Seen from the front yard, Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson's house in the Pacific Palisades has an air of tidy East Coast propriety. It suggests cashmere twinsets, roast beef dinners and a subscription to The Wall Street Journal. But walk through the front door and the mood changes, as if a band of bohemians had arrayed their parents' house with souvenirs of a world tour. Graphic paintings of the Kama Sutra hang near a Georgian mantelpiece in the living room, and the dining room's traditional table is illuminated by a large—and vaguely sinister—all-black Murano glass chandelier. A whiff of incense emanates from the pool house out back, which, with its blaring rock music, pulses like the hippie heart of the establishment.
“This is Chris's room,” Hudson says brightly as she begins a tour of the property with a visit to the studio of her husband, founder of the multiplatinum rock band the Black Crowes. “Your man always has to have his own space.”
Inside the small cabana, a thick sheepskin rug covers the floor, records and CDs crowd the shelves and, dead center, beneath a rustic candle chandelier, is an oversize Edwardian sofa covered in dark leather. It's one of the only things from Robinson's bachelor life to find a place in their conjugal home, because, as Hudson explains, it has a very particular sentimental significance to the couple.
“When we first met, this here is the couch that Chris had in his New York apartment,” she says. “It's the couch where we first actually—” Hudson interrupts herself in the name of discretion and quickly recalibrates her explanation. “It was the only piece of furniture in his apartment” is how she decides to explain its role in their early courtship. “So we held on to it.”
Just then, Robinson lopes in, wearing tattered jeans and silver polish on his toenails. “Honeeey,” he whines in mock alarm. “You can't let the media into the heart of the Palisades leftist community. Don't you know the rules? It's us versus them. They're the new cops.”
He turns, smiling, to the visitor with a tape recorder in his hand. “I'm Chris,” he says, bobbing his head. “I was teasing.”
As if to prove that he is willing to play nice with the press (although Hudson later whispers that he hates media intrusions), Robinson tells a story about listening to music with the couple's 19-month-old son, Ryder, in this room a few minutes earlier. (Ryder clearly has music in his blood: He likes to headbang to Lynyrd Skynyrd.) As if on cue, Ryder toddles past in a diaper, closely followed by a nanny.
“Hi, dude!” squeals Hudson. “Where you goin'?”