LA HOME /
$6.99 | FALL/WINTER 2018
HOME + LIFE IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
KULAPAT YANTRASAST/DIVA ZAPPA/LUCY+DIDIER LEAN RACHOU/JOANNE+JEFFREY LORD/SONJA RASULA/ KIRSTY+BEN LISTER
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8/BRIEFING: SHOPPING Retail experiences worth exploring.
15/MAKERS A showcase of artisans from in and around Los Angeles, curated by Design Milk founder, Jaime Derringer.
IN T E RIO RS
H OM E TOURS
British culinary expert, Lucy Lean and her French composer husband Didier Lean Rachou, look to their European influences to create a harmonious life in Los Angeles.
Joanne and Jeffrey Lord have styled their Mid-Century Modern French Regency home with lovingly curated classics and vintage finds.
EAST SIDE STORY h
24/THE INTANGIBLE Interior Designer, Kerry Joyce, has suggestions on how to achieve balance and tranquility in your home. 28/ULLOO42 The multi-colored world of ‘artcycling’, with furniture and lighting reimagined by Suzanne Currie. 32/FIVE FAVORITES Five Textile Designers choose their favorite designs.
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MID-CENTURY MODERN FAMILY
76/ECLECTIC COOL The vintage finds of Kirsty and Ben Lister give their home in Mar Vista a layered and unique character. 86/SONJA RASULA The inspirational founder of Unique Markets, Sonja Rasula, in her Downtown LA workspace. PH OTOG RAPH Y
MOTHER OF UNCONVENTION
Artist, actress and energy worker, Diva Zappa, lets intuition be her guide in the renovation of her Toluca Lake home.
A COLLECTORâ€™S DREAM i The home of architect, Kulapat Yantrasast, is a reflection of his broad fascination in art and popular culture.
90/AMY BARTLAM Photographer, Amy Bartlam, has a talent for enhancing the work of interior designers through her thoughtful compositions and natural lighting. 94/SHAUN LANG Shaun Lang excels in the art of advertising photography, crafting compelling images of commercial products and his versatility extends to the balanced composure of his architectural photography and portraiture. ART
98/MEIKE LEGLER A German textile artist based in LA, Meike Legler, conjures graphic paintings from remnants of fabric from her years in the fashion industry. 106/TECHNOLOGY A roundup of the latest intelligent devices in the home technology sector, curated by Jenna Atchison. 111/LOS ANGELES LANDMARKS A regular feature on historical LA landmarks which have stood the test of time.
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LA/HOME E D I TOR I A L Publisher Andy Waldmanemail@example.com Editor-in-Chief + Creative Director Mark Castellinofirstname.lastname@example.org Editor at Large/Tech Editor Jenna Atchisonemail@example.com Guest Editor Heidi Miller Content Development Editor Irwin Miller Copy Editor Felicia Kaplan
CO N TR I B U TO R S Photographers Jessica Isaac Shaun Lang Irwin Miller Meeno Peluce Writers Jaye Buchbinder Elif Cercel Heidi Miller Kelly Woyan
I N Q U I R I ES Advertising, Subscriptions, Custom Publishing and Distribution inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org Submissions: email@example.com Events: firstname.lastname@example.org
LA HOME is printed twice a year by Focus Media Agency, ISSN 2378-5381, and is available on newsstands, retail outlets, bookstores and also strategically placed in upscale locations throughout Los Angeles. FOCUS MEDIA AGENCY 149 S. Barrington Ave #178 Los Angeles CA 90049 All rights reserved. LA HOME is published by Focus Media Agency. No articles, illustrations, photographs, any other editorial matter or advertisements herein may be reproduced without permission of the copyright owner. Focus Media Agency does not take responsibility for the claims provided herein.
Cover photo: Kulapat Yantrasast home by Shaun Lang
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letter from the GUEST EDITOR
Welcome to our DREAMERS issue. When my husband, Irwin, and I moved back to the United States from Vienna in 1998, a European friend asked, quite seriously, if we were heading to LA to “live the American dream”. At the time we found this to be amusing but, upon our arrival, we began to realize that LA would, in fact, let us do just that. Having lived here for nearly two decades, we now know, unequivocally, that LA presents its residents with a unique set of opportunities and advantages, not to mention the towering palm trees and glorious weather – all which, simply add to its allure. At LA HOME, we strive to focus not only on the beautiful, eclectic, bold, quaint and the unusual houses, but also the remarkable families who reside in them, and how they live and use the spaces that they’ve created and so carefully curated. HEIDI MILLER
Heidi Miller is a freelance writer and producer zealously focused on the creative arts, lifestyle, skincare, cosmetic and fitness industries. She is in the midst of finishing her first novel as well as working several screenplays. Originally hailing from Essex Junction, Vermont, she has lived, worked and thrived in Los Angeles for the past two decades. She served as not only writer but also Guest Editor for this issue.
Whenever we speak to a person or couples about featuring their home, we always want to know their stories, to understand how they make their place a ‘home’. Many times it’s the design elements, favorite family items, or the recollection of a place they love travelling to and which they keep a bit of, here in LA. From an author, chef and an award-winning composer, to an interior designer, a photographer, entrepreneur, curator and motivational speaker, an actress, tarot reader and artist, a vegan handbag designer and an architect and creative director; we visit neighborhoods spanning the entire city, from Venice to Mar Vista, Studio City, Los Feliz and into Downtown LA’s famed Arts District. Each dwelling mirrors the personalities of the people living within. Here, we celebrate the passions, motivations, intentions and aspirations of these visionaries, many of whom, like us, have transplanted themselves from other parts of the world to fulfil their dreams. I feel incredibly honored to have served as this issue’s Guest Editor. LA HOME holds a very special place in my heart. I joined the team as a contributing writer a year and a half ago, and I have enjoyed every minute of working with this group of dedicated and talented souls. I am beyond thrilled to be acting as the new Features Editor moving forward. Thank you for coming on this journey with us.
Heidi Miller, Guest Editor
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In addition to being a partner at Gensler, Irwin Miller’s polymathic abilities include cooking, painting, photography and creating compelling and evocative social media content. His true passion lies in the collaboration with other artists and his most recent projects include award-winning stop-motion animated films. He has recently come on board as LA Home’s Content Development Editor.
Photographer, filmmaker, father, delighted husband and quasi-farmer steeped in urban homestead husbandry, Meeno’s an LA man who makes his art out of the elements that surround him, be it in Hollywood or the old parts of Hanoi. He likes language, broken or shining but always verging toward song, and digs the visual branding he gets to do with rock stars, actors, politicians, magazines, and companies of all persuasions. He likes to travel the world with his wife and kids, taking pictures of everything.
Kelly is an author of three books, a producer, freelance writer, and television personality. She has appeared on Martha Stewart Living and The Today Show, as well as in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times, The Guardian and others. Kelly is also a feature film and documentary producer in Los Angeles. She received her Masters in Professional Writing from University of California and she lives in Southern California with her five children.
Jessica lives in Highland Park, Los Angeles and specializes in photographing interesting homes and the people who dwell within them. She believes every home has a story worth telling. Her photographs have been published online and in numerous print magazines including, Elle Decor, Goop, Apartment Therapy, The Huffington Post and Domino.
Elif Cercel is a writer and a nonnative Angeleno. As a journalist for an international news service, she covered breaking news, as well as film releases, major festivals and award shows. During that time, Elif had the opportunity to interview countless celebrities and newsmakers. In addition to writing, Elif is a freelance media consultant for a range of nonprofit, entertainment and corporate clients. She has a Masters Degree in International Relations from Columbia University and is fluent in Spanish, Turkish, French and Italian.
