‘Fresh Off the Boat’ actress mixes gameplay with style | My Favorite Room
When it came to the design and function of the living room in her 6,700-square-foot Century City home, actress Chelsey Crisp traded in formality for “a general theme of play.”
Crisp, who appears in ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” created a multifunctional, child-friendly space that celebrates both her love of contemporary design and her family’s passion for games.
“We wanted it to be almost the opposite of a formal living room, so the chairs move around and are very soft and plush, the gaming system is connected to the Nintendo Switch TV, and we put all of our books in here because we wanted it to feel like a cozy library,” said Crisp, 36, who is married to “Deadpool” and “Zombieland” screenwriter Rhett Reese.
Crisp and Reese (who are both Phoenix natives) worked with Anita Lange of the Scottsdale, Ariz., firm IMI Design after falling in love with a home she designed in that area, which featured paldao wood walls throughout.
“She proposed the navy blue Ionian Sea Linen wallpaper from Ralph Lauren Home with the paldao wood and the dark patchwork stone for the fireplace, and it was perfect,” Crisp said. “The cabinetry company Rysso-Peters is from Phoenix as well, and did all these built-ins.”
The couple decided to splurge on a geometric light fixture by Eric de Dormael — “very whimsical yet classy, striking and interesting.” Also it’s high in the air, safe from children’s hands.
An eclectic art and sculpture collection lines the walls, much of which came from her mother-in-law, who “has a beautiful, global eye and a real understanding of art history,” Crisp said.
Included are three ornate Hopi Kachina dolls, an abstract Southwestern desert landscape by Phoenix painter Ed Mell, a photorealistic painting of a KFC restaurant by L.A. painter Marc Trujillo and an early 20th century painting by Jane Peterson of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, Italy — “the most historic painting we have.”
Why is this your favorite room?
We came up with this concept of a game room, so every piece of furniture in here you’re able to move really easily. Like if I had friends over and we were doing a rehearsal and needed space, or kids were in here playing and we wanted to put toys in the center — we just wanted everything to be super movable. We created all the built-in shelves to utilize the tall ceilings and make it really warm, playful, eclectic but modern. We both really love contemporary design but not the stark Scandinavian style.
What sorts of games are played on the big TV?
My husband and his brother, who lives in Phoenix, love to play video games, and when I first met him I remember it almost felt like a guilty pleasure to him. I was like, no, it’s amazing that you can hop online and play a game together from here in California. He works so hard and I love that he has this to unplug at the end of the day and be immersed in a completely different world.
I love your little annex office space attached to the game room.
I never had an office before, so this is my first dedicated space to myself. My dad had the programs for my high school plays framed when I first moved out to L.A., and I hadn’t had it up in over a decade. When we moved into this house and were looking through all the stuff, I found it. He just passed away last year, so it’s a reminder of him and how supportive he’s always been of me and this career path. I get to look at it every day.
Favorite memory in here?
This past Christmas Day I was very, very, very pregnant so the family all came out here, and my husband, my brother-in-law and mother- and father-in-law were playing “Aggregation.” I was watching them play, talking trash to each other, laughing and having the time of their lives. It made me cry because this room and that moment was exactly how it was supposed to be: having our family together, not with our phones, but actually playing a game together.