HOME An apartment in a high-rise building in the Loop, with south, east, and west views and a balcony
OTHER RESIDENCE The family home in Dallas, where Taylor grew up
HOW LONG SHE’S LIVED THERE Since August. “It took a day to find it. I started in the morning at nine, looked at several apartments, and was finished at five, in time to sign the lease.”
WHY THIS PLACE? “The view, the light, the feeling of space. The last place I lived was in Santa Monica, where it was also about light and space, and I had a view of the ocean. I need a space in which I can dream. It had all the elements here—the lake, Daley Plaza, the park, wonderful architecture. And it changes in the course of a day. It’s different from morning to afternoon, and then the nightscape is completely different. Also, having a place for my artwork was very important.” One long hallway is filled with large paintings Taylor has collected over many years. She has works by Kerry James Marshall, an artist who is married to her good friend, the actress Cheryl Lynn Bruce, and his protégés. She also has works by her mother. In addition, Taylor displays some of her many awards, including an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series.
STYLE “Eclectic. A mix of modern and old. I love going to flea markets and antiques markets, to Ikea and Pottery Barn, to Design Within Reach. I try and keep things simple. I’ve been pretty much a nomad but spent the last five years in California. What I carry with me are pictures that are passed down. I like starting with a muted palette and then putting in pops of color; usually the art provides the color.”
FAVORITE SPOT IN THE APARTMENT The couch in the living room, overlooking the lake. “My office is a nice little nook, with a gorgeous old table and the chalkboards I use to work things out, and sometimes I’ll spend the afternoon in my bed.”
GO OUT OR STAY IN? “I’m almost at the point where I’m settled enough to invite people over for meals. I cook everything. I’ve started to plan now.” This past Thanksgiving in Dallas, Taylor invited over the cast of The Trinity River Plays (which premiered at the Goodman Theatre in January).
WHAT SHE’D GRAB IN A FIRE “Coltrane, of course.” That’s the two-and-a-half-year-old cat she rescued as a stray who wandered onto the set of The Unit, TV show in which Taylor starred. “And my mother’s self-portrait.”
Photograph: Bob Coscarelli; Hair and Makeup: Martina Sykes