Shaun Lang is a Los Angeles based commercial advertising photographer who began his career in documentary/adventure motorsports photography. His projects have taken him to Australia, New Zealand, India, UAE, and South America (ask him about the time he collapsed from altitude sickness on his motorcycle at 15,500ft. crossing the Andes). His work has appeared in Ultimate Motorcycling Magazine, Dirt Rider, Elle, Elle Girl, Glamourous, and Sakura Magazine.
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Born and raised in Long Beach, CA. Jaye studied Sustainable Engineering at Stanford and currently works at Emeco as a Product Development Engineer, making chairs out of recycled materials. She lives and surfs in Venice Beach, CA.
BR I E F I N G
electric human by MARIE LOOK
Electric Human founder, Amanda Hayward
Below: Incense Gift Collection. Right: Moonlight Candle Bottom right: The Box by Electric Human
Electric Human, a new Los Angeles based company that creates and curates special gifts charged with energy, purpose and intention opens its first concept shop in West Hollywood this November. Founded by creative polymath Amanda Hayward, electric human was born out of the her long-held belief that gift giving sparks an electric connection capable of bringing people closer together through expressions of love, understanding and gratitude — all fundamental elements that make us human. The company’s flagship product, a gift collection called The Box, launched earlier this year, was designed to transmit positive energy to anyone who receives it. The Box’s six energetic gifts include a selenite crystal, a bar of felted wool soap, a sandal and basil scented candle, four sticks of palo santo and two vials of aromatherapeutic oil and bath crystals. Since launch, electric human has added a number of thoughtful a la carte offerings, termed molecular gifts, that can be purchased outside of the boxed collections. All items are carefully made and selected, allnatural and handcrafted in the United States, aside from the crystals, which are ethically sourced from Morocco. Visitors to electric human’s concept shop can expect the 1,200 sqft space to be a wondrous galaxy full of modern gifts, events and experiences that delve into the transformative powers of human expression, connection and energy. Hayward has created electric human and the concept shop as a way to help redefine and reinvigorate the timeless experience of gift giving. Electric Human Los Angeles Show Gallery 1515 N. Gardner St. Nov. 3-11 electrichuman.com
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armadillo Australian rug company, Armadillo & Co, opened its first U.S. flagship store on the renowned Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles this spring. The 2,000-square-foot showroom is inviting, clean and bright with 18-ft ceilings and beautiful exposed brick walls. The space reflects the ethos behind the brand of creating rugs that are as practical as they are uncommonly beautiful, timelessly elegant yet unquestionably designed for everyday use. The beautiful, bright and open space features a specially commissioned tree installation by LA-based artist, Pontus Willfors. Founded in 2009 by Jodie Fried and Sally Pottharst, Armadillo & Coâ€™s 100% hand-woven rugs are made by master artisans in India. Their core focus is to sustain age-old methods through a contemporary design process. Each rug is produced using Fair Trade practices with natural and sustainable fibres. In addition to designing beautiful rugs, Jodie and Sally founded the non-for-profit Armadillo & Co Foundation in early 2017 as the philanthropic arm of their business. The foundations sole mission and purpose is to enhance the lives of the community through the provision of educational, health and community structures. The Armadillo & Co Foundation supports social responsibility projects in underprivileged communities in India, where they are responsible for paying the running costs of a school, run a scholarship program and a local medical clinic. Armadillo & Co 8715 Wilshire Blvd Beverly Hills CA 90211 usa.armadillo-co.com
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Tree installation by Pontus Willfors
BR I E F I N G
Wishlist Mojo Round Pouf by Cali Bamboo uses eco-friendly materials with traditional weaving techniques. $172
Alex Table with Moonstone Texture by Madeline Stuart. Custom made 12-14 weeks $6995 Wrap Chair by Natasha Baradaran from her ANDRO collection, inspired by the classic Diane von Furstenberg dress.
Blendy Armchair designed by Omi Tahara for DePadova, and available at Boffi Los Angeles. $5,473
Minotti Ring Table $2,808. Available at Minotti, LA.
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Nula Light infused with both modern and organic elements, from designer Lisa McDennonâ€™s collection for Hinkley Lighting.
Room+Board partnered with the US Forest Service for this reclaimed wood McKean Console Table as part of their Urban Wood Project. $1099
A-list interior designer Trip Haenisch releases his debut book Personal Space, with a Foreword written by his client, actress Courteney Cox.
The cantilevered Newson Aluminum Chair, synthesizes simplicity, material and precision, in the Modernist tradition. $933
Tartan design rug from the Vivienne Westwood Highland range for The Rug Company. Handknotted Tibetan wool. From $2040.
Adventurous cotton prints from Frann PrestonGannon exploring the Amazon rainforest and jungle themes. From Villa Nova Picturebook Collection, part of the Romo Group.
Limited edition ceramic table lamp from a BZIPPY and Brook Perdigon collaboration. $1200
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In this issue, our showcase of artisans is curated by Jaime Derringer, founder of Design Milk, and it features a selection of the many craftspeople who work in and around Los Angeles.
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M A K E R S
Realizing that every material has a grain, a strength and a weakness, an origin and an end, Taylorâ€™s work seamlessly combines materials with different and oftentimes opposing properties.â€Ż Exploiting these differences allows him to design architectural connections that highlight the differing materials and allow them to become physically and visually stronger than they are alone. The resulting heightened strength allows for moments of structural defiance such as the appearance of weightlessness or flotation and increased functionality.
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(WH)ORE HAUS studios
MEYGHAN HILL (wh)ORE HAüS STUDIOS was founded in 2012 by Meyghan Hill, a former model who decided to take power into her own hands by picking up a welding torch. The result is a 4000 sq ft furniture design and fabrication studio based in downtown Los Angeles. Meyghan offers a wide range of products from her restraint collection, small goods, to one-of-a-kind pieces for residential and commercial spaces. At first a tongue-incheek play on the word “ore”, the name (wh)ORE HAüS STUDIOS derived from the definition of the word “ore”: n. a source from which valuable matter (as metal) is extracted.
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M A K E R S
Jory Brigham is a California-born artist, designer and builder with a passion for creating lasting works by hand. Growing up among generations of woodworkers and craftsmen, Jory discovered his own creative voice within the family trade at an early age. Though his artistic inspiration pulls from decades throughout the twentieth century, many of Jory’s designs play with colors and textures to pair unique perspectives with classic, mid-century balance. Jory now creates in his dream shop located in Paso Robles, California, where he pulls inspiration from the beautiful landscape that surrounds him. He loves sharing his knowledge and space while teaching workshops for woodworking and furniture design, along with running his primary furniture business. His main motivation is to show his two children the value of hard work and passion for their chosen career path, while constantly growing personally and pushing the limits as an artist.
BRANDON MORRISON Brandon Morrison is the designer and maker at whyrHymer, his furniture and lighting brand. All work is designed and made in their Los Angeles workshop and sold through their showroom at 138 North LaBrea. They work in all mediums â€“ from blown glass, metal work, stone, upholstery, and of course, wood. whyrHymer has shipped pieces abroad and all over the US, in addition to recently completing two furniture packages for Found hotels, Chicago and Boston. whyrHymer is constantly evolving and partnering with companies and designers like Built Inc. and The HWood group to be a part of the constant reshaping of LA.
M A K E R S
NICK SHERIDAN, DAN WACHOLDER, BRET ENGLANDER Cerno designs and manufactures modern lighting in California. Their goal is to produce a quality product, by quality people, in a quality environment, and to share these products with you. Featured here is their Lenis Linear Pendant.
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Matt Gagnon founded his eponymous multifaceted design studio in 2002 after a number of years working under famed architects Frank Gehry and Gaetano Pesce. Having worked on significant projects, Gagnon himself has become a master at intersecting materials, light and form to create designs that leave an indelible imprint on their environments. Working out of his workshop and design studio in Los Angeles, Gagnon and his team are adept at conceptualizing designs that transcend scale, where a table lamp easily becomes the base structure of an imagined 35-story residential tower, and wooden latticed screens built in his studio form the building blocks of his largescale amorphous knit structures. Gagnon’s latest collection of limited edition floor lamps exemplifies his academic yet experimental approach to scale, form and materiality. Painstakingly assembled by hand, the Light Stacks series explores the play of light against a wide range of materials such as brass, concrete and white oak. While Gagnon envisions these collectible Light Stacks to compliment any residential or commercial space, the design ethos behind them allows for a much larger-scaled application, reinterpreted as impressive art and architectural light installations.
