Actress Donna Mills was perfectly happy with her low-key Brentwood dining room, with its off-white walls and troves of antiques.
That is, until she stepped into the Silver Lake home of her friend, artist Adam Kurtzman, and saw his gold-colored walls.
"I took one look and thought, 'That's what I want,'" she said.
Kurtzman spent 10 days applying small squares of gold leaf onto the walls of Mills' dining room, elevating it from a classic space into something more dazzling.
Known for her work on the soap opera "Knots Landing," Mills will next be seen on ABC's rebooted "Battle of the Network Stars." She shares the nearly 5,000-square-foot home with her longtime boyfriend, Larry.
What makes the gold walls so special?
Each square was applied by hand. There are tiny spaces here and there, and the fact that it isn't perfect is the artistry of it. We painted the molding gold and the ceiling a dusky rose.
How's the effect at night?
In candlelight — magical. We don't need to put the lights on, unless we want to see our food better.
Can you point out some interesting pieces in your dining room?
A large pine cabinet which I bought on Melrose Avenue in the 1970s when I lived in Benedict Canyon. I display different trays in it — some from my family, others are gifts. And antique chairs —I think from the 1800s — that a friend insisted I get. I was starting out in my first house and didn't want to spend that much. But I'm glad I did.
The table is from Mulligan's in Los Angeles. It used to be the kitchen table at my old house. I've had it almost 30 years. It has a special coating on the surface so you can place anything on it and it won't stain. I want to put it on everything, but they won't tell me what's in it.
And there's a feeding bin.
It was my boyfriend's and is what they use on farms to feed the animals. I use it as a serving table.
What's the story behind the huge mirror?
There used to be a piano store on Santa Monica Boulevard. They were selling this mirror for something like $500.
Do you mostly use the room for entertaining?
We've done Thanksgiving here with 20 people. I love setting a beautiful table. It's like art. I have I don't know how many sets of dishes. My favorite is a blue and white one that has a country feel. And there was a store next door to the Ivy on Robertson where they sold their hand-painted plates. I have a whole set of those.
Any special party memories?
I do a big party every other Christmas. Every surface is covered with garlands, poinsettias, lights. I built a shed for the decorations. It's so full that if I get one more thing, I'd have to start building another shed.