These days, the living space is yet another extension of one’s personal style. TZR’s series Home In 5 digs into the key elements, items, and inspiration behind the chic homes of top influencers. Here, we sit down with New York Times bestselling cookbook author and recipe developer Molly Baz and chat about her high-impact Los Angeles home.
More Is More may be the title of Molly Baz’s newest cookbook but the New York Times bestselling author is quick to emphasize that her culinary philosophy does not apply to her open and airy Los Angeles abode. “Excess is not the vibe when it comes to interior design,” she says.
The fun and unfiltered food personality with a penchant for salt and swear words shares her sun-drenched California ranch with her husband, furniture designer Ben Willett, and sausage dog Tuna. Baz — who describes her personal style as 90% “intentionally sloppy” and 10% “bright, bold, and playful”— says her “colorful inclinations” are balanced by Willett’s “neutral-toned preferences.” Together, the creative couple cooked up a home peppered with “hits of retro Italian design” that is equal parts serene and statement-making.
Douglas fir (Willett’s favorite wood) dominates the space but this warm, honey-colored backdrop is punctuated by rich colors (including cobalt blue and deep maroon) and materials (like onyx floors and countertops) that “break with midcentury tradition,” says Baz. Two standout rooms that bear the chef’s signature stamp: a butter-yellow kitchen (which doubles as the set of Baz’s YouTube cooking show, Hit the Kitch) and a lettuce-green bathroom (inspired by “Cae Sal,” the greatest salad of all time according to Baz).
Other key ingredients in Baz’s recipe for domestic and aesthetic bliss are cozy couches (the home boasts a total of five inside and out) and “a whole lot of storage,” none of which involves open shelving. “As someone who cooks every single day, you can imagine I have a lot of equipment and many tools in my kitchen. Not to mention dishware, props, glassware, etc. And then, of course, there’s the pantry,” says Baz. “It’s impossible to keep it perfectly organized but as long as there are lots of shelves, compartments, and zones to work with and none of it is exposed, the kitchen can look super clean and serene at a moment’s notice.”
Keeping clutter out of sight also comes in handy when guests drop by to see what’s on the menu (which we imagine happens quite frequently when Eater dubs you the “millennial Martha Stewart”). Other ways to impress impromptu dinner party guests: “Serve something tableside, as in a tableside Caesar, a tableside steak tartare station, or a tableside dessert cart with make-your-own sundaes,” says Baz. “People love a performance and it’s so fun to turn your dining table into a restaurant for a night and play waiter. Gets them every time.”
Ahead, Baz explains why her blueberry sofa is the best seat in the house and how to spice up your life with unexpected kitchen accessories.
What is your favorite lounge spot in your home?
I love the blue corduroy, built-in couch that Willett designed in our great room. Mostly because it has a view of the kitchen — my other favorite zone in the house.
What is your most recent home purchase?
A pair of giant black-and-white striped salt and pepper grinders from Hem. I just love how comically large and in charge they are.
What is your favorite home purchase?
My rotisserie wall oven! It’s La Cornue, a French heritage appliance brand, and it’s kind of a dream come true. Never in a million years did I think I’d be able to rotisserie a couple of chickens in my own home on a Wednesday night.
What item do you use the most in your home?
The range. For obvious reasons, I suppose. I have a Dacor range and we chose it because it’s one of the only stove and oven manufacturers that will custom color match [an appliance] to a paint swatch.* We matched it to Benjamin Moore’s Good Vibrations, which is what we painted the rest of the kitchen as well.
What's the biggest conversation starter in your home?
Probably the rotisserie. It’s not every day you see a spit built into a wall. Either that or our built-in bar, which beyond being beautifully designed and well-lit, is extremely well stocked and a natural gathering place when guests walk in.
*Ed note: Dacor color-match appliances have been discontinued and are no longer available.