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M A K E R S
Bari Ziperstein graduated with her Master of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts and worked primarily in studio-based sculpture and experimental public art. When she began to incorporate ceramic elements into her sculptures, she wanted to find a way to use the scrap material that was cast aside in the process. Combining small, flat ceramic shapes and beads with strands of natural and dyed leather and suede, she crafted eclectic necklaces. It wasnâ€™t long before BZippy & Co. came to life as a full line of functional ceramics that also included lamps, coasters and vases. Today, Bariâ€™s studio work is recognized by art and design galleries alike, and has been featured in numerous one-person and group gallery and museum exhibitions.
DESI G N ER
S P OTLI GH T
KERRY JOYCE | the intangible Celebrated interior designer, KERRY JOYCE, shares his experience in designing tranquil and refined interiors, including images from his forthcoming book, The Intangible.
Kerry Joyce Principal, Kerry Joyce Associates
erry Joyce opened his Los Angeles design firm following a successful career as an Art Director for film and television. A master of crafting cohesive design stories, Joyce is celebrated as one of the top interior designers in the country. A testament to his impeccable design sense, Joyce has received a broad array of honors from some of the most highly regarded organizations in design and entertainment, including an Emmy award for set decoration, and a number of nationally regarded best design lists. Joyce’s work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, WSJ Magazine, World of Interiors and Veranda magazine, amongst others. In addition to his lauded interior projects, Joyce has channeled his diverse talents into several highly regarded furniture, lighting and rug collections. Most recently his firm introduced Kerry Joyce Textiles, whose fabrics and wallpapers mirror the firm’s refined aesthetic, combining his powerful visual perspective, with reduced historical reference and nuanced color palette.
Kerry Joyce Associates embodies a passion for timeless design and flawless execution. Led by one of the country’s most celebrated designers, Kerry Joyce, the firm’s various projects have received notable acclaim and articulate a unique and unparalleled design sense, seamlessly marrying fine materials, clean lines and sophisticated textures, emboldened by a touch of glamour. The work of Kerry Joyce Associates spans a variety of aesthetics – always imaginative, refined and exquisite.
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DESI G N ER
S P OTLI GH T
Tim Street Porter
Emmy Award-winning designer, Kerry Joyce, is known for the refined elegance and quiet classicism that unite his varied houses and interiors, as well as his collections of textiles, furniture, and rugs. His debut book spans a fascinating career, celebrating a unique, warm design sense that seeks always to turn houses into homes—to achieve the Intangible through the creation of tranquility and balance. The book covers eight homes in a surprising range of styles, from modern to traditional, urban to rustic, period restorations to entirely newly imagined houses that feel as though they are just as authentic. In addition, a charming introduction describes Joyce’s unusual path to becoming a designer, with thoughtful essays on each part of his work, from houses to interiors to his products. A special view into the creative process of an influential and multi-talented designer. You’ve named your new book ‘The Intangible’, which in one sense would mean something that is hard to define. Why do you feel that is an appropriate title to sum up your interior design? I always set to create an environment that evokes a feeling of wellbeing. And if I have done my job right, I accomplish this feeling where everything feels balanced and no one element is the star. It is this feeling of tranquility and rightness that is my first goal. It is the “the intangible”.
Written by Kerry Joyce with Lisa Light Foreword by Whitney Robinson Editor in Chief Elle Decor published by Pointed Leaf Press Available November 2018.
What typifies a sense of balance and tranquility in the layout of a room? I compose and balance my rooms as if they were a painting, or imagine if you will, in theatre when the curtain goes up on act one what do you see, you see a stage picture composed and balanced. I take care in my arrangement of furniture and the architectural elements to appear at rest, to contribute to the success of the overall composition. I make sure that all of my choices are properly proportioned, nothing too big or too small. In the creation of that balance are you limited in your choice of decor or color? There are no limits. I am largely a lover of tonal environments, but I am not afraid of color and will do whatever is correct to realize my interiors. I consider the rooms that I do on a good day to be art. The gestures, strokes, and decisions I make are largely intuitive but informed by my love of composition, history, and beauty. I am inspired by my clients and filter their ideas through my eye with the goal of creating a special and unique home for them. As you can see in my book, I enjoy working in diverse styles and love it when clients brings something new to me that I have done not before. How would you suggest someone start to create a harmonious space? What elements do they include? There are many elements that are important in creating that special feeling. When I design a new room, I first compose the room to be balanced and at rest. I make sure to exploit the garden views, this grounding of nature is very important to me. I take great care to place technical necessities in locations where they are not distracting, placed in the wrong spot they can break the mood. I would also suggest carefully lighting the room, I am fond of reflected light (it is the most flattering) and I try to keep recessed lights to a minimum as they tend to be harsh. Make sure to carefully choose the accessories to feel personal and collected over time. I choose furniture that has a beautiful silhouette and fine finishing. If you care about all of these elements you will achieve a sense of tranquility and rightness. You will achieve a feeling that is much larger than the simple sum of these parts, and that feeling will allow for harmony to fill your home.
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DESI G N ER
S P OTLI GH T
ulloo 42 Transforming furniture and lighting into vivid, colorful designs, SUZANNE CURRIE and LISE ABRAHAM produce unique pieces, which are both artistic and functional.
“I love looking at Haute Couture fashion shows. I think of the furniture as couture pieces.”
Artist, Suzanne Currie, and business visionary, Lise Abraham, are the English duo behind Ulloo42. They had been friends for many years before they decided to become business partners. During the period that they shared a house, from 2012-2014, they started collaborating on interior design and were amazed at how like-minded and intuitively they worked together. Ulloo42 happened organically, over time, with an idea of ‘art-cycling’, re-purposing furniture by using Suzanne’s artwork in a variety of ways. Suzanne combines pattern and collage to form bold designs. She crafts each item individually, drawing on her travels in Africa and her background as a figurative painter. She looks for furniture, materials and inspiration everywhere, spending days, and often nights, working on pieces in her studio, only occasionally needing the help of an upholsterer. Typically, each piece takes around 2 weeks to complete and they do accept commissions. “I get my ideas everywhere,” says Suzanne. “Inspiration is in the most unlikely places. I love looking at haute couture fashion shows, for example. I think of the furniture as couture pieces.” Is it Art or is it Function? “Well it’s both really. My art is the basis of a lot of the items we are making, and most of those are functional home pieces,” says Suzanne. “We think it is both Art and Function, the best of both worlds! Furniture should be comfortable to sit on but also make a statement in your home and bring you pleasure when you look at it,” says Lise. “The same principle for the smaller items like the earrings – you can wear them, and you can take pleasure from the beauty and the happiness that they bring to you, the wearer.”
Lise Abraham and Suzanne Currie
Revamping second-hand furniture into unique ‘couture’ pieces of fun, quickly evolved into much more. Now they have wallpaper, fabric and jewelry. The quirky Ulloo42 designs appeal to different people on different levels. Designers love the furniture for its uniqueness, museums love the smaller colorful items for their gift stores. Everyone loves a funky wallpaper or fabric and everyone loves a fabulous earring! “In California right now we see the trend towards neutrals, black and white with pops of color. In England, people also like that but they are more willing to experiment with a lot of color and some unusual pieces of furniture.” says Lise. As the financier and director of operations, Lise manages the business from her base in Europe and frequent visits to Newport Beach, which is where they have their studio. As they continue to grow, they are beginning to experiment with art on different surfaces. Their aim is to launch a line in England and exhibit at some of the prominent European Trade Shows in the near future.
