Met Home’s L.A. fund-raiser gave some of our favorite professionals a chance to fill this house with great modern design— and to benefit Project Angel Food and the UCLA AIDS Institute.
By Susan Morgan
Architect Paul Ashley and designer Xorin Balbes of Temple Home built this four-bedroom house in the hills above Sunset Boulevard. Then they opened the doors to a choice group of the most talented professionals in Los Angeles. “A showhouse inspires and allows one to dream,” says Met Home’s editor in chief Donna Warner. “Here we had the chance to give back and to make some dreams come true for others.”
“Different rooms are about different moments,” observes Jarrett Hedborg, whose virtuosic design repertoire ranges from an exuberant Bloomsbury-esque hideaway transplanted stateside to a contemporary Saudi Arabian palace in refined international style.
Here, just off the serene but formal foyer, Hedborg and his partner, Jeff Hiner, concocted an effervescently glamorous room where a minimalist candelabra is decked out in crystals and a pair of vintage Eero Saarinen stools sporting faux-tiger upholstery are as chic and cheekily hip as any leopard pillbox from Paris. The walls are a blazing vermilion (Tangerine Dream from Benjamin Moore).
“When Jeff first saw the room,” recalls Hedborg, “he described the window looking out to the courtyard and the view to the street and hill beyond.” Hedborg thought of Joni Mitchell’s song “Car on the Hill.” “I knew this was a room where you sat—with your drink, cigarette and perhaps a crossword puzzle—waiting for someone to arrive,” he says.
The handsome 1940s armchairs were designed by the legendary Billy Haines; the tart lime-green sofa is part of the Jarrett Hedborg collection for A. Rudin. L.A.-based artist Vadim Valikovski contributed the painted panels, scenes of a retro future. The 1966 Lobmeyr chandelier, originally designed for the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, is pitch-perfect: all glittering gold and starry light.
What Jarrett Hedborg Knows
- Abandon the timid, chromophobic viewpoint that modern rooms are tied to white. That idea is as dated as an antimacassar. Gather some dynamic inspiration from Luis Barragán, the great modern Mexican architect whose stunning buildings feature walls boldly painted in deeply saturated colors. In a small interior, stick to just one or two wall colors.
- If a room’s square footage is small but the height of its ceiling is high, utilize furniture that’s below average in height—a low-slung case study daybed or a Japanese settee will deliver a genuine sense of drama.
- For the very best in cool and modern looks, don’t limit yourself to what’s being produced by the current crop of designers. Take a peak at David Hicks: He was the man who introduced urbane interiors with a debonair style back in the pre–Rat Pack days.
- Don’t forget the vibrant sense of optimism that remains at the heart of midcentury-modern design.
Since 1985, Barbara Barry’s luxurious yet understated interiors have been defining a new idea of old-Hollywood glamour: Sophisticated and low-key, it’s a dressy, grown-up style that values a string of pearls and studiously avoids rhinestones. Barry, a certified hall of famer, designs for living well—with a portfolio that includes a furniture collection produced by Henredon, glassware and china for Wedgwood and an impressive 350 fabric patterns drawn with her signature palette of muted, natural tones for the Kravet label.
In the expansive living room and dining area (which is open to the foyer), Barry introduced a subtle and inviting play of curves and comfort: In the living area, a pair of cane-backed lounge chairs flank a stump table, a minimalist oval of solid wood; alongside the glass wall, a sinuous palm tree accentuates the room’s easy flow between indoors and out; and two vintage leather chairs, worn to a dappled patina, add to the room’s timeless allure. A folding screen patterned in silver leaf blocks the western sun and casts dramatic shadows across the plush ivory carpet.
An intermittent vein of silver runs through the rooms: Floor lamps feature glittering bamboo-style poles, and a sleek side table combines white marble with a polished stainless-steel base. The dark walnut dining table, designed by Barry, has the straightforward lines of a Parsons table, but the legs bow out with a slight curve, softening the table’s linearity and echoing the curved sides of the tufted chairs.
What Barbara Barry Knows
- In designing a room, remember to go slowly and add only what you know is essential: A room does not need to be overdone to feel finished. Live simply and elegantly with well-designed essentials.
- Space and light are the great luxuries of all interiors.
- A genuinely modern environment incorporates both masculine and feminine sensibilities.
- Consider the overall shapes of objects, the sheen of surfaces and subtleties of a single color while you are selecting furnishings. When placed in a room, these aspects take on personality and fill the space.
- What is modern in design is an understanding and embrace of all that has come before and the desire to make it your own.
- Designing for an open-plan room requires the discipline of simplicity.
