a clean kind of aesthetic.

I don't like anything busy,

so it just worked very well.

Having these sconces right here,

these little lamps,

I think it's such a nice touch.

But yeah, just very feminine and tidy

and nothing too crazy busy.

And it just, again,

feels like a really nice hotel room.

I also have an original fireplace,

which I love putting on the fire at night,

and I still do,

even in the summer I'll have it blasting.

When I go to bed,

it makes you just fall asleep very easily.

And then why not have a bar in your bedroom?

So again, it just felt like I was

away somewhere in a hotel.

And I know that sounds kind of crazy,

but you know, why not?

Also, it's mainly just for my candy.

[upbeat music]

I wanted my closet to kind of flow

with my bathroom.

So this originally,

all of this was a guest room,

and there wasn't a lot of closet space

in the house

so I got to kind of build my dream closet

and I felt like I was in a department store,

but still my house.

This is like one of my favorite things ever.

I always dreamed of having a closet

with little lights in it

and kind of being able to see everything.

This is actually a photo

that Keegan Allen took

who played Toby on Pretty Little Liars.

He framed this for me.

That's in Mulholland.

I think I was like 24,

and I was very into photography at the time,

and I just thought it looked very cute

in this closet.

So, thanks, Keegan.

I had the laundry room built

in this little secret door.

This laundry room is so much fun.

First of all, this wallpaper,

I wanted to do the laundry room

in a very weird print,

and for some reason

I was really into aliens at the time,

and space,

so I was like,

what can I find that has that sort of element

and why not put it in the laundry room?

My friend Christina is an amazing organizer

and she did my laundry room for me.

So it just also looks like a store.

It's just a very fun room for me to be in

and a lot of space to do my laundry,

steam clothes, fold the clothes,

all the things.

And I love doing laundry,

so I just wanted to make this space

kind of a fun room for me to be in.

This is going into one of my guest bedrooms,

and this entire room is all original.

It kind of reminded me of Chateau Marmont

which I did spend a lot of time in

in my early twenties,

I lived there for a bit.

So this was kind of paying homage to that

and I just thought it was so beautiful

and I was happy to not have to redo another room

and to be able to leave

some of the original pieces here.

[upbeat music]

This is one of my favorite guest rooms.

It feels like

Beauty and the Beast to me.

I love libraries

and we stained all this wood to be a bit darker

and I just wanted to fill it

with different memories.

A lot of my family pictures are here,

different projects I've worked on,

a lot of them, mobilia.

I love collecting records,

so I have a lot of my records here

on these shelves.

And I think also it's just so peaceful,

the sunset from this room is incredible.

[upbeat music]

We are on our way to the speakeasy,

but before that,

this was actually the original furnace

in the house.

We sealed it shut,

painted it gold.

I thought it was a really cool

piece to leave here.

And if you walk this way,

you'll just see a much younger me right there

for Spring Breakers.

This is my speakeasy.

I'll take you up this way to the bar.

[mellow music]

I spend a lot of time in here.

Believe it or not,

I do a lot of self tapes for auditions

in this room.

So it's not only a bar,

but also a workspace.

I got inspired by Hôtel Costes,

it's one of my favorite hotels in Paris.

They have a lot of black marble,

black walls, deep red accent walls,

all of their rooms in the hotel are red velvet.

And I'm just obsessed with that hotel.

The wallpaper on the ceiling,

it looks like flowers,

but if you look close enough

you might see something a little different.

We don't have to go into details,

but, you know.

And then also,

this mirrored ceiling

I thought was very fun.

Just to kind of

play off of the mirrored background of the bar.

It's normally all red lights.

I change all these sconces to red light,

I put music on

and I'll be down here for hours with my friends,

or just alone.

And I find it

actually a very creative space for me.

During COVID

I mastered an espresso martini.

So that's one of my faves.

Trying to do better at making good cocktails.

I just pour things in

and hopefully it tastes good.

[upbeat music]

Thanks for coming over

and hanging out with me.

I hope you enjoyed the house,

but now I want some alone time,

so get out.


[mellow music]

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