In actress Kelly McCreary’s living room, an expansive collage covers an entire wall with pictures and mementos, a visual guide to the life she and director Pete Chatmon have been building together recently.
Two years ago, McCreary met Chatmon on the set of “Grey’s Anatomy.” Within the collage is a framed heart, which itself surrounds the one-liner schedule from that fortuitous day on set, an emblem of their lives first melding together.
Now the couple are making it official, going public with an engagement they'd been keeping secret.
“It’s really special. This is our first place together, and this was one of the only rooms in the house where we added new things” as a couple, rather than intermingling their previous possessions, said McCreary, 37. In this room, together they “tried to create a cohesive vision.”
The picture wall exemplifies the vision, and is central to the bright, cathedral-like space in the 1,400-square-foot Los Angeles apartment.
Included is a photo of McCreary as a baby with her sister and a grandmother who recently passed away — “she just delighted in us so much” — a painting of Chatmon's grandfather as a child from the 1920s, a photo of McCreary and actress Aja Naomi King in a hot air balloon in the Dominican Republic and an incredibly photorealistic drawing of Chatmon by a friend in Barcelona.
“It's both beautiful and a walk down memory lane,” McCreary said. “We got some nostalgia pieces and memories from our shared experiences, our childhoods and families, and it feels like a way of blending them together.”
Why is this your favorite room?
This is the room where all the action happens, where Pete and I holler at each other from the kitchen, where we have people over and break bread and hang out. We both have an office space, but somehow the bulk of the work gets done here — the scripts are read, the emails are sent and the phone calls are made.
How would you describe your style?
I tend toward modern and I like a lot of ethnic prints. I like to travel and accumulate things to decorate my home. I try to keep the lines clean so I can accent as much as possible.
You’re a busy woman, what do you need in a space in order to unwind when you’re home?
I love a yummy candle and quiet. My schedule often changes on a day-to-day basis, so my time alone is during the day and this room gets such amazing sunlight. It's both relaxing to be in here — you can snuggle up and take a cat nap in the sunlight — or it's really energizing and you can get a lot done and feel really productive and engaged with the world. There's a lovely view so you can still feel the energy of the city.
What was the creative process behind the photo wall?
This is Pete's handiwork. In one day, he laid out all the photos and actually got it done. Now if it had been me, it would have been mapped out one day, then two weeks later one photo would go up and then two weeks later another photo.
Do you have a favorite memory in here?