It’s always a thrill when clients task us with the challenge of designing a “dream house” that we build together from the ground up, selecting every finish and material. We had the pleasure of working on this contemporary home with clean, modern lines, and the focus was building the residential equivalent of an old soul, creating a meaningful balance between new materials, history, and character.
Located in the heart of Los Angeles in the Miracle Mile district, which was designed in the 1930s to be the city’s premiere retail destination, the area is dotted with Art Deco landmarks and local cultural institutions. Close to LACMA, the La Brea Tar Pits, and the Original Farmers Market, the district features streets filled with modest bungalows from that era and newer, more modern homes on compact, tidy lots. This three-bedroom house maximizes every square foot, thanks to plenty of custom cabinetry and millwork in white oak. Other details include tongue and groove walls and interesting stone finishes—travertine, limestone, and marble —in the bathrooms and kitchen.
We adore designing kitchens. It’s an exciting challenge to build a space that truly reflects how people live and function in their home. Open marble shelving and bronze cast hardware, made-to-order in Idaho by Sun Valley Bronze, are as distinct as they are functional. In the living room, the mismatched sculptural chairs in front of the fireplace look like they are having a conversation, or are distant members of the same family. Color makes a cameo appearance in the form of ochre mohair upholstery, woven black and tan Indian bed linens, and abstract paintings in shades of brick and burgundy.
Necessity breeds invention, even in interior design. When faced with the inconvenience of a too-close neighboring house, we designed a stained-glass window, inspired by glasswork we spotted on a trip to Milan and the angular grace of Frank Lloyd Wright or Mondrian, to hide it. The pattern on the window panel provides privacy without heavy-looking drapery and doesn’t obscure the light. Its presence also carves an intriguing nook out of a hallway that may have otherwise been ignored.