HBO TV Series “Enlightened” and The Mid-Century Style TV House

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HBO TV Series “Enlightened” Mid-Century House

I’ve been on an Enlightened-thon watching the 2012 Golden Globe-winning HBO TV series “Enlightened” for several days now and am a new fan watching season 2 episodes on Sunday nights.  This is a home tour type post on the house on “Enlightened,” where the main character Amy Jellcoe lives, along with my review of the HBO TV show.

Enlightened is a comedy, drama starring Laura Dern, as Amy Jellicoe, an executive who in front of her co-workers at Abaddonn Industries, has a full-blown psycho-type breakdown after her affair ends with her boss who downgrades her position to an account she feels is beneath her worth.  Amy then takes a sabbatical from work to a treatment center in Hawaii called Open Air where she is enlightened and has inner peace and happiness.  She has the key to unlock the mysteries of the universe and wants everyone to know it and follow her out of the darkness into the light.


The house in Enlightened at 5511 Senford Avenue in Ladera Heights, California is a 50’s or mid century style house that I adore and would not make any changes to at all down to the design on the garage door.  My husband and I wondered about the rocks on the roof.  At first I thought it was just a typical California desert-type terracotta roof, but on closer look it is rocks and quite beautiful at that.  I’ve learned that this kind of roof is called Ballast Roofing used for many reasons such as wind protection and most likely used on this house for keeping it cool.

Amy - Enlightened

Amy having her meltdown in the office as she rants at her boss about what he has done to her.


Amy returns from Open Air Treatment Center to Abaddonn Industries a healed woman.  She is whole now, and filled with hope for the future and overly confident she will be get her job back.  The show has Amy talking her thoughts out loud to the TV viewers in a lilting voice with cloud dancing music and humming in the background that has the ability to take you away like your at Open Air Treatment Center and all your worries are gone.  Amy wants us to know “You can walk out of hell and into the light.”



After being enlightened, Amy reconnects with her ex-husband Levi, played by Luke Wilson.  She drops off a therapy book at his door that he could care less about as he has his own set of problems since their divorce with using alcohol and drugs to escape reality.


This photo and the above photos are of the apartment where Levi lives reported to be in Pasadena, but I don’t have an address yet.


Amy always wears bright cheery dresses to work in sharp contrast to everyone else at  Abaddonn Industries who wear dark business suits.


She doesn’t get her executive position back much to her bewilderment, but is stashed in the basement doing data entry with the rest of the rejects/hard to place employees/employees who are “difficult.”  Here is Tyler, played by Mike White who is also a writer on Enlightened.  Tyler is lonely and the perfect patsy for Amy’s destructive plan to take Abaddonn Industries down.

Abaddonn in the Bible is a Hebrew term and means destroyer or where the “damned” lie in fire and snow, one of the places in “Hell” that Moses visited. – Wikipedia

For Amy, this is what Abaddon Industries begins to mean to her.  It is the enemy, the place where evil lurks and must be destroyed.  She is delusional and still half-crazy.


Per movielocationsandmore, her TV workplace is filmed at Warner Towers at 21600 Oxnaud.  This is a scene from the show where Amy’s thoughts are: “Of course the world is vast and complex.  To understand it you can reflect you whole life away and what have you done?  Nothing! At some point you must do.  It is not enough to have good intentions, you must act on them.”  So begins her twisted plans.



She doesn’t fit in and is shunned by her past work friends and must show them the light.  She is a do-gooder, wanna-be for the wrong reasons at the most inappropriate times that is made clear at a baby shower where she makes a speech about people who don’t have it as good and wants everyone to join her new women’s activist group.  She puts a damper on the whole happy baby shower atmosphere.


Beautiful Diane Ladd plays Helen Jellicoe, Amy’s not-good-enough Mom, and is Laura Dern’s mom in real life, so I love that this mother-daughter team is back together again.  The two have starred in movies together before.  Most notably Rambling Rose for which they both received Oscar nominations.


Inside the Enlightened house is 50s deco.  Everything looks like it has been there since the 1950s.


Amy’s mother, Helen likes birds.


and has a magnificent rose garden.


Many of the rooms in the house are decorated with this deep orange color that is the same as the roses she grows.


Even their dog is orange, and Levi’s apartment is coral colored so I wondered what the significance of this color implies for the show other than it is a warm and inviting color.  “Orange offers emotional strength in difficult times. It helps us to bounce back from disappointments and despair, assisting in recovery from grief.”


