My Favorite Room: Lorraine Toussaint’s day rises and sets with her ritual luxuries

The actress starts her day with tea service and ends it in luxurious bedding.
(Mariah Tauger / For The Times)

Actress Lorraine Toussaint and her 12-year-old daughter, Samara, have a longstanding tradition: On Sunday mornings, they lay a blanket over Toussaint’s bed, whip up an elaborate breakfast and have a picnic in their pajamas.

The ritual continued even after the two — along with Toussaint’s fiance and his two children — moved last summer into a 4,000-square-foot Malibu house.

The thespian — who graduated from Juilliard and won a Critics Choice Television Award for her work in Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” — is a self-professed “bed fanatic.”


Toussaint currently appears on the Fox series “Rosewood” and is writing her lifestyle blog, Everyday Lovely.

What’s so appealing about your bedroom?

As a working mom, I rarely have time that is devoted to pampering myself. So I carve out two moments in the day. First thing in the morning, I set out my teapot and favorite teacup and give myself a full tea service on the porch of my bedroom.

What kind of tea?

Black tea or a loose Earl Grey or English breakfast tea, though I also have some African blends. And only with evaporated milk, which I know is so old-school and English. I have cans of it stacked in my cupboard right now — I travel with a can of it in my suitcase.

And the other moment?


At the end of the day when I get into bed. I have a really thick down mattress over the bed, a poufy down comforter and, like, a 1,000-plus-thread-count sheet, which I sometimes get starched and ironed. When I’m exhausted, I love to be able to slip into a cool, smooth bed that feels like it’s in a fine hotel.

Where did you get the bed?

I got at in the Helms Bakery district years ago. [It’s] actually very simple: a tall bedhead, polished leather, dark Caribbean wood. I do a lot of reading in bed — I used to study scripts and learn lines there.

Any no-nos in the bedroom?

We’ve banned TV. We have our best talks there; there’s a fireplace, aromatherapy. It’s all very clean and minimal, very spa-like.

So no mementos from work?


Good Lord, no. I have very few of those anywhere in the house.

How would you describe your interior decor style?

Eclectic, somewhat bohemian — the pieces come from all kinds of places and aren’t always expensive.

If you have a good eye, you can find a good piece in a Goodwill. Some things in my home are 30 years old and have been covered and re-covered. Some are pieces from the street that I found on La Brea when I first moved here. There are some beautiful bedside table lamps with very ornate silk shades. They’re getting so old and slightly frayed, they’re literally almost museum pieces.

It sounds like you’re not always chasing the latest fad when it comes to home decor.

I come from very stylish but very classic women. One of my first words as a child was “vogue.” There was nothing particularly trendy in the clothes we wore or the furniture we chose, but it was all a quality that would last. I learned early on to buy one piece that’s good rather than three that aren’t.

You always have flowers in your bedroom. Any particular kind?


Red roses, since you must have a touch of red for passion in the bedroom. Or lilies, which are fragrant.


L.A. Chargers’ Antonio Gates hauls in a buyer for his Poway estate

Paul Pierce gets his price and more for Cheviot Hills home he bought for his mom

Derek Hough of ‘DWTS’ seeks a tidy return on Sherman Oaks investment property