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five TEXTILE DESIGNERS
In a regular series of Favorite Things, five Textile Designers showcase their favorite designs.
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T EXT I L E DESI GNER
Tiger & Magpie Fabric in Carmine “I chose Krane Home Tiger & Magpie fabric because it has protective powers. Our textiles are created from my paintings, which are inspired by Korean art. Ancient works depicting tigers protected the family by warding off danger and evil spirits. I carved and block printed 15” tigers to create this handprinted pattern.”
Sharon Lee kranehome.com
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FAVO R I T ES T EXT I L E DESI GNER
“This design is a reflection on my studying art, painting and print making in Paris and Amsterdam as a young man. ‘ASSEMBLAGE’ (shown here in the Shrimp & Cranberry color-way), recalls the graphic interconnecting shapes of color devised by Picasso, Braque, and Matisse in post-war France. It conjures up their collages, paintings, and cut paper of the period.”
Thomas Callaway thomascallaway.com
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T EXT I L E DESI GNER
“I was inspired by the beauty, texture and simplicity of geometric, tribal designs throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The collection also plays with repetitions of shapes, colors, and textures from the region that reflect the land, water, and terrain.”
Kerry Joyce kerryjoyce.com
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FAVO R I T ES T EXT I L E DESI GNER
Photo: (fabric) George Barberis, (portrait) Gia Goodrich
Caroline Cecil carolinececiltextiles.com
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“At Caroline Cecil Textiles, we strive to produce textiles that celebrate the handmade and which are meaningful, beautiful and unique. We employ a ‘seed to showroom’ production process – all of our fabrics originate from my India Ink paintings and are hand printed in California onto the finest linens. Our HANNU pattern was inspired by carvings on the statue of an Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh and it is the perfect fabric for upholstery or draperies.”
T EXT I L E DESI GNER
Photo: Jared Richard
“Of all the patterns in my collection, Indos was the most fun to design. Inspired by esoteric Indonesian textiles and ancient Greek designs from a trip to the Getty Villa, INDOS is a labyrinth of structured and organic shapes. It is my modern take on the traditional floral, and I believe it’s a unique addition to the market.”
Brook Perdigon brookperdigontextiles.com
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LA /HOME SHOWCASES ART, PHOTOGRAPHY, INTERIOR DESIGN, PRODUCT DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE, AS WELL AS INSPIRATIONAL HOME TOURS IN LOS ANGELES. AVAILABLE ONLINE AND THROUGHOUT LOS ANGELES ON NEWSSTANDS AND AT WHOLE FOODS, SPROUTS, BARNES & NOBLE, FRYâ€™S ELECTRONICS, PHARMACA AND INDEPENDENDENT BOOKSTORES.
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4 PRINTED DIGITAL ISSUES - $25 LAHOMEMAG.COM/SUBSCRIPTION
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THE LEAN RACHOU HOME
east side story British culinary expert, LUCY LEAN and her French composer husband DIDIER LEAN RACHOU, look to their European influences to create a harmonious life in Los Angeles. BY ELIF CERCEL PHOTOGRAPHY BY IRWIN MILLER AND MEENO
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FE L I Z
ike the 75 year-old olive tree she planted in her garden, British home cook, writer and lifestyle maven Lucy Lean has laid down roots and is thriving in LA with her composer husband Didier Lean Rachou and their two teenage children. Much like that tree, Lean is graceful, well loved and endlessly giving, and the Los Feliz home she shares with her family is an expression of her life and passions.
Lucy and Didier Lean Rachou
Despite its contemporary, angular design, theirs is more than the typical modern California property, which sometimes can feel austere and cold. It blends aspects of LA living that the couple loves, a mix of their respective British and French heritage and their passion for Provence. The result is an inviting and inspiring environment to live, work and share with friends. The couple has owned the house that sits on a corner lot on a verdant, hillside street in this east LA enclave since 2013. The neighborhood, with its reputation for attracting creative types, suits Lean, who is working on her follow-up book, Lean in America, and a TV pilot, and her husband, an acclaimed film and television composer, perfectly.
Opposite Top: Gallery wall includes The Schoolroom lithograph by Vanessa Bell, (sister of Virginia Woolf and member of the Bloomsbury Group) – this lithograph hung in Lean’s grandmother’s drawing room, embroidered Leonard Cohen quotation by Eloise Scotland, feather print by Deborah Trainer, Saul Bass film poster for Love in the Afternoon, giant wooden red ‘A’ resting against wall made by Lean for Minty’s nursery (A for Araminta), David Hockney, A Bigger Book with stand in foreground. Below: Black and white portrait of Minty below and to the right black and white portrait of Rémy both taken in art class at the Lycée International, pink lips limited edition print by Terry Richardson, rhino poster for art gallery in Ménerbes Provence, colorful multi-media collage A is for Alfredo by Lulu de Kwiatkowski/LuluDK that Lean won at a school silent auction, small still life painting at top was painted by Minty when she was in Kindergarten, on piano eggs sketch for a painting by Lean in art class at LACMA, pink flowers painted by Caroline Graham, film poster for Paris When it Sizzles, starring William Holden and Audrey Hepburn.
The family spends each summer in Provence and their love of that sun-drenched corner of Southern France runs deep. It stands to reason, as Lean, great-niece of legendary film director David Lean (“Lawrence of Arabia”) spent much of her youth there and also met her husband in Cannes, whilst staying with her Great Aunt, Lady Lean, David’s widow. If she wasn’t living in LA, she likes to say, that’s where she would be. “I spend my year counting down to our trips to Provence. It’s part of us,” she says. “There’s something about it in the light, the food, in everything. You just can’t find the same anywhere.” Yet Lean has managed to do exactly that. She has infused a French-ness to her home that is not sentimental or garish, and is in step with the home’s airy, modern design. This is what she does best and the reason she is a successful author (Made in America: Our Best Chefs Reinvent Comfort Food), and the creator of the popular lifestyle website, lucylean.com. Whether writing, cooking or decorating, Lean has a knack for putting together eclectic elements to create a fresh and modern effect. Less art-collector and more art-lover, she’s found clever ways to use her home’s modern architecture as a blank canvas to showcase treasures she has collected all her life. “I love finding things, whether it’s an antique glass or a picture for the wall,” she explains. “It doesn’t have to be the most expensive piece of art. It could even be something my daughter has drawn. But it has to speak to me.” So, her child’s painting hangs above the dining table with a lithograph by Virginia Woolf ’s sister, Vanessa Bell, that Lean purchased in London. It happens to be the same image that hung over her late grandmother’s mantle. “Every piece in this house has a story,” Lean says. The art on the walls are often conversation pieces at the couple’s frequent dinner parties for friends and neighbors. It’s a lifestyle that might
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Opposite (From top left to right) Vintage glasses and flags on kitchen window. Boat found in a Provence Brocante. Whimsical guinea pig and bird pepper pots. Silver toast rack and rabbit. Bookshelves. Lean on deck. Entrance way with loquats hanging above. Striped olive oil containers and handmade lavender wands. Master Bedroom with mural by Susan Harter Hanging acrylic bubble chair with Jonathan Adler Union flag pillow. This page (Clockwise) Rémy Lean Rachou with one of his beloved guinea pigs, Pignoli. Custom family watercolor portrait by Jennifer Vallez with black and white photo of Lean’s late grandmother tucked in corner. Minty’s Crosley record player and vinyl. Minty Lean Rachou. Rémy’s collection of figures displayed in a vintage wooden printers tray on his dresser Minty’s polaroid collage and Palace tag on her bedroom wall.
