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Before and After: Actor Sean Hayes' Hollywood Home

There’s no acting involved for a Hollywood couple who play themselves perfectly in their updated home 

Written and produced by Krissa Rossbund
  • Michael Garland

    Sean Hayes is used to not being himself. As an actor and producer who creates and plays the roles of fictional characters—most notably Jack McFarland in the long-running sitcom Will & Grace—he spends lengthy days in someone else’s shoes, channeling and perfecting someone else’s personality. 

    So once Sean closes his script and hangs up his wardrobe for the night, he’s ready to leave rehearsed dialogue and comedic timing behind for the laid-back, spontaneous life he enjoys with husband Scott Icenogle, a music producer and composer, in their Tudor-style home in Los Angeles’s Hancock Park neighborhood.

    Photography: Michael Garland

    Interior designer: Chris Barrett, Chris Barrett Design, 10881 Washington Blvd., Suite 202, Culver City, CA 90232; 310/829-6291,  

  • Entry Before

    But their home, which hadn’t received an update in years, seemed to read more like a studio set for one of Sean’s shows than an easygoing retreat that reflected their own style preferences. And neither was it ideal for spur-of-the-moment entertaining and fun with their friends.

    “Its scheme and tone seemed too dark and serious,” says Scott of the deep colors and heavy plaids that swathed the rooms before the design redo commenced. “This house needed to be comfortable, cozy, and fun, not only for us, but for all the people who we love to be around us. We wanted the update to be contemporary and classic, not too modern, and not museum-like. I think we got it.”  

  • Michael Garland

    After: Bright Foyer

    Los Angeles-based interior designer Chris Barrett, who appreciated the couple’s traditional sensibilities and desire to reduce the level of formality, was ready with a plan.

    “The main objective was to brighten and lighten the look of the entire house,” Barrett says. “Sean and Scott didn’t intend for this project to endure major construction, but we did add some architectural elements. We also thought carefully about the original purpose of each room and assigned new functions to them as we saw fit so the house provided space for all of their needs.” 

    Wallcovering (“Linen Texture I”/Bleached #9704, by Rubelli): Donghia,
    White paint on stairs (“Glacier White” #AC-40): Benjamin Moore,
    Black finish on stairs (dark wood stain): custom.
    Carpet on stairs: Mark Nelson Designs,
    Flooring: custom wood finish.
    Blue chair by stairs: custom.
    Chair fabric: Chris Barrett Design,
    Pillow on chair: Lucca Antiques,
    Table beside chair: Mecox Gardens,
    Demilune: owner’s collection.
    Brass bowls on demilune (by Alma Allen); art above demilune (Bullet Blossoms, by Nancy Baker Cahill): Lendrum Fine Art,
    Light over art (“Dean 12-Inch Picture Light” #AH2701,by Alexa Hampton): Circa Lighting,

  • Michael Garland

    Gorgeous Library

    Case in point: the library, which originally functioned as the formal dining room. Located in the front of the house, where natural light pours in through the windows during the daytime, the room was used primarily for evening dinners, so no one saw the sunshine. In addition, its buttoned-up ambience wasn’t conducive to the casual entertaining Sean and Scott prefer.

    “I wanted to take advantage of that daylight,” Sean says. “So many people have light-filled rooms that are reserved for night. That’s how the dining room was. We only saw it at night when it was dark and could never fully enjoy it with natural light.” 

    Wall, millwork, and ceiling paint (“Glacier White” #AC-40): Benjamin Moore,
    Ceiling light (“Salon Light” #UA0641 F): Urban Archaeology,
    Area rug (“Hagga Gooseye,” wool); drapery (“Vesna”/Platinum): Elizabeth Eakins,
    Sconce on bookcase (“Single Light Classic Wall Sconce” #SL2813): Circa Lighting,
    Chaise: custom.
    Chaise fabric (“Rigoletto Velvet”/Lagoon #2012-04): Kerry Joyce Textiles,
    Pillows on chaise: C. Geller Pillows and Etc.,
    Floor lamp by chaise (“Fairfield Pharmacy Floor Lamp” #RL11165, by Ralph Lauren Home): Circa Lighting,
    Table in front of chaise: Mecox Gardens,
    Leather chair (“Phelps Club Chair” (#G2020, by Gérard, in French Leather/Chocolate #D-13): Dessin Fournir,
    Pillow on leather chair: owner’s collection.
    Hardware on banquette (“Hanson Knob”): Restoration Hardware,
    Banquette cushions (“Urban Linen”/Stone #KK1): De le Cuona,
    Blue-and-brown floral pillow on banquette: Lucca Antiques,
    Striped pillow: owner’s collection.
    Art by banquette: by Nancy Monk,

  • Michael Garland

    Sunny Window Seat

    Once a dining room, the space off the foyer now houses a library featuring floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and a cozy window seat.