Marjorie Skouras, a second-generation designer who founded her own L.A. firm seven years ago, arrived on the scene with an inimitable style and irresistible humor. Having originally studied art history, Skouras had worked for 17 years in the film industry before she decided to focus her own talents—including a jubilant flair for color and the detective-like zeal of an avid and discerning collector—to producing memorable domestic interiors.
The family room is ideally situated at the house’s most congenial intersection: Adjoining a generous kitchen designed by Xorin Balbes, the room also opens directly on to the pool area. It’s a shrewdly amusing household hub with rare multigenerational charm: Durable and offbeat enough for kids and pets, the room also offers very grown-up allure, refreshing style and surprising twists. The long-legged little red-lacquered side table, by Paul Marra, for example, is as bright and romantic as a love-struck valentine.
Skouras upholstered the vintage Milo Baughman chrome-frame sofa in a bold fabric, a mix of linen and velvet by Osborne & Little. “I’d always wanted to do a traditional Louis chair in cowhide and rhinestones,” says Skouras, who previously mixed rhinestones with antlers to create a surrealistic “wild west” chandelier; Vivienne Westwood designed the rug in a wonderfully frenzied pattern called Rubbish, images of torn paper and scraps of fabric woven together to resemble an unswept floor.
What Marjorie Skouras Knows
- Humor is always modern.
- When collecting objects or art for yourself, be willing to work slowly.
- First and foremost, rooms need to be comfortable for everyone. Living rooms are intended for living.
- You don’t have to sacrifice color and design when you choose fabrics that are durable and easy to maintain.
- There’s no connection between good design and price at all. Don’t be shy about mixing well-designed bargains with costlier pieces.
- Well-considered but startling combinations can produce astonishing results: A demure Louis chair—upholstered in pale gray cowhide and outlined in Swarovski crystals—takes on a thrilling new identity.
- Picture new ways to display old images: Skouras designed the Swap floor lamp with a shade constructed from four clear acrylic eight-by- ten-inch frames: Images of her daughter can slide in and out easily for a freestanding, ever-changing picture gallery.
For the master suite, designer Kerry Joyce—whose award-winning career includes design for theater and television as well as architectural interiors and product development—devised the floor-to-ceiling sheer white wool drapes that dramatically cloak the room and transform the strong sunlight to a sugary, luminous glow.
“The drapery rod,” explains Joyce, “needed to accommodate all the pivot doors.” A glass wall runs along the entire back length of the house; each glass panel is configured as a pivot door, providing uninterrupted access to the landscaped back patio and pool area. “We were able to use one long rod—fashioned like a deep, angular C—and 3/4 rings so the drapes could move past the doors. Those draperies turned the space into a softly enveloping light box.”
Among Joyce’s own furniture designs are the finely articulated four-poster bed, nightstands and a coffee table that features interior bookshelves and the gently curving upholstered chair. Artist Kim Gordon created the small lavender painting and the branch mobile that hangs above a corner chaise; in the sitting room, the arms of a tripod lamp extend treelike, an industrial interpretation rhyming with the organic forms. The bedroom rug, from Joyce’s collection for Mansour Modern, features a pattern reminiscent of the whorls and knots found in a sheet of plywood. Eccentric objects and organic forms—a vintage twig table, a chair built out of wooden walking sticks—are delightfully complex and endearingly human. What Kerry Joyce Knows
- Designing a room is more than bringing together a collection of good-looking objects: It’s creating an atmosphere where people want to be.
- Storage matters! Always include cabinetry and furniture with extra shelves that will allow for “controlled clutter.”
- Using older pieces provides a visual and often emotional connection to the past and makes an interior feel more “anchored.”
- Mixing vintage pieces with new ones contributes to a timeless feeling.
- When selecting art for a room, stay true to your passion. Art is important and can transform a room and reveal individual character.
- To maintain a room’s tranquility, be mindful of how a work of art will interact with the space. Like unwanted noise, art that is visually agitating can upset a calm atmosphere.
- Sheer wools are lustrous: They reflect light and drape beautifully.
Michaela Scherrer counts antique textiles, haute couture, Japanese aesthetics and the rigorous concepts of minimalist art as major influences on her artful design work. Growing up as the daughter of a high-fashion professional, Scherrer first imagined following in her mother’s well-shod footsteps; at 22, however, she began designing interiors and discovered that her particular vision was best suited to creating unforgettable environments.
The low custom-made bed is mounted on a plain wooden platform, an island of simplicity and calm. A standing lamp created by Alison Berger, a Southern California–based glass artist, combines a handblown globe and a vintage automobile lamp, a mysteriously beautiful juxtaposition. A collection of crisply starched antique shirt collars and unfurled ribbons are arranged on a shelf.
