clark gable house brentwood

This is the story of the house that a million women have dreamed about and have wanted to know about—Clark Gable’s new home. And when men read about Clark’s surroundings, he will rate even higher with them as a he-man than he already does. Don’t miss this vivid pen-picture of the
interior of his home, which will give you new ideas of your own!

…says the Editor’s note at the beginning of this article from 1934. Which is rather funny on many levels. This article describes the Brentwood home that Clark and his second wife Ria rented for about two years, 1933-1935. I believe that Ria stayed on there after their separation and until she left Hollywood for good in the mid 1940’s. Before this, Clark and Ria had bounced around apartments and hotels; they had grown weary of Clark’s female fans getting by front desks and camping out in halls. It is interesting to compare this house to Clark’s Encino ranch house, which would be his home for 20 years. The ranch, informal and comfortable, was so perfect for Clark he could never bear to leave it. Despite what this article tries to convey, the Brentwood house was all Ria’s and all for show–if you compare the decorating styles of the two homes it is rather obvious that Clark had no say in the decorating of this home!

The curtains, except in the living room and dining room, are all bright and cheery glazed chintzes, without fussy valances or stiff draping. In the living room, however, the curtains are green brocade. Plain ivory wall surfaces give rest to the eye, and the light tan carpet running from wall to wall is, obviously, the choice of a man. Masculine, too, are the deep, heavy, easy chairs upholstered in the brocade of the windows, and the big wine-red davenport, not too elaborate to lounge on, not too dainty to be spoiled by riding breeches, not too “period” to be comfortable.

This color scheme, by the way—tan carpet, ivory walls, red brick fireplace, and wine-red davenport—offers suggestions to anyone looking for decorative hints for a home. The plain rug admits color notes in the upholstery, and may be brightened by one gorgeous throw rug, as in the Gable living room. Instead of the green drapes, a simpler and less expensive curtain material would be a brown glazed chintz decorated with dahlias in all of their winey, rusty colors.

A painting of Georgiana, the daughter of the house, hangs above the lounge. (She is planning a screen career, and we understand Clark has offered her the use of his last name if she chooses, to give her the publicity so necessary for beginners.) There are antique gold-framed mirrors, in-laid low-boys bearing white lamps, and several delicate antique chairs to show that a woman has had a voice in the room’s furnishings. Mrs. Gable, Clark’s wife, has the reputation of being a charming hostess and was once a social leader in her native Texas town.

I find it funny that this article details the colors extensively and provides a few black and white photos, and then encourages the reader to copy the decorating! Based on description and black and white photos! This isn’t the first time I have heard of Clark’s stepdaughter trying for a movie career. I tend to think that was just publicity as obviously nothing came of it.

The master bedroom in the Gable house repeats the color scheme of the living-room, with the all-over tan carpet, ivory walls, tan chintz with old rose figures, and—oh, gorgeous innovation!—a davenport in deep rose, built for solid comfort and genuine lounging. It’s unorthodox perhaps, but what a livable idea! So is the huge lounge chair covered with the same material, and the very practical writing desk by the window. The rose taffeta covers on the twin beds reveal the feminine touch; the massive walnut furniture, the masculine. Rose-quartz figures hold up two dresser lamps which stand on jade bases. Clark’s picture adorns the desk—as it probably adorns the bedrooms of half-million women all over the United States.

There are bed lights, for reading, and a clock beside Clark’s bed. (Why does he continually consult the time? Does he fear his moments of glory are fleeting?) Plenty of tables with ash trays and cigarette boxes and pillows on the couches all aid in lending a homey and charming touch. If a tired movie star couldn’t rest in such a room, he had better give up acting!

A deep rose “davenport” in the bedroom—what innovation! I can’t even imagine Clark sitting on a pink couch. Rose taffeta?? Oh my. I believe the room they are describing was actually Ria’s as Clark tended to sleep down the hall–a detail that, naturally, was purposely left out for the sake of painting Clark a happy home life.

You can read the article in its entirety in the Article Archive.

You can read further about the Brentwood home in this article and this one.