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FE L I Z View of house, garden and pool from roof terrace
Pool with avocado, apricot and apple trees in garden
Top: Dining table set for dinner party, napkins by Pom Pom at Home (neighbor), which seem to go up in flames regularly at dinner parties, rather too often for such beautiful Belgian linen! Carl Hansen wishbone chairs in white – Lucy wanted one in every color but Didier vetoed this idea. Left: Caviar with crème fraîche served on a potato chip - inspired by Chef Daniel Boulud at a late night after party at Pebble Beach. Summer tomatoes, pomegranate and French feta salad on French vintage ironstone plate from Vintageweave. Ottolenghi chicken with roasted vegetables, garlic and steamed green beans served on a Sophia Conran for Portmeirion white plate with Laguiole silverware. Two tiered Pavlova topped with summer fruit.
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FE L I Z
Front yard inspired by a garden in Provence, with lavender, box, camellias, gardenias and an olive tree.
Didier with his beloved Citroën 2CV.
belong in a provincial setting where people take the time to get to know each other. It’s one that Lean relishes and has turned into her life’s work. She loves nothing better than to cook, test recipes and bond with guests in her open-plan kitchen that is the epicenter of life not just for the family but her entire street.
When they landed in LA, the Lean Rachou’s first home was a 50s cottage in the Hollywood Hills that now serves as Didier’s studio. It was small but had lots of history and personality from the get-go. “The cypress trees and the view from our hill reminded me of Les Alpes-Maritimes above Cannes,” Lean Rachou says about the house where Chet Baker and Miles Davis once made music. “We stayed there as long as we could until the children needed more space but we never wanted to lose it.”
“We call ourselves the Nella Vista Social Club and we are the best of friends,” Lean says. “I feel so lucky to have my neighbors,” Screen legends and sisters Olivia De Havilland and Joan Fontaine once lived next door – confirmed by daughter and friend Gisèle Galante who Lean recently introduced to her neighbor at a party. Guests are friends first, but often happen to be big names in their own worlds, whether it’s cooking, film, television or some other pursuit. Many are expats themselves, who are drawn to Lean and her husband’s easy, understated style. Longtime friend and child actor turned photographer, Meeno Peluce’s late father was a neighbor. So is Hilde Leiaghat, owner of the luxury linen brand Pom Pom at Home whose Belgian linens, throws and pillows are scattered throughout Lean’s home. A fearless hostess, Lean is never daunted, not even by the parade of celebrity chefs that come through her kitchen, except maybe once, she says, when she cooked lunch for Nancy Silverton, Josiah Citrin and Waylynn Lucas (Cupcake Wars). In fact, she loves it when Silverton comes over during parties to smell and touch her homemade breads and ask where the cheese comes from. Lean’s parties range from small, intimate gatherings to glitzy industry events like the couple’s ASCAP Foundation Award launch party earlier this year. Lean Rachou is a highly respected composer and was named ASCAP TV Composer of the Year in 2017. 18 years ago, he traveled from New York to LA to attend the prestigious ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop and shortly afterwards the couple relocated. Now the couple feels compelled to give back to others through their foundation prize.
“This house is the opposite. It’s a large white modern box that we have added color to!” says Lean. In fact, the couple didn’t change much about the original structure, only adding an outdoor kitchen where Lean loves to grill, a deck with a view of downtown and a Provenceinspired garden with lavender and the olive tree. They introduced character by hanging a mix of photos, posters and bright paintings on the walls. Among them are works from Ménerbes, where they found their summer home, and a poster from the Cannes Film Festival in 1996, the year they met. “When we found this place it had everything we needed,” Lean Rachou adds. “It had space, a view and it had potential. And it had a feel for us.” For Lean, the draw was the garden, filled with mature fruit trees: apple, avocado, jujube, loquat, passion fruit, orange, kumquat, fig, persimmon, and even macadamia nut. “This is what sold me on our house. It reminded me of my Grande Tante’s house where I was staying when I met Didier.” These same trees and the house they adorn are now helping Lean write the next chapter in their story.
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Dinner party guests included: (clockwise) Heidi and Irwin Miller Amber and Jason Alper Elif Cercel Caroline Graham Outdoor entertaining deck with fire-pit looking out to Downtown.
Back of the house and pool at night.
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Host, Didier Lean Rachou Hostess, Lucy Lean Rachou with Ilse Ackerman Minty Lean Rachou Meeno Mark Castellino
mid-century modern family JOANNE and JEFFREY LORD have styled their Mid-Century Modern French Regency home with lovingly curated classics and vintage finds. BY KELLY WOYAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY JESSICA ISAAC
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We love entertaining with great food and drink, swimming and games – and this is where it happens. ‘The Parisian’ built in 1963. Custom sweeping metal, Mansard roof shades the originally tiled L-shape deck, which provides the ultimate indoor/outdoor 53 living. Pair of Savonarola Throne Lion Head Chairs. Brass Thai Sitting Buddha purchased on one of our family trips to Thailand. Jurassic Ferns and Giant Birds of Paradise have been here since the house was L A Original H O M E |built-in F A L L /cabanas W I N T E with R 2 0Missoni 18 built. for Target sling sectional seating. Falster by Ikea patio furniture.
S HE RMA N
Kelly Wearstler Crescent wallpaper. JoAnneâ€™s favorite color is gold! Ligne Roset Ploum Sofa. Eames Surfboard coffee table which weâ€™ve had for over 20 years, and one of our first mid-century purchases. Knoll Platner Arm Chairs. Egg Collective Harvey Mirror.
Vintage Hermes scarf circa 1980. Vintage Mid-Century Gilded Wheat Sheaf coffee table. Eames Rocker by Modernica. Case Study Ceramics Planter. Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman; Jeff purchased this when we were living in Philadelphia in 2000. This classic chair has been with us in 4 homes. Our French Bulldog, Luc has now taken it over as his dog bed.Saarinen side table. Missoni pillows and throw on vintage Regency brass leg bench.
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oco Chanel once said, “Luxury must be comfortable otherwise it is not luxury.”
The iconic European designer is one of JoAnne Wannarachue Lord’s great fashion inspirations. JoAnne, co-founder and designer of Mali and Lili, a chic handbag and accessories company made with vegan - friendly materials, and her husband Jeffrey Lord, Vice President for a Swiss medical device company, sought to achieve just that when they found ‘The Parisian’. This MidCentury Modern, French Regency home, nestled in the hills of Sherman Oaks, was named by the La Tourette Family for which it was built. It was originally featured on the cover of ‘Home Builders Journal’ in 1964 and in a spread of ‘Millionaire Magazine’ a year later. “We fell in love with it the second we saw it,” explains Jeffrey. “We had just finished remodeling our first home in Los Angeles, (a mid-century modern home in Eagle Rock), and we were looking for more space, a pool and something closer to our work…JoAnne was eight months pregnant with our first daughter and we wanted to find a great community to raise our family. When we found “The Parisian”, we knew we found something special.” The home is impressive in its originality and design. It was built in 1963, and decorated under the watchful eye of Robert Weaver Stevens, whose creative architectural elements are still intact in the home today, thanks to Jeffrey and JoAnne’s consideration of keeping true to the home’s edgy and unique features. “We have been really careful in our design discussions with architects to select a look and feel that updates, but does not conflict, with the home’s original intent,” says Jeffrey. The home is perched up off the street with a 23-degree slope, allowing just enough elevation to enjoy expansive valley views and lipstick sunsets. “The moment the gate opened and we drove up onto the property we immediately felt relaxed, like we escaped and were pulling into our own private resort, and starting a vacation. It has a very Palm Springs feeling. The pool and cabanas are in the front of the property with the L-Shaped house and grounds framed around it,” says Jeffrey.
Top: Framed Pucci silk scarf above bamboo bar cart and Chinoiserie Vase. Below: Framed Pucci silk scarf. Modernica Eames storage unit. Julius Schulman signed book set, Modernisn Rediscovered. Jonathan Adler Peacock lollipop holder adds a whimsical touch. The kids and their friends love it! Bronze owl sculpture was gifted to Jeff from an Aunt living in China for Jeff ’s collection of owls. Owls are seen as sacred guardians and also represent wisdom in many cultures.