The kitchen with its 50s wallpaper and matching airy curtains and the hanging lamp over the table.


I enjoy the show for the plot and characters as much as for looking at the furniture like these flowery iron scroll chairs.


The pool with more roses is a beautiful scene much like a lot of the scenes from the show that are shown slowly to the audience and gives a peaceful feeling.

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  1. Oh gosh, I just adore those doorknobs on the apartment complex too, thank you for affirming my obsession. A reader found the address to the apt so I had a ball sort of seeing it in person. You’ll love the show and characters. If Netflix does not stream it I think I saw that Amazon does.

  2. What a blast from the past. Those doorknobs in the center of the door are priceless – we need to bring those back! I’ve not seen the show – I’m going to investigate my Netflix feed. Baseball season is almost upon us & I need something to keep me amused while Brock watches his Dodgers.

  3. You’re absolutely right Bill, thanks for saving the day with the corrected address. It is just so fun to actually see where the apartment is located, street view and all!

  4. Hi Sue;
    Thanks for your nice reply after I wrote where Levi’s apartment is from the “Enlightened” show.I had said that the address is 1000 San Pasqual, Pasadena. After looking at it on Google Earth, it it evident that the apartment shown is indeed the one used as his home in the show. However, the address shown at the top of the Google Earth page says 502 S Catalina Ave. San Pasqual is the next cross street, which is why it brought me to approximently the correct location.Did’nt want to pass on incorrect infomation.
    Bill W.

  5. My Goodness Mrs.B, you have been through the wringer at work! It is so interesting to me how you say Abaddonn is typical of OC/LA corp world, and I love your description of the still air when Amy is in her thoughts, etc., and the warm spring days and smell of roses and orange blossoms blooming!

  6. It’s so wonderful to hear from an Enlightened fan and Thank You So Much for the address of Levi’s apartment. You made my day today Bill.

  7. I’ve been a big fan of “Enlightened” from the get go. You answered my questions about the roof. The address of Levi’s place is 1000 San Pasqual, Pasadena. Glad to have come across your website.

  8. Try to catch the show for a different TV experience. I had to look up “Levitt development” and learned a lot, so thanks for sharing Ginger.

  9. Your most welcome Carol for the trip down memory lane. There is such a love for older homes, mid-century homes, and collectors love mid-century furniture. I would love to see your sisters’ house as well.

  10. When I saw your blog in my e-mail, I was struck by the term “mid-century”. I realized that description would fit my childhood home that my parents built in 1950 and our first two homes. We live in California and never had the rock roof you show, but her house could be in our first neighborhood. I don’t think of those houses as old because our present home was built in 1928. But, my parents’ home (my sister still owns it) is over 50 years old.

    thanks for the trip down Memory Lane.

  11. So glad your a fan of the show too, as I am lovin it. I would love to see a pix of your 50s style house or even do your whole house. You made me look up The Royal Tenenbaums because I don’t remember seeing it other than maybe I saw a few scenes in passing. It looks like a great movie for me to investigate.

  12. I love this show! Laura Dern is so amazing as Amy. And it’s great to see Luke Wilson in a good role – he was stellar in “The Royal Tenenbaums” (now there’s a set for you to deconstruct!). It’s funny that you highlight the mid-century home she lives in – my house looks similar to it from the outside. Years ago, before I knew what was what, I did work to the interior to make it more traditional, and I regret it to this day – added crown moulding, changed the windows – but from the exterior, it still retains it’s original look – albeit with a much more sound and functional tile roof! Great post.

  13. I’ll have to look it up on Amazon – that sounds like a really neat concept! Wouldn’t it be fun to be a set decorator on that show?

  14. Darn, I wish you could see the show Sarah. The show is set for the current time period, but Amy is living back home with her mom and it that house that I show here complete with Amy’s mothers decorating still intact from the past. Wonder if you could get the HBO show online. I saw Season One is available to buy via Amazon I believe.

  15. wow Sue – I had never even heard of that show before (don’t have HBO here) so I truly am “enlightened”! The set decoration is amazing! I love that vintage mid-century stuff. Is the show set in the 1950’s or do the characters just live in dated homes?
    I love that mid-century rancher – it reminds me of a 1950’s rancher in my old neighborhood that just came up for sale – it even has one of those gravel/rock roofs!

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