The sheer window panel was produced by Nuno—the innovative Japanese textile company known for intertwining traditional aesthetics and computer technologies—and is part of their Chemical Lace series: Post-It-size fabric remnants fused together on a length of curtain netting.
The leather ottoman, designed by Dosa, the fashion and interior company committed to style and social conscience, is part of Dosa’s recycling program: It’s stuffed with polar fleece scraps. The delicate laser-cut bed pillows are from Scherrer’s Living Inside Out 536 collection. Recycling through design is wonderfully transformative.
What Michaela Scherrer Knows
- Expanses of white can contribute to a general sensation of light and space, especially in a smaller room.
- When using white, avoid the harshness of stark white. Blending various shades of white (what Scherrer calls “muddying”) results in more soothing, complex tones. When selecting white paint, always be aware of the underlying tint (pink or yellow, for example) and whether the overall tone is warm or cool.
- Balance and harmony (not necessarily symmetrical) will produce an atmosphere of calm.
- Dress up a room with a combination of new and vintage textiles. A harmonious mix of fabrics—rumpled linens, smooth leather, raw silks—will add visual interest.
- What’s modern now: Integrating sustainability with great design. Recycled materials are being used to produce gorgeous objects.
Fernando Diaz, born in Cuba and educated in Canada, established his Los Angeles design firm in 1980. Since then, Fernando Diaz and Associates has continuously created award-winning interiors for projects ranging from contemporary villas to corporate offices, a diverse portfolio enriched by a keen understanding of architecture, classic style and collaborative spirit.
For the collector’s room, Diaz and design associate Andrew Lucich invented a space to contain worlds, an entrancing cabinet of curiosities. The paint on the walls alternates vibrantly between a brisk Benjamin Moore green called Agave and Kalamata, a lush, deep purple. Custom-built white cabinetry was designed with both midcentury precision and Asian decorative influences in mind: Within a series of free-floating shadowboxes, an enchantingly international magpie collection—including rustic wooden saints and glossy antique ceramics—is handsomely displayed.
The open shelving is constructed to expose the room’s darkly colored wall. Mirrors are placed with almost magician-like forethought: At the back of each shadowbox, a mirror reflects the room at large, as does a mirrored toe kick; a vintage sunburst mirror hangs on the wall of the luxuriously curtained sleeping alcove. The rich colors of the room are captured in the transparent surface of a shimmering Lucite table. A pair of midcentury armchairs, with slender ebony frames and graceful swooping lines, are whimsically elegant. What Fernando Diaz Knows
- Don’t be afraid of using strong colors. Even brilliant hues can be remarkably soothing. “Color really enhances people’s lives,” observes Diaz.
- A small space takes on greater dimensionality when an overall sense of openness is maintained: Transparent materials won’t obstruct the view.
- Improvising on subtle color variations heightens visual interest: The Kravet fabrics used for the curtained bed range from a green-leaning turquoise to a sheer watery blue and play beautifully against the Agave green walls. Don’t paint yourself into a futile corner with the outdated idea that everything in a room is supposed to “match.”
- The key to successful eclecticism is recognizing the inherent sympathy between different objects. Look for a continuity of color or form and then find the balance.
- Light and reflective surfaces animate an interior. In a small room, seek out inventive ways to place mirrors that will amplify space.
Michael Berman creates interiors that nimbly intertwine a generous knowledge of history and an assured sense of glamour. Berman—who established his own collection of furnishings and lighting in 1997—describes his signature style as “American trans-modern” and cites influences ranging from the hard-boiled cool of Hollywood film noir to designer Angelo Donghia’s sumptuous early-’80s chic.
Inspired by the showhouse’s serene, vaguely deco, midcentury style—its pure lines, well-proportioned rooms and vast picture windows—Berman viewed the guest bedroom as a clean, white gallery for living. “This room has phenomenal proportions,” explains Berman. “It’s almost a cube: It’s about as high as it is wide. We didn’t want our design to upstage the architecture.”
Berman opted for refined simplicity: furnishings with strong sculptural lines and a predominantly black-and-white palette dosed with blasts of color. The striped rug, by irrepressible fashion designer Paul Smith for the Rug Company, flaunts a fabulous array of undiluted color—firehouse red, acid green and sharp citrus yellow.
In one corner, a marvelously asymmetrical chaise—designed by Harry Bertoia in the 1950s—is set alongside a Japanese table: It is a stunningly dynamic vignette, a finely calibrated balance struck between resolute forms. At the foot of the bed, two vintage Chinese stools are topped with green faux-crocodile pillows—a witty juxtaposition and a nifty spot to sit.
What Michael Berman Knows
- Great architecture offers the perfect backdrop for great design: Respect architecture and don’t attempt to upstage it.
- An area rug is a great starting point when designing a room: Its pattern and colors provide a visual platform for viewing the furnishings.
- Furniture that has a chameleon quality—like the bed and nightstand from Berman’s Elgin series, which give off a sense of historical reference without actually re-creating a period piece—lends an air of familiarity.
- Keep things fresh and contemporary but slightly familiar and accessible, especially in a guest room; it is always much more comforting to see something familiar and easy to look at.
- If an interior is spare and sharply angled, introduce pieces that have a more rustic, organic quality into the mix: This will add texture and visual contrast to the room’s austere geometry.
- Always consider a window offering a great view as a work of art.
London-born designer Antonia Hutt has an encyclopedic knowledge of the decorative arts, a daredevil attitude toward color and an ingenuous sense of fun. A former antiques dealer, Hutt received a degree in interior architecture from UCLA and established her design firm in 1992. Known for her exacting attention to detail and innovative design spirit, Hutt was a first-time pet owner, having acquired Amber Louise (above), a French bulldog with an award- winning resume, when she decided it was the perfect moment to imagine a couture bedroom pour le pooch. “I was horrified to discover how many things you need for a dog,” says Hutt. “It was a whole design world that hasn’t been explored with much refinement.”
Hutt’s high concept combines practicality and whimsy: Washable gray blankets are stacked neatly on high shelves, tennis balls are stored in tough plastic buckets, and two custom-made dog beds—sleek as modernist sofas—are handsomely upholstered in gray fabric with sturdy black leather trim. Portraits of Amber Louise and her best friend, Bullitt, were commissioned from Galligan’s Pet Portraits. A series of paintings features a few of a dog’s favorite things: steak, lamb chops and bacon.
Hutt painted the walls black and red to give the room a strong graphic presence and a sense of order. Leashes hang from silver and red hooks. “Amber Louise likes black,” the designer says. “She’s comfortable with dark walls and thinks they show off her black coat.”
What Antonia Hutt Knows
- Designing a space for “a little animal who makes a big mess” requires imagination and careful organization.
- The red and black walls give the room a bold graphic look: High shelves, for storing blankets and food, are beyond a dog’s reach.
- Make certain that fabrics—used for upholstery and blankets—are easy-care (i.e., washable and durable).
- The AstroTurf carpet plays on the house’s sense of indoor and outdoor flow. Dogs prefer to be outside: A floor-to-ceiling glass door pivots open, accessing the courtyard.
- Create dedicated storage solutions for specific objects: Sticking to the old rule of “a place for everything and everything in its place” will make life simpler for owner and dog alike. Keep leashes within clear sight by hanging them from wall hooks. Set bowls and water dishes in stable trays to avoid the scattershot table manners of hungry canines.
Architects Julie Eizenberg and Hank Koning established their eponymous practice in 1981. Their award-winning work—with its striking commitment to environmental sustainability, pragmatic solutions and art-savvy outlook—has ranged from affordable housing and schools to museums and retail spaces. “We’re not so much about things as places,” explains Koning. “Others might be more interested in the objects that make things memorable; we’re more interested in the sensibility of an environment.”
For the showhouse, Eizenberg celebrates the garage’s essential role in everyday life by reimagining ordinary rituals as sharply observed, entertaining bits of theater. The pièce de résistance is the custom-made electric display on the back wall. Eizenberg, inspired by the pegboards used to hang tools in many garages—and her love of circles—offered an aesthetic riff on the utilitarian with this colorful art installation. Her laser-cut Masonite pegboard is installed as sliding screens to hide storage on narrow floor-to-ceiling shelves.
The rear wall is backlit and turned into a low-tech Spectacolor board, broadcasting a simple illuminated greeting. When you roll your Rolls or Mini Cooper into this garage, you’re greeted by a welcome home message in all-systems-go green. A second line, a pesky but humorous admonition in stoplight red, appears below: you’re late, it chides. To make the garage seem bigger than its square footage, the house-adjacent wall was covered in reflective Mylar.
What Xorin Balbes Knows
- Clean architectural lines, simple design and beautiful finishes are essential to a feeling of balance and harmony.
- Establishing a strong connection between the interior spaces and the outdoor environment contributes to an overall sense of well-being.
- High ceilings and well-proportioned volumes create an exalted atmosphere that makes any design style look better.
- A wooden ceiling will add a warming tone to any room.
- When designing custom cabinetry, move beyond the limitations of using a single material; utilize materials in varying combinations for a more integrated and appealing look.
- A courtyard entryway separates the house from the street, establishing a transitional environment between public and private space. The textures, sounds, color and light of the courtyard introduce the elements of the house. The courtyard water feature and planked wooden bridge make entering the house a distinctive event.
This article is from http://www.elledecor.com
(Source: www.elledecor.com )