Palm Springs is known for its breezy, glamorous architectural style. The Lord’s home mirrors that of Los Angeles’ desert oasis, famous with the old Hollywood elite, with its clean lines and original custom concrete block wall that encircles the structure. The pattern serves as a natural accent wall and provides functional and artistic framing of the windows. It offsets the sundrenched light that pours into the private guest suite, office and family room. An effortless flow between the indoor and outdoor living spaces is made possible through the large deck that runs along the perimeter of the home, accentuated by the custom Mansard roof that drapes over it. Lush landscaping create a fortress of towering Birds of Paradise, vibrant Jurassic ferns and sturdy Bamboo, which transforms the front yard into a spectacular, showstopping entrance. It is precisely what the Lords love about this grand introduction, because it lends itself to not only as a perfect home to entertain in, but also as a playful, color-infused space for the couple’s two children Mali, 12 and Lili, 7. Jeffrey says, “We love to cook and entertain, and the setting and layout of the home provides our guests with the same enjoyment we experience. They often say it feels like being on vacation.”
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Mali’s Bedroom: 4 poster canopy trundle bed gifted by Grandma to Mali for her 4th birthday. Modern lacquer desk. Lucite desk chair.
Lili’s Bedroom: ‘Welcome to the Dreamhouse’. Her favorite pastime; relaxing on her pink chaise and playing games on her iPod. Her built-in Murphy ‘magic’ bed folds down.
JoAnne’s keen eye as a fashion executive is obvious through the meaningful details of vintage and contemporary accessories that are strategically used throughout the home. A luxurious gold, (JoAnne’s favorite color), Crescent print wallpaper is by Kelly Wearstler, whom JoAnne routinely looks to for style inspiration. “I love how she pairs contemporary and vintage, raw and refined. She also uses natural materials, textures and colors, along with elements of nature, such as stone, luxe woods, patina metals and other unique modern finishes,” says JoAnne. She’s also inspired by European fashion icons Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Gucci, while Jeffrey prefers the minimalistic approach to design. JoAnne adds, “While we each have our own style, we share and appreciate a similar aesthetic.” The duality in their aesthetic tastes is present everywhere. In the living room hangs a stunning vintage Hermes scarf, circa 1980, a gift from JoAnne’s French family, and a lovely reflection of the family’s travels to the south of France. Below it stands a shiny and black upright lacquer piano – a gift to Mali and Lili from JoAnne’s parents. Directly across sits the classically constructed Eames rocker by Modernica, yet another gift from Jeffrey’s mother when the couple learned they were pregnant with their first daughter, Mali. Every detail in the home has a backstory, and holds deep meaning to the family. The dining room is an eclectic mash-up of past and present, with its inspiring mix of timeless pieces such as the grand Anthologie Cellula Swarovski crystal chandelier that radiates warm hues of color throughout. It’s an important piece for the couple, as it was one of the first purchases they made for the home when they moved in 12 years ago. But perhaps the real star is the original custom oval dining table, motorized to transform into a coffee or dining table height. Everything is anchored by the impressive decorative concrete screen wall that stands right behind it. JoAnne’s fashion finds are evident once again in the perfectly placed and colorful Gucci throw pillows, a gift from JoAnne’s mom.
“Luc” French Bulldog mosaic which Mali made in her art class in 2015, when she was 9 years old.
Mali and Lili, and Luc, the family’s beloved French bulldog, all have their special imprints throughout the home, including framed childhood artwork and special pieces collected through their global travels. In the family room is an especially loved piece - a simple Sodura Aero kids table. “We’ve had this table for over 10 years, it has now become a coffee table in our family room. We can not let it go, so many fond memories of our girls playing multiple hours, coloring, playing and crafting here,” remembers JoAnne. Mali’s room is a playful mix of warm and bright tones, and she clearly inherits her parent’s taste for meaningful objects. Vintage brass mother and child giraffe pieces stand next to a pretty ceramic French Bull dog lamp, clearly a nod to the family’s fifth member, Luc. Little sister Lili’s
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Master Bedroom: Matthew Williamson Sunbird print on accent wall. Egg Collective Harvey Mirror. Modernica Case Study Bentwood Bed. Gucci Flora pillows. Mathew Williamson Sunbird Palm Print Pillow Case. Study Museum Bench. Jonathan Adler Sculptures: elephant and owl.
Anthologie Cellula Swarovski crystal chandelier. Gucci GG and Flora print pillows. Eames for Herman Miller Molded Lounge Chairs. Custom Oval dining table, original to the house, 1963. Repousse Rams Head Anglo-Indian Regency Chairs, reupholstered with a pop of pink. Original mid-century decorative concrete screen wall. Designer Architectâ€™s Hexagon Sunburst ceiling design under skylight.
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S HE RMA N
Original 1963 kitchen, soon to be updated. Knoll Bertoia Barstools. Gucci GG throw pillows from the 80s.
Repousse Rams Head AngloIndian Regency Chairs.
room is dreamy and whimsical with all her favorite toys situated on the shelf above her built-in Murphy “magic” bed. Jeffrey and JoAnne’s master suite is an even more personal space, and is their self-described “haven”. A Matthew Williamson Sunbird Palm print accent wall is a clear focal point in a room that mixes various colors and textures through its eye-popping Gucci Flora pillows, Regency doors, another concrete block wall and Jonathan Adler elephant and owl sculptures. It’s these small but significant details that helps anyone who walks into the Lord home, understand where their lives began and where they are now. And even, perhaps where they might be headed. For Jeffrey and JoAnne, their fates intertwined as juniors at the University of Washington when they were assigned to study together. Soon thereafter, they began to date for several years, sometimes long distance. But when their lives took them to the East Coast and eventually to the Los Angeles area, they’ve never looked back. They would eventually marry, not surprisingly, in Palm Springs. Their celebration was held at the infamous Twin Palms, the swanky estate designed for Frank Sinatra in 1947.
A few designs from the Mali + Lili collection of handbags available at Nordstrom and boutiques across the country. JoAnne launched her brand one year ago and it has been very well received. The brand continues to grow and there are plans to expand to other product categories. The bags are designed in LA and made of Peta-approved Vegan Leather. The chic bags are perfect for day into evening and allow the multi-tasking woman to be hands-free when needed.
From the beginning to the present, The Lords have been aligned in not only their aesthetics, and family values, but also in their philanthropic quests. JoAnne is a passionate supporter of women’s health issues and breast cancer research, while Jeffrey frequently donates to national and international healthcare organizations which are devoted to the improvement of one’s quality of life. For the Lord family, life continues to move them into transformative directions, including the next phase of their home remodel. This fall, they will embark on a massive kitchen overhaul, with a design plan that will once again pay close attention to the home’s original 1963 details, and a bedroom expansion for their younger daughter Lili. Jeffrey continues his team and product expansion and JoAnne’s success with her Mali and Lili handbag line is leading her to broaden into a multi-category lifestyle brand. When asked if this is their dream home, the couple replied “We are grateful and blessed to have a home in a community where we are happy and can raise our family in an environment we love. Our dreams change with life, and we look forward to where that may take us. Wherever that is and whatever that looks like, it will provide us the family and entertaining opportunities that bring us joy. Who knows, Palm Spring perhaps
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Top left: A view of the living area on the left and lounge area on the right with the hallway leading to the bedrooms. Top right: Vintage Japanese Ink Abstract Painting; a Rose Bowl Flea Market find. Vintage candleholder customized for door pull.
