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Hollywood Glam

Marcia Cross's feminine retreat on the set of Desperate Housewives

Written by Darra Baker
  • Edmund Barr

    Rarely do the terms "glamour" and "trailer" go hand in hand, except when you’ve tiptoed into actress Marcia Cross’s chocolate-and-aqua-velvet-encased trailer on the set of Desperate Housewives at Universal Studios.

    "It’s like walking into a chocolate kiss," enthuses David Brian Sanders, the Los Angeles-based interior designer who transformed the 12x30-foot space into Marcia’s own private between-takes haven.

    Wrapped luxuriously in shades of warm brown velvet and pale blue—plush espresso-colored carpet, cocoa-colored sea-grass wall covering, soft blue upholstery, fresh bursts of crisp white trim—the trailer is a study in how to shut out the bright lights and big demands of the outside world and make one feel like, well, a star.

    Design: David Brian Sanders, David Brian Sanders Interior Design, 132 S. Swall Dr., Suite 4, Los Angeles, CA 90048; 310/729-7186,

    Photography: Edmund Barr and Joe Schmelzer
    Produced by Jenny Bradley

  • Joe Schmelzer

    Designer David Brian Sanders, a former talent agent, is no stranger to Hollywood life. "My only design requirements," he says, "were to use her favorite colors and make the space as private as possible." The dazzling touches—mirrored surfaces and exquisite yet child-friendly accessories—were the surprise elements that Sanders chose from a favorite shop, Grace Home Furnishings, in Los Angeles. "I wanted her to feel like a star," the designer muses. "I wanted her to feel beautiful and glamorous, and I wanted to create a nest-like environment with special pieces and soft textures—velvets, silks, and satins. It’s really the combination of those elements that creates the Old Hollywood look." 

  • Edmund Barr

    The accomplished actress and new mom of 7-month-old twin daughters, Eden and Savannah, couldn’t agree more. "When I first saw my trailer, I was in awe. My home is quite casual and not done at all," Marcia says. "This space is beautiful and rich in every detail. It brings me so much pleasure to be in it and have it be my little oasis on long workdays."

  • Joe Schmelzer


    With privacy and luxury in place, how does the actress, wife, and mother of two use her retreat?

    "I can be here for 12 hours in a day," answers Marcia, "so I use it for everything—eating, sleeping, time on the computer—but most important, for squeezing in some sacred family time. Yesterday my desk became a changing table while the girls were visiting. The lush curtains were perfect for their naptime."

    Soft blue mixes with chocolate brown to create a rich, serene between-takes retreat.

    Chair ("Dining Chair’’ #7841, $2,296, by Thomas Pheasant): Baker, 800/592-2537,
    Desk ("Montauk Writing Desk,’’ $2,800); daybed ("Sutton Place,’’ $6,800); daybed fabric (teal velvet); pillow ("Posey,’’ by Ankasa); box pillow ($95); drapery trim (teal velvet); porcelain cup and saucer; aqua coffee tables; tray tables; silver coffee service and tray; scented candles; wall sconces: Grace Home Furnishings, 310/476-7176.
    Drapery and wall panel ("Heart’s Journey’’/Shadow): Robert Allen, 800/333-3777,, trade only.
    Lamp ("Robin’s Egg Lamp’’): Lamp Works Inc., 847/295-7600, trade only. Available for $360, through Grace Home Furnishings, 310/476-7176.

  • Joe Schmelzer

    When asked to share her favorite elements of this snug and hushed retreat—a world away from her character’s brightly lit and spartanly crisp on-set household—Marcia is pressed to choose just one. "There is so much I love about the trailer that I cannot pick one thing. I delight in the divan, I am in awe of my vanity, and the desk is beyond fantastic."

    But after giving it some thought, she decides that it’s the way she can welcome her real life into her work breaks that makes her happiest about her newly decorated trailer. "My favorite thing is having my girls visit and filling it with diapers, toys, and lots of cooing!"

    Walls and ceiling ("Coco’’ grass cloth): Interior Illusions, 323/656-8448.
    Roman shades (chocolate velvet with teal velvet); crystal sconce ($240, Lamp Works); pillows ("Mod Wave Pillows’’, $380, Dransfield & Ross): Grace Home Furnishings, 310/476-7176.
    Bedding (chocolate quilted coverlet, white Egyptian cotton sheets): Anna’s Linens, 323/340-8311.
    Framed print ("Kategami’’): Soicher-Marin Fine Art, 310/679-5000,
    Leopard cotton throw ($215): Rani Arabella, 561/802-9900.