  • Michael Garland

    Billiards Room

    With an eye toward the casual entertaining the couple favor, Barrett turned Sean’s office into a billiards room with extra space where guests can linger. Blue-gray paint in a high-gloss finish covers the millwork and radiates a friendly disposition.

    The new billiards room, located between the living room and the patio, which is accessed through French doors, helps establish an easy flow through these public areas. The arrangement makes for carefree entertaining when friends gather for activities such as game night, a rollicking, recurring event that’s a nod to the Hollywood Game Night show Sean produces. Their guests often finish up the evening with an impromptu piano concert in the traditional living room, with either Scott or Sean at the keyboard—each can dazzle on the ivories.

    “Sean and Scott don’t take themselves too seriously,” says Barrett. “This is where they house the well-deserved awards, but it’s merely a representation of a good time in their lives, not up on pedestals.”

    Paint (“Cloudy Sky” #2122-30): Benjamin Moore,
    Area rug (custom wool Soumak): Inigo Elizalde Rugs,
    Billiard table (“Innsbruck,” Signature Series): Olhausen Billiards,
    Light over billiard table (“Carlyn Double” #DC-1501): Urban Electric Co.,
    Leather bar stool (“Augusta” G1032, by Gérard); French leather (“Chocolate” #D-13): Dessin Fournir,
    Window shade (“Vernon”/Ivory #1766 ): Pindler & Pindler,
    Banquette-seat cushion (“Armand Stripe”/Powder Blue #1224/03, by Classic Cloth): Dessin Fournir,
    Patterned pillow on banquette: C. Geller Pillows and Etc.,
    Green pillow on banquette: Rose Tarlow-Melrose House,
    Pair of circular sculptures in bookcase (button table sculptures): by Clare Graham,

  • Living Room Before

    The living room had a darker, more serious design.

  • Michael Garland

    After: Chic Space

    Designer Chris Barrett lightened the living room with a palette of cream and terra-cotta. Matching antique chests of drawers flank French doors. Sofas are covered in mohair, and a pair of chairs feature a hand-block print from Kerry Joyce Textiles. 

    Drapery (“Vernon”/Ivory #1766): Pindler & Pindler,
    Drapery hardware: custom.
    Sofa by window; coffee tables: custom.
    Sofa fabric (“Silk & Sexy”/Frost #2301/02, by Great Plains): Holly Hunt,
    Blue pillow on sofa: Rose Tarlow-Melrose House,
    Terra-cotta pillows on sofa; trim on pillows: vintage.
    Box on coffee table: Lee Stanton Antiques,
    Small black bowls on coffee table: JF Chen,
    Pair of bergères: Lucca Antiques,
    Bergère fabric (‘Coptic”/Sienna Rose #1018-06): Kerry Joyce Textiles,
    Table between bergères; rattan log basket: Mecox Gardens,
    Chests flanking window (antique): owner’s collection.
    Art above chest (Cityscapes Series): by Marc Yankus,
    Box on chest: Lee Stanton Antiques,  

  • Michael Garland

    Appealing Kitchen

    Barrett carried the color scheme of the new billiards room into the kitchen, where an ever-so-slight shade of gray bathes the cabinetry, blending perfectly with Calacatta marble countertops and tile backsplash from Ann Sacks. The neutral shade brings a warmth that stark white cabinets often don’t. Bar stools reference the spool chairs in the adjoining family room. 

    Wall, trim, and ceiling paint (“Glacier White” #AC-40): Benjamin Moore,
    Cabinet paint (“Skylight” #205): Farrow & Ball,
    Flooring (refinishing existing floors): custom.
    Cabinet hardware (“Lugarno Knob,” “Bistro Pull”): Restoration Hardware,
    Countertops: Calacatta marble.
    Backsplash tile (“Earthenware Elements Field Tile”/Bright White Gloss): Ann Sacks,
    Range: Thermador,
    Refrigerator: existing.
    Hanging lights (“Urban Smokebell” #MA-9106): Urban Electric Co.,
    Counter stools: owner’s collection.
    Seat leather (“Seville”/Coffee #L1006/05): Dessin Fournir,
    Island faucet; main faucet Rohl,
    Main sink: existing.
    Microwave: Miele,
    Clock: vintage.
    Area rug in foreground: Mansour Modern,
    Window shades (“Breeze”/Soft Grey #1940LD-1, by LuluDK): Duralee,
    Vase on island: Modern Floristry,
    White bowl on island; canisters: Maison-Midi,

  • Michael Garland

    Breakfast Room

    Anchored by a square table, the breakfast area features a banquette with a cotton-blend back and a pair of chairs upholstered in a hemp print. A vintage light fixture illuminates the area. 

    Wall paint (“Glacier White” #AC-40): Benjamin Moore,
    Seat-cushion fabric on banquette (“Outdoor Leather”/Sky #DL8001-06): DeLany & Long,
    Back-cushion fabric on banquette (“Moro”/Dusk #7435/07): Romo,
    Pair of patterned pillows: C. Geller Pillows and Etc.,
    White pillow with trim (“Jute Braid Pillow Cover”): Pottery Barn,
    Window shade (“Breeze”/Soft Grey #1940LD-1, by Lulu DK): Duralee,
    Dining table: owner’s collection.
    Dining chairs (“Russell Upholstered Back Side Chair” #KJ1002-SU, by Kerry Joyce): Dessin Fournir,
    Dining-chair fabric (“Naomi”/Blue, Green, Cream #1013-01): Kerry Joyce Textiles,
    Chandelier: vintage.
    Art (6 Flowers, by Donald Baechler): Cheim & Read,
    Flooring: existing, refinished. 

  • Family Room Before

    The kitchen opens to the family room, where movies typically steal the spotlight when the couple entertains. Prior to the re-design, the style of the room was not in keeping with Scott and Sean's contemporary yet classic style. 

  • Michael Garland

    After: Family-Friendly Space

    Barrett added seating to the updated family room, all extra-comfortable for feature-film-length enjoyment, tripling the number of movie-watching guests that the room can accommodate.

    “The best way to maximize seating was to create a symmetrical arrangement with pairs of chairs and sofas,” Barrett explains. “And because the family room was visible from the entry foyer, the chairs needed to be interesting and sculptural.” 

    In addition to two sofas upholstered in light-blue wool, Barrett included a pair of spool chairs with embroidered linen cushions and two woven rope stools. They all surround an oak-top coffee table, generously oversized, that invites guests for that much-loved game night in addition to casual conversation.

    Wallcovering (“Leo’s Luxe Linens”/Hope Linen #3872): Phillip Jeffries,
    Paint on trim and lower wall (“Glacier White” #AC-40): Benjamin Moore,
    Drapery (“Vernon”/Ivory #1766): Pindler & Pindler,
    Drapery hardware: custom.
    Area rug: Decorative Carpets,
    Wall sconce (“French Deco Horn Sconce” #S2020 ): Circa Lighting,
    Sofas: custom.
    Sofa fabric (“Oxford Embossed Wool”/Ice #62761); Schumacher,
    Tall off-white pillows: Pottery Barn,
    Pair of pillows with zigzag patternpillow with circles: C. Geller Pillows and Etc.,
    Pedestal table between sofas: custom.
    Coffee table: custom.
    Rattan basket on coffee table: vintage.
    Scrolls in basket: Bourgeois Boheme,
    Pair of chairs: custom.
    Chair fabric (“Limoges”/Aquamarine #1115-03, by Classic Cloth); Dessin Fournir,
    Rattan stools: Mecox Gardens,
    Mantel: original to house.
    Art (Ajanta, 2012, by Ned Evans): Miller Gallery,
    Light over art (“Anette 24-Inch Picture Light” #RL2277, Ralph Lauren Home): Circa Lighting,
    Console table behind sofa: custom.
    Covered dishes holding candy: Pottery Barn,

  • Michael Garland

    Sweet Treats

    The classic family room shies away from any sort of formality with accessories such as oversize glass jars filled with movie theater candy. 

  • Michael Garland

    Master Bedroom

    The master suite on the second floor has soaring vaulted ceilings that heighten the space. Walls and moldings are painted in a creamy white that provides a neutral backdrop for the colorful rug, which marries teal and turquoise for a peppy and vibrant take on tone-on-tone decorating.  The four-poster, dressed in linens from Sferra, provides welcome volume for the vaulted architecture. 

    Paint (“Glacier White” #AC-40): Benjamin Moore,
    Chandelier (“Hamilton” #MA-1030): Urban Electric Co.,
    Area rug: ABC Carpet & Home,
    Bed; bedside tables; bench; lounge chair; ottoman; fireplace surround: existing.
    Bed linens: Sferra,
    Blanket: Rose Tarlow-Melrose House,
    Pillow on bed: C. Geller Pillows,
    Sconces above bed (“Boston Swing Arm Wall Lamp with Linen Shade” #SL2920-L): Circa Lighting,
    Table lamps: Lee Stanton Antiques,
    Fabric on bench (“Linen Texture I”/Bleached #9704, by Rubelli): Donghia,
    Lounge chair-and ottoman fabric (“Marrakesh”/White #15177): The Flemming Group,
    Throw on chair: Pottery Barn,
    Wood containers by fireplace: JF Chen,
    Fire screen: Wilshire Fireplace Shop,
    Photograph over fireplace (Harbor, Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts, 2011): by John Huggins, John Huggins Photography,

  • Michael Garland

    Sitting Pretty

    Sean and Scott’s Australian Shepherd, Buzz, basks in the sunlight on a slipcovered chair in the bedroom’s seating area. 

    Wall and ceiling paint (“Glacier White” #AC-40): Benjamin Moore,
    Drapery (“Marianne”): Victoria Hagan Home Collection,
    Drapery hardware: custom.
    Area rug: ABC Carpet & Home,
    Pair of chairs; ottoman; table between chairs: owner’s collection.
    Chair-and-ottoman fabric (“Marrakesh”/White #15177): The Flemming Goup,
    Throw: Pottery Barn,
    Table lamp: Katerina Tana Design,

  • Michael Garland

    Master Bathroom

    Damask wallpaper in green and white brings a springlike vibe. Situated in front of a sunny window, the tub provides an ideal spot to relax.

    Table: owner’s collection.
    Mirror above table: Lee Stanton Antiques,
    Towels: Waterworks,
    Area rug: Mansour Modern,  

  • Michael Garland

    Bath Detail

    A petite table sits beneath an antiqe mirror in the master bath, serving as a place to store extra linens.

    Table: owner’s collection.
    Mirror above table: Lee Stanton Antiques,
    Towels: Waterworks,
    Area rug: Mansour Modern,

  • Michael Garland

    Guest Room

    The guest room welcomes in warm neutrals. A beautiful area rug from Mansour Modern brings subtle pattern to the space.

    Wall paint (“Baby Fawn” #OC-15); ceiling and trim paint (“Glacier White” #AC-40): Benjamin Moore,
    Area rug: Mansour Modern,
    Bed; wall sconces; bedside tables; cabinetry hardware: existing.
    Bed linens; blanket: Sferra,
    Patterned pillow on bed: C. Geller Pillows,
    Box on bedside table: Lee Stanton Antiques,
    Window shades (“Petite Fleur”/Cashew #1006-01): Kerry Joyce Textiles,
    Banquette cushions (“Tweed”/Husk #063T48): Raoul for George Smith,
    Pillows on banquette: C. Geller Pillows,
    Covered rattan boxes on bookshelf: Pottery Barn,

  • Michael Garland

    Homeowners Sean Hayes and Scott Icenogle

    Although there is no question that Sean and Scott are thrilled by the personal environment Barrett created for the two of them, they are especially pleased with the gracious comfort the update offers their guests.

    “We love to experience the reactions from friends and family who visit,” Scott says. “They always say how the design feels like a big, smiling ‘hello.’ We can’t ask for a better compliment than that.”   

  • Michael Garland

    Back Exterior

    The traditional Tudor-style home is located in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.  

  • Karyn Millet