Center left: Sergio Garval painting (Mexico City), Los Hormigas purchased on vacation in Puerto Vallarta. Bo Concept sofa, Artemide Tolomeo Mega Floor Lamp. Jonathan Adler pillows. Sodura Aero Kids/ coffee table. Blu Dot Hot Mesh Loungers (on deck) allow us to be indoor/outdoor and enjoy the pool view from the home office/den. Center right: Home Office/Den: Original built-ins including desk, shelves and wetbar. Jeff and Mali playing chess on the original tiled built-in desk. Decorative Concrete screen carries throughout the house behind windows. Herman Miller Nelson Swag Leg Chair (white). Right: Detail of the tiled, built-in chess set desk.
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THE ZAPPA HOME
MOTHER OF unconVENTION Artist, actress and energy worker, DIVA ZAPPA, lets intuition be her guide in the renovation of her Toluca Lake home. BY HEIDI MILLER PHOTOGRAPHY BY IRWIN MILLER
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L A K E
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“I built a house for a giant because I want to feel tiny and like the magical creature I am!”
ut the cards, shuffle the deck, do whatever you want with them, and when you feel like they’re ready, hand them back to me and we’ll see what they want to share with you.”
Diva Zappa and Licorice
Actress, artist, clothing designer, energy worker and magical being, Diva Zappa, is about to read my tarot, something at which she is extremely gifted. My eyes wander above her head to the jagged, black flames engulfing the large picture window behind her. “It’s like an explosion. This is what this window always wanted to be. It’s actually similar to what my mom did around an archway at the house I grew up in. So I guess it’s also an ode of sorts.” Her house is chock full of artistic expressions such as these, which is no surprise given her lineage. The youngest child of legendary musician Frank Zappa and his wife, Gail, she grew up submerged in creative energy, fostered by souls who knew how to touch other souls.
The living room and dining room are flooded with light after Diva had raised the level of the space in the recent renovation. Crystals, colorful tiles, and blue tones abound with a custom sofa by Timothy Oulton. Top Left: View of the central living room and kitchen space towards the bedrooms – the scale offers a playful and vibrant design with elements that are uniquely Diva. Bottom Left: The kitchen has the feel of a bohemian loft with a custom organic vent hood against the grey subway tiles. Bottom right: The explosion around the window is an ode to the house in which she grew up. The crystal ball chandelier above the table is by Timothy Oulton. The view leads to the garden and patio.
After her mother’s passing in 2015, Diva was left with some monumental challenges. “I had to learn how to navigate this world without this intensely amazing and strong feminine energy. My mom was ridiculously awesome and such a force, so it’s been interesting to step into my own wings and find my own strength.” Logistically, there were some challenges as well. The family home in which she had grown up and shared with her mother for nearly her entire life was about to be sold. “I went to every single open house in LA and this was the very last house I saw. It was on the market the whole time but never called to me from the outside so I never even considered seeing it.” This changed once she walked in and spotted the gem of the property; an enormous, Keebler-elf-like mulberry tree looming just outside the back door. “My heart exploded. I took a deep breath and thought to myself, ‘I’m home.’” In order to bring the structure up-to-date, she needed to take it down to all but two walls, which presented her with a very interesting opportunity. “There were certain things that I knew I had to do instinctively, like, when we were pouring the foundation, I needed to put crystals in there.” With the help of her dear friend, tarot teacher and crystal expert, Melinda Lee Holm, Diva picked stones that were meaningful to her.
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L A K E
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Opposite: Custom details are found in the staircase leading up the loft space. The tapered bookshelf. A collection of masks ready for use. A ‘falling snow’ installation in her living room. Above: (top row) A movie poster and handwritten note from Cameron Crowe as way of thanks for her work on his film, ELIZABETHTOWN. Vintage Linoleum Assemblage
Artist, Bill Miller’s depiction of her father, Frank Zappa. Drawings by John Kricfalusi, creator of The Ren & Stimpy show. (middle row) A ceramic plate by mixed medium artist, Nathalie Lété. Diva’s art on the wall, both by her and by other artists, is “basically entertainment for me to see how people react, because I think it’s hilarious.” Her friend,
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Mr. Forgery, purchases artwork on the internet and then ‘improves’ it by adding his own special touches. (bottom row) An addition to Diva’s cat collection, found in New Orleans. A photo of Diva and her father sits alongside a childhood headshot of her brother, Ahmet. Brass rabbits and other art pieces are found within the cabinets of the house.
L A K E
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Opposite The salt-water pool and hot tub have hidden selenite crystals embedded into the foundation This page Top: The front gate of the house. Her beloved dog, Licorice, waiting patiently during our visit. Center: The custom tile work transitions from green to pink. These colors can be found throughout the house, an intentional choice, as they are â€œthe colors for your heartâ€?. The smaller bathroom has tiles from Grow House Grow. Bottom: A photo of Diva mounted on wood by Myriam Santos.
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L A K E
Diva’s creativity extends from art to clothing design to knitting. Green cubbied yarn storage runs the entire length of the wall in her upstairs space. Her knitting line ‘Hand Made Beauty’ consists mainly of dresses, hats, ponchos, skirts and capes. Below, she works on her one-mile-long scarf, Emilio. The dress she is wearing is also one of her own designs.
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“I’m not really a crystal person. That’s the interesting thing. But I knew that I wanted to call in creativity and inspiration and connection and to be open – to have support and magic and protection.” Diva scattered an assortment of seed crystals around the perimeter of the house for ideas, added a Herkimer diamond to boost her clairvoyant and clairaudient abilities, and in the heart of the house placed her birthstone, a ruby. “I put selenite crystals in the walls surrounding the front gate so that everyone who walks through it gets blessed, and I also put it in the pool so that when you swim, you get a full bath of cleansing.” The scale of the house is innovative as well. All of her doorknobs are European height except for her front door, which is downright massive, resulting in a doorknob which, quite amusingly, lands directly at her nose. “I built a house for a giant because I want to feel tiny and like the magical creature I am!” she says with a laugh. “My basic rule was, if it isn’t a FUCK YES, then it’s a No. I do the same thing with tarot that I do with every other aspect of my life. Building this house actually helped me tap into the purity of that and trust my intuition, which, in turn, opened up my intuition even more.”
“Whatever your passion is, whatever you’re working on, if you do something towards it, even if it’s a small thing, it adds up. And all of a sudden you’ll wake up and you’ll be like “OMG, I made that. I did this. I’m here. I made my dreams come true.”
There are only a few of things that Diva chose to take with her from the house on Woodrow Wilson Drive; a painting in the kitchen, an embroidery piece hanging over the front door that reads “May all your weeds be wildflowers”, and then there is her very favorite piece: a kitschy, vintage wooden toilet paper holder adorned with the image of a Botticelli-esque maiden, flowers in her hair, sweet smile on her face, and soft eyes gazing both outward and completely non-judgmentally. “Basically, the art that I hang on the walls is just entertainment for me to see how people react because I think it’s hilarious.” And then there is the matter of Emilio, the mile-long scarf that she been knitting for the past 10 years. “I sit in the TV room and work on him while I watch terrible action movies.” To knit a foot a day takes her about 6-8 hours. If she did a foot a day, every day, she would be done in approximately 15 years. “So I have a minimum of 15 more years to complete him.” At present, he’s about 400 feet long and resides in the northeast corner of her TV room, all curled up in a massive heap. But don’t feel bad for Emilio. He does manage to get out once in awhile. “There have been a few times when he’s been on display. He was in London for 6 months without me when he was a baby. He was hanging from the ceiling, barely 40 feet long, in this magical Soho tea shop called Maison Bertaux.” “Knitting is more of a meditation for me than anything else and what you see, especially in Emilio, is that he’s a living journal. It’s also a practice in realizing that every step that you take every day adds up to a beautiful piece of art. Whatever your passion is, whatever you’re working on, if you do something towards it, even if it’s a small thing, it adds up. And all of a sudden you’ll wake up and you’ll be like “OMG, I made that. I did this. I’m here. I made my dreams come true”, because you actually worked for them. It just doesn’t fall in your lap. I mean, sometimes it does, but most of the time you don’t realize how hard you’ve worked for so long and then, all of a sudden, it’s there.” To learn more about Diva’s tarot readings and energy work or to book her for private readings or parties, please visit her at divazappa.com or on Instagram at @magikatarot or @divazappa.
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THE YANTRASAST HOME
a collectorâ€™s dream The home of architect, KULAPAT YANTRASAST, is a reflection of his broad fascination in art and popular culture. Perfectly situated at a pivotal interesction of Venice, it acts as a lookout, as well as an invitation to the creatives and thinkers whose company he enjoys. BY JAYE BUCHBINDER PHOTOGRAPHY BY SHAUN LANG
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ulapat Yantrasast considers architecture to be a process of conducting music rather than building structures. Deciding where the crescendos of a space build and draw one in hospitably, or the areas where the tone is meditative yet inquisitive, meant to serve as a space for thought. It’s no surprise that his home, shrouded in cacti and bamboo alike, just steps from Abbot Kinney, is both calming and austere while curiosity-inducing.
Growing up in Thailand and then training in Japan under Ando, Kulapat was taught a minimalist philosophy that he respects but does not necessarily abide by, collecting objects and friends alike, that each come with an individual and important story to tell. The eclectic mix of oversize design books, multi-textured furs and fabrics, and beautiful items he has collected from his extensive travel are representative of his variegated interests, but also his deep belief in mental stimulation. This is reflected in the friends he also arranges and synthesizes from the different worlds around him. Artists, designers, techies – Kulapat is deeply curious. He gets a buzz from hearing new ideas, contrasting opinions, and watching the metamorphosis of the world around him. Kulapat’s home is a prime lookout on this metamorphosis: it is located exactly on the intersection of new and old Venice, offering a Zen respite between the increasingly trendy, Instagram street of Abbott Kinney and old-Venice, where surfers and artists have lived for decades through a less muraled and matcha’ed Venice. We bonded over our love for our Venice neighborhood. The scale, specifically. Los Angeles is one of the few major cities fired by a creative industry, and it seems to be burning deeply in the heart of Venice. A small city; the perfect size to walk, where you surf with your Barista, run into old friends at the supermarket, and meet creatives who have come from all over the world to call the same two square miles, “home”. Each friend who is lucky enough to become enfolded into the engaging community Kulapat curates around him, brings their perspective – a lot of time shaped from time abroad, whether upbringing or travel. As Kulapat tells me, he wanted a pool at his home because he never had one. Same with his kitchen – he values the kitchen up front, because a lot of time in Asian culture, it is very much hidden in the back. It seems menial, but the decisions of how you want to live your life, especially in a town like Venice, where you can go weeks without leaving its boundaries, are so critical, and tend to be best shaped by a cosmopolitan experience of possibility. How would you know what you do or don’t like without this experience?
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VE N I C E Right: In the kitchen hang wHY-designed custom chandeliers made from Lindsey Adelman’s series of standard brass lamp parts, while a long wooden bench frames the pool and living room, whose retracting glass doors create a seamless indoor-outdoor space. Below: (left to right): a Brush-Rock by wHY Objects Director, Bob Dornberger, sits next to a mini-figurine of Kulapat; an Ultraman Figurine from the 80’s popular Japanese Superheroes TV show; Morter Mix pillows by Fiona Banner resting on the white conversation couch in the living room; stacks of art and design books live next to a work by Jonas Wood; various finds from around the world including a carved wood sailor from a Japanese flea market and a Marcel Wanders Knotted Chair; plastic spaghetti from Japan; a wool llama figure from a Peruvian craftsperson; an Ingo Mauer Lucellino lamp and an anatomical version of Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog.
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Left: Panoramic view of the kitchen, dining and living room. Niches and small ledges that cover the back wall offer opportunities to display artworks and objects. Below: a Herzog de Meuron Pipe lamp is directed at Kulapatâ€™s desk on the homeâ€™s mezzanine level, the space also houses extensive Kulapatâ€™s library. Busts of Batman rest on wHY-designed shelving (right) that hold smaller bits and bobs from travels.
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The same goes for the general creative experience. What makes Venice so incredible is not a monolithic block of sameness, but the exact opposite – the undercurrent of culture, which is still very much alive beneath a shroud of filters and tacky tourist shirts, is propelled by diversity. The international collection of creative trades informs a web of Venetians that you can immediately sense once you have pried yourself away from the main roads of rotating pop-ups and taken some time to walk through the side-streets. The myriad experiences different than the one you have personally experienced, color a peer learning so incredibly valuable during a time of engrained xenophobia. Kulapat himself is working on harnessing this web of experiences by creating a collection of diverse perspectives in a range of industries and trades in a platform of discussion. He loves the idea of a home-base in Venice for locals, something that is beginning to shift quickly from the grungy coffee shops to blue bottle chains. It’s not a gripe per se, more of an observation, and an acknowledgement that this current of electric community cannot go untouched, as in other creative neighborhoods before this one. By formalizing this community in discussion or in locale, Kulapat wants to maintain this beautiful international community. In the same way he loves to have his bookcases full and shelves lined with objects to pique his curiosity, he asks the same of the world around him. Kulapat’s home is more than a building, but a representative artifact of this intersection and community collection. Between the objects on the shelves and the people within, he has collected a world between the walls that it’s hard to think about ever leaving.
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/ E LY S I A N F I E L D S
Benâ€™s guitar collection is a spectacular centerpiece in the 400sq ft L A garage. H O M E | FA L L / W I N T E R guest house, converted from the original
THE LISTER HOME
eclectic cool The vintage finds of KIRSTY and BEN LISTER give their home in Mar Vista an intriguing and unique character. PHOTOGRAPHY BY IRWIN MILLER
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/ M A R V I STA
Above: In the bathroom, a rich, midnight blue accent wall gives the space an incredibly inviting warmth. The mid-century sideboard provides a unique vanity unit. Left: Exquisite Rejuvenation handles, combined with simple kitchen cabinets, give a distinctive feel to the kitchen in an affordable manner. Antique scales and the 100 year old calendar help make it part of the living space.
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he home of interior designer, Kirsty Lister, is a study in European modern design – as you would expect from someone who had lived in London until 5 years ago, and whose business partner once worked with the legendary Terence Conran. Kirsty and her husband Ben moved to Los Angeles with their twins, Molly and Jesse, and they were immediately enthralled by the outdoor lifestyle.
Top left: Ben licenses video content for a new TV app called STIRR. He started his career in the music business but moved to TV via MTV, just as the twins were born. His passion for music exists to this day in the form of the many vinyl records and musical instruments he has collected over the years. Both Molly and Jesse have inherited the music bug so the house is always alive.
“As a designer, L.A. weather is such a treat and it is allowing me to realise all of the indoor/outdoor dreams I had back in England,” says Kirsty. “Outdoor living is such an accessible part of life in Los Angeles, and it’s my belief that a yard should be an integral part of every home. The transition from indoor to outdoor should be inviting and seamless. We have a covered kitchen/bar, outdoor dining, basketball area and, of course, those much-needed lounging fire pit areas that mean it can be used all year round.” Their home in Mar Vista is layered with an eclectic curation of lifetime treasures which characterize the couple’s personality. Her talent for sourcing unique pieces for her clients has helped her to think creatively in the decor of their home, for instance, repurposing stacking attorney bookcases and using them separately into overhead kitchen and bar cabinets. Kirsty is the Co-owner of The Creative Alchemists – British Interior designers and project managers. One of their specialist areas is converting garage spaces into ADU’s (Accessory Dwelling Units).
The Creative Alchemists thecreativealchemists.com
“If you have a garage, you are sitting on a goldmine. Conversion costs are a fraction of equivalent square footage construction price. Ours cost around $60,000