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InStyle Magazine

Solid Goldblum

(reprinted in Australia for "New Weekly" on December 9, 1996, pp. 84- 87) transcribed by LoneC

"I spend time in every room pretty equally. I'm kind of spontaneous, so I don't have a routine,' he explains. Jeff began playing piano at age 10, and still spends an hour or two a day on the ivories, right. "I was always musical, but I progressed in an average way until I discovered jazz - then I'd play. It was so free."
Jeff in bed reading
Working out
Outside by his pool
Jeff on his porch
Another shot of Jeff on his porch
Playing piano
The outside of Jeff's house
Jeff's kitchen
Jeff's piano room
Jeff's backyard
Jeff's billards room
Jeff in a chair in his living room

He usually stars as the precise, scientific type in such blockbusters as Jurassic Park and Independence Day, but Jeff Goldblum is a lot less regimented when it comes to his life and his grand Los Angeles home.

With the help of interior designer Lory Johansson, who has worked with the 43-year-old actor for year, Jeff has totally transformed his 1934 hillside hacienda.

Jeff bought the house in 1988 with his then wife, Thelma and Louise star Geena Davis. Sited on just over half a hectare of land, it offered an enviable city view from the front and, for a hillside property, a remarkable flat, grassy backyard, as well as a two-storey guest house.

But it had seen better days: remodelling efforts had dulled the charm of the arched doorways and high ceilings. "It had white berber carpet and nicey-nice window treatments," recalls Jeff.

"The master bathroom was a 'hers' bathroom with flowery tiles. The guest house was an '80s-style showbiz party room with pinball machines and a bar."

Since moving in, the actor has changed everything - several times. Furniture has come and gone and walls have been painted different colours. The master bedroom and hallway are now various shades of lavender, while in the dining room Jeff has aged the walls with layers of green and bronze paint.

About a year ago, the garden lawn was replaced by drought-tolerant native landscaping. And in the master bedroom the berber carpet was initially lifted and the plywood floors painted. When that felt too spartan, Jeff opted for carpet again.

"Then finally I wanted a proper wood floor," he says, so he installed a handsome cedar flooring that he still enjoys - for the time being at least.

Clearly, Jeff has never been afraid to take chances. He's had and enchanted forest mural painted on the entrance hall walls, complete with frightening trees and a distant castle. And the dining room ceiling features a celestial mural painted by Jeff's sister, Pam, and her fiance, Jeffrey Kaisershot, whose paintings are all over the house and who, until recently, lived in the guest house.

One of the boldest choices is the pink cheetah-print carpet Lory designed for the room Jeff uses as an office. She also substituted a sleek spiral staircase leading to a second-storey turret for the bulky oak stairs originally in its place.

In the turret, a three-by-three-metre room, mahogany daybeds were built to take advantage of the unusually high wraparound windows and give storage space for books below. An Arabian Nights look has been created using a decorative window valance encrusted with coloured rhinestones, and a ceiling tented with silk sari fabric.

Despite the vivid imagination put into the décor, the house remains remarkably free of clutter.

"I'm not an odd-and-ends guy. I'm not into bric-a-brac," explains Jeff.

"I used to save my press clippings and photographs, but I couldn't think why exactly, so I threw them out."

The 5 foot 4 -tall actor likes to keep active, working out every day in the home gym in his guest house. Then again, he also enjoys sprawling out on the oversize patchwork sofa to watch his widescreen TV and soaking in the hot tub besides his new pool.

A doctor's son, Jeff grew up in a conventional American colonial house in the Pittsburgh suburbs. Photos of two brothers (one of whom died at 23) and a Zorro kiddie book are among the few personal odds and ends he keeps on a shelf in his bedroom.

Framed photographs line the hallway, including one of his Jurassic Park co-star Laura Dern, who shared the house with Jeff until recently. Though Laura has now moved into a place of her own, she and Jeff still see each other.

Right now, with another new film wrapped (Trigger Happy with Richard Dreyfuss) and Lost World (the sequel to Jurassic Park) about to start production, Jeff's busy reaching acting, as well as playing piano with actor-friend Peter Weller (Robocob) at Le Petit Four, a jazz club in LA, when they're both in town.

And for the first time, there are no plans for any changes to the house. "The evolution has come to a rest," says Jeff

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