Busy actress Alyssa Diaz retreats to her tranquil den after stressful days for a glass of wine, yoga or meditation — or to pound on her African djembe drum.
But there's no dissonance in what she calls her "healing room." Instead, she says her collection of percussion instruments calms her, accompanies her spiritual pursuits and, in the case of her gong, add a fun element to entertaining.
“I think everyone should have a gong. It serves so many purposes: Dinner is ready! Cocktail hour! Time to rise!” said Diaz, 33.
The instruments represent diverse cultures and include teal and bronze Tibetan singing bowls with wooden strikers, a box-shaped Peruvian cajón and a chakra drum, sonically connected to focal points in the body.
“I like instruments that are intuitive and draw me into my body and inner rhythm when I get heady. Anyone can hit a drum — you don't need to know chords,” said the actress, who stars in ABC’s “The Rookie,” Netflix’s “Narcos: Mexico” and Showtime’s “Ray Donovan” this fall.
Diaz opens her 1,643-square-foot Burbank home for dinner parties, jam sessions and sound baths — an ancient healing ritual that involves playing the Tibetan bowls.
“It's creating a harmony of sound like they used to do back in ancient tribes. I want to bring people together and make them feel loved and safe when they're here,” she said. “Like being a little kid again.”
Why is this your favorite room?
I'll have friends over and have really great conversations about things we want in our lives, or wounds that are holding us back, and healing through it. We'll do sound baths and play with instruments and state our wishes and dreams. It's a very community-building, sacred and fun space to be in.
Have your Mexican and Colombian roots inspired any of the decor?
I really love magical realism, which is my Latin roots, so a lot of the art I'm drawn to is kind of surreal and has that whimsical quality.
Tell me about some of the art on your wall.
The two red pieces are of lovers by the Mexican artist Jorge Tellaeche, who does stuff with people and animals. I went to his gallery in Mexico and he told me to pick whichever pieces I wanted. The artist said I chose wisely because he drew them when he was in love. And I have the piece of the boxer [by Mexican artist Sergio Zenteno] because I used to box. He's very pensive and what I like about the painting and boxing is that you have to be very present. It's a mind game with yourself.
This is an amazing wood bar.
I found this at The Hunt, a vintage shop in Highland Park. [The shop recently relocated to downtown L.A.] I think this is from the ’60s and Danish. I love that it has the wine rack on top and the fact that it's a unique piece. Eventually, I want to put a record player up there too.
What inspired the color splash wall?
I was really drawn to something green and earthy at the paint store, and asked what this color was called. They said “Mother Earth.” I was sold! I didn't even do a test or paint sample, I just went for it and was pleasantly surprised.
Does this fireplace get used a lot?