Serial house flipper Diane Keaton, who has also been known to light up the big screen and fashion pages with her uniquely quirky style, has a new book.
It’s called “House,” and the coffee-table offering by arty book purveyor Rizzoli doubles down on Keaton’s outsized reputation as a housing connoisseur, which we have blogged about time and again, thanks to her perfectionist precision in buying, restoring and selling homes built by renowned architects such as Wallace Neff and Ralph Flewelling.
Keaton’s flipping work includes the magnificent 1927 Spanish colonial in Beverly Hills that she restored then sold. According to the Los Angeles Times, that home was later used as the set for the pilot of the show “The New Normal,” whose co-creator Ryan Murphy had bought the home from Keaton. The Academy Award-winning actress’s influence was felt in designing the studio sets for the series:
Production designer Tony Fanning said Keaton, a well-known preservationist, was a big factor on the Monterey-influenced interiors. ‘She inspired me,’ Fanning said. ‘Her book California Romantica: Spanish Colonial and Mission-Style Houses really shows her love for, and understanding of, how clean and stark and minimal the interiors are meant to be.”
In between all her own buying and selling, including her latest home in Pacific Palisades that she purchased earlier this year for $5.75 million, Keaton had time to produce the new book, which came out this week.
In “House,” Keaton showcases high-concept houses where repurposed existing structures are key elements or where new houses take their cue from iconic architectural forms.
In an interview with The New York TImes Magazine, Keaton says her love of old homes has not changed: “What’s fun about this particular book is to see who’s working now and what they’re doing with modern structures. These houses are very charming to me.”
Like all things Keaton, the homes and structures she features in “House” could be construed as a kooky woman’s penchant for architectural oddities. However, it doesn’t take too long to realize that she has a keen and disciplined eye that takes account of the offbeat or idiosyncratic only to affirm those elements as essential to American taste, design and, ultimately, culture.