Finally, the reveal of one of the most beautiful homes we’ve ever had the pleasure of designing. Dan and Kym live in the most charming and elegant 1939 Georgian style home in Los Feliz. This project didn’t need any major renovation – sure some built-ins and some custom furniture but the bones of the house were so gorgeous and in perfect shape. This house had been well loved and taken care of so we were honored to help design it and finish it off. It would be like giving Keri Russell a blow-out (post Felicity) before a red carpet event – you know it’s going to be stunning regardless, and you are determined to give your best blow out ever to ensure that she looks the best she could ever look. With these bones and the client’s taste level it would have been hard to fail…
Well, I guess we could have, which would have been very sad. But we didn’t. And when I say ‘we’ I mean Ginny and Mel designing it with me overseeing everything. Here’s how this project went down. Dan and Kym hired my company in October of 2015 – the same month that I had Elliot and my book came out. I then went swiftly back to work (on camera, even) for the next two months with multiple shoots in New York. So starting a new client – even getting my brain onto a new project was impossible. But Ginny convinced me to do it stating ‘the house is beautiful, they are awesome, they have great taste and they know what things cost’. Tempting. She said that they would start it all, get it going and I could oversee it without needing to do much until things slowed down for me. Basically what I’m saying is that I didn’t even see the house for a couple months. Ginny and Mel did 80% of the work over the next year and a half with me approving anything permanent, overseeing art direction and weighing in like a boss. They did an amazing job (and good news guys – both of their businesses are THRIVING now, with so many clients…. so many clients that neither of them had time to write the reveal series of this house so I was like … fine imma take credit for the whole thing …. but of course I can’t).
We did intro posts for each room, but to recap here is where we started with the Sun Room (today’s reveal):
This room is just so gorgeous. That bar is STUNNING. The windows are so beautiful and the light in this room was so lovely. It opened up to the backyard with a pool so it needed to be durable and appropriate for casual entertaining. They have two adorable girls in elementary school but it didn’t need to feel ‘kid’. I should mention that this house is nearly 5000 square feet so most of the rooms only had one real function – none needed to serve as playrooms or TV rooms nor need a lot of storage as the house is big enough for all of those things. Yes, it really was a designer’s dream.
ON the other side of the room was a corner that begged for a built-in dining area. Since this room is for entertaining and family, it seemed like the best use of space. I mean who wouldn’t want to sit there and drink coffee or play games, next to the bright window overlooking the pool?
The bones were good and they liked the white paint color. So they mostly needed all new furniture, the built-in designed and of course some styling. They wanted it to be on the more casual side, but these folks aren’t slip-cover kinda people so it would still have a formality to it. We would mix midcentury with 70’s Italian (lots of wicker) with contemporary art and lighting.
Here is the final mood board that they settled on. See THIS post to see how many iterations/options of these products we gave them.
Almost a year and a half later, we were done and a small army of people came to style it out. Like most clients, we got to a certain point where they were happy – and while we felt they needed more accessories they didn’t. We spent one day hanging all the art in the house, but we still wanted another full layer. So we struck a deal – while they were out of town our small army (Ginny, Mel, Erik, Emily (not me), Tessa and myself) would go in for 3 days and finish it off. Then they would essentially ‘shop the shoot’ meaning anything they wanted to keep they would. We borrowed pieces from really high end stores (Lawson Fenning, Consort, Noir) and then went to all the big box stores (Target, West Elm, CB2, Crate and Barrel) knowing that we could return whatever they didn’t want to keep. If you think that accessorizing a whole house takes a few hours, you are wrong. It took 2-3 days by lots experts to finalize. I drove up and checked in a few times and they sent me the photos as they went for approval, but man I was so proud of how everything was looking and how great of a job Ginny and Mel did (with lots of help from assistants).
So without further ado here is the Griffith Park Sunroom.
The color scheme stayed fairly neutral with only a couple pops of mustard and navy – that was the furthest they wanted to push it and we were absolutely happy to keep this one almost-totally neutral. The rug is an indoor/outdoor by Dash and Albert that is washable and durable. It says ‘Sunroom’ without going too coastal and it keeps it feeling traditional while most of the furniture is vintage or modern but definitely not ‘trad’.
The coffee table was his from college that we had refinished (I think it’s the only thing that we kept). We tried a million options for him as he kinda wanted to shake it up, but ultimately it was a great scale/shape for the room and the style worked (just almost too well). So we invested the $200 it cost to refinish it and it looks great. Sometimes you just have to pull a trigger on something that you like a lot, instead of finding that unicorn piece that may not exist.
The sofa was custom made by Clad Home, designed by Ginny and Mel. I know that a sofa that simple, in a neutral should be easy to find ready-made, but we loved the wood base option, the one cushion seat, the squared off arms and the depth (even though it’s not too wide). Sometimes we just can’t find exactly what we are looking for so instead of spending the time scouring (and not being able to guarantee that they are comfortable) we would rather work with a local company we trust to execute exactly what we and most importantly our client wants.
The fabric is really durable and stain resistant as it has a decent amount of synthetic woven into it. They ship nationwide (with very reasonable rates) so if you need a sofa we can vouch that Clad is a GREAT custom sofa resource. She has many she designs and sells, but can work with you on anything custom as well. Rosa Beltran is the owner (she is an interior designer and has a blog, too, of which I love) and she has a ton of experience in custom pieces. She made my sofa for our family room (which sadly we think we are moving out because we are turning that into 100% play room, no tv!!) and Clad also produced Jordan (oh happy day’s) built-in sofa. I don’t believe we got an extra discount for this sofa, I just love her, her customer service and the product and want you guys to hire her if you are in the market.
Where does this ’70’s Italian’ come in to play? Some wicker and some chrome.
We loved that those wicker wrapped parsons tables brought in a different texture, and warmth (you just can tell they are vintage) while still working with the shapes and tones of the rest of the room.
The point is – look at these dope lights:
Let’s talk lighting. Now I’ve said before that the lighting should reference the styling/era of the home but I need to clarify – unless it’s incredibly modern/contemporary (as in the designer is current) and AMAZING. In other words don’t put boring fixtures that are neither here nor there when it comes to style or maybe even the wrong era. If you want no-fail, then stick with the era of the house, but if you are looking to modernize it then make sure you do so with lighting that is indeed 2017 (not 2004) and higher end. It’s tricky and I know that’s confusing (like won’t 2017 feel like 2004 in 2025?) but I guess it’s just high end. Beautiful simple design has a place in a house of any era as long as it’s edgy, high-end and pushes it in a forward direction. What I DO NOT LIKE is when flippers put generic hardware store “contemporary” lighting in an older home. New/modern/edgy is great. Generic, boring, and 10 year old lighting is not. Does that make sense? However classic always works. Have I completely confused you yet? I wouldn’t trust anything I say… design rules are complicated and can be broken by anyone with the right set of balls, pair of eyes and decent budget, but they do help to influence our decisions in the right way.
Perhaps that’s the subtitle of my next book. Or better yet, my “Real Housewives of LA” line in the opening credits…
The lighting throughout the house has that same feel. The furnishings are more classic, simple and modern and then WHAM, the lighting brings us into 2017. The french are amazing at this. They put dope modern metal shaded fixtures from 1930’s in old 200 year old homes and IT WORKS. But the French are highly successful at things in which general home flippers easily fail. My gosh that sounded snobby, and maybe it is….
Although one of the reasons that these metal shade lights work is that they are in fact inspired by Deco shades from the 1930’s with a more European bent – and this house is a very decorative/classic 1930’s home so maybe it does exactly prove my point and it does in fact reference this time/era/style??
I’m not sure which vignette I like more – the bar or the built-in breakfast nook. First up – the nook.
As you remember, previously that was an empty unused space. Ginny and Mel designed this bench to look like it was always there. and they succeeded. It took a few months from sketch to install and then the custom cushions had to be made (which we typically don’t do until the piece is installed to make sure that the dimensions of the cushions were perfect.)
We chose one of my favorite patterns ever (and one that I wished I had brought into our house) ‘Deconstructed Stripe‘. I love how it’s a subtle overall pattern that is still graphic and modern. The lines are thin, the pattern is bold and the color palette is classic.
Those chrome and wicker chairs brought the 70’s over there and were the perfect complement to the classic Saarinen tulip table. Tonally those chairs were the perfect way to warm up that corner.
On to EHD’s favorite classic bar. This corner is original to the house, and the design team shopped and styled it out. As you can see, we mixed brass and silver in here and we love it. There is no reason you can’t mix metals as long as it’s intentional. For instance the light fixtures are brass and the chrome was added in accessories – we didn’t mix chrome and brass in the fixtures. Essentially it’s like mixing warm tones with cool tones – do it consistently and in a balanced way and both can coexist beautifully. They also filled it in with some beautiful old barware, a custom piece of art from Patrice Dworkin (who we worked with on the Parisian Hotel Room reveal), and some accessories to really make it feel like a special part of the room.
Remember how we have been talking about our love of chrome these days? Well, if that above photo doesn’t it prove it, I’m not sure what will. The stools and lamp are vintage but in such beautiful condition.
A big thank you to Ginny and Mel for designing and styling this gorgeous room. It was a year and a half of work and they did such an amazing job. And thanks to Dan and Kym, our wonderful clients who made this project so inspiring and enjoyable. They really know and appreciate what it takes to pull together a beautiful, high end home and their enthusiasm and attention to detail were so refreshing. We’ll be revealing the rest of the house over the next couple of weeks – I hope you like it as much as we enjoyed doing it 🙂 And, in case you missed the sneak peek that Clever (Architectural Digest’s new editorial site) pushed out last week, be sure to click through for a few more shots from the other rooms of the house.
If you are into this house/look – see below for all the resources. And feel free to ask any questions in the comments.
1. Kevin Appel Artwork | 2. Offset Chevron Pillow | 3. Triangle Lumbar Pillow (similar) | 4. Brass Floor Lamp (similar) | 5. 3 ‘J’ Arm Chandelier | 6. Custom Sofa (fabric: Pindler – Townsend in Platinum) | 7. Rug | 8. Coffee Table (similar) | 9. Lounge Chair (similar) | 10. Rattan Side Table (similar) | 11. Eames Chair | 12. Matchstick Holder (similar) | 13. Candle | 14. Ceramic Vase | 15. Black Wicker Tray (similar) | 16. Pillow Fabric | 17. Lounge Chair Fabric | 18. Pendant Light | 19. Barn Photograph (similar) | 20. Building Photograph (similar) | 21. Yellow Throw Blanket | 22. Ceramic Bud Vase (similar) | 23. Chrome Table Lamp (similar) | 24. Chrome Bar Stool (similar) | 25. Cantilevered Chair | 26. Dining Table | 27. Infinity Black Knot Sculpture | 28. Mod Ceramic Box | 29. Chambray Pillow | 30. Wesley Ticking Pillow Fabric | 31. Indigo Lumbar Pillow | 32. Deconstructed Stripe Banquet Fabric | 33. Yellow Chevron Pillow Fabric | 34. Gem Vase (similar) | 35. Gold Jigger (similar) | 36. Highball Glass | 37. Gold Bar Spoon with Muddler (similar) | 38. Trap Pitcher | 39. Marble Tray (similar)
*Photos by Tessa Neustadt for EHD
***Styling assistants – Emily Bowser and Erikk Staalburg.