Around 2014-15, you could not scroll Twitter without finding examples of the humblebrag, a term coined by the late comedian Harris Whittles. A classic example is the guy who tweeted that he’s only ever showered in one of his five bathrooms. A newer example is this new Architectural Digest piece about Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher’s “sustainable farmhouse” which the writer compares to The Beverly Hillbillies.
Sometimes, celebrities appear in AD to showcase a home because they are getting divorced or selling it. Mila and Ashton are definitely not getting a divorce and in the story they talk a lot about how involved they are with the home, so if they wanted to sell for a big price tag, this is definitely a selling point if you were the kind of multimillionaire who has “Ashton Kutcher” and “wood” on your vision board.
There’s a lot of Town & Country-style over-the-top aspiration shining through in the tone: “We wanted a home, not an estate,” Kunis insists, describing the six-acre property that now accommodates a main house connected to a guesthouse/entertainment barn, as well as a freestanding barbecue pavilion, all arrayed along a central axis elaborately plotted to capture the beguiling views from, between, and through the various structures.
Ah yes, the six-ACRE home is definitely not an estate, no way. That would be tacky. This is a humble abode, a quaint place to rest (perhaps on one of the thrones Ashton commissioned in India) after an afternoon tending to the land. You know, typical farm life, if you toiled by the lap pool at Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire. (Their designer Vicky Charles was once global head of design for Soho House.)
Both Mila and Ashton have that “quippy parent” persona when they do promo but that didn’t come through here. Ashton does lean into his Silicon Valley cosplay (he invests in start-ups, have you heard?) and talking about bio-hacking architecture: “Howard [Bracken – their architect] is like a great software designer, someone who approaches design as an accentuation of function,” says Kutcher, who has broad experience in technology start-ups. “A software designer wants to get people where they want to be with the fewest clicks. Howard wants to get you where you want to be with the fewest doors and obstacles.” Does Ashton picture us in our little hovels, climbing over furniture and under tables to get our couches from the kitchen? How do these people think we live?
Ashton and Mila spent years building this house (they started during her first pregnancy), definitely spent a huge chunk of money on it and now they are celebrating it. They want to brag, which is why the humble falls flat. Just go for it, rather than going half-in on the “self-effacing” humour, like Mila saying the ornate chandelier “takes the piss” out of the farmhouse. Can a chandelier take the piss out of a six-acre home in Los Angeles or does a chandelier fit right in there? I barely noticed it because the house is so grand. It’s not an ironic chandelier, it fits right in.
Just enjoy your huge bathroom (which remember, has two literal thrones in it) and unironic chandelier and watch your friend Ellen in your “entertainment barn” – it doesn’t have to be deeper than that. You know who understands this? Drake.
What could be more sustainable than four millionares living on 6 acres of land https://t.co/v0MTJjUtBh— Sophia Benoit (@1followernodad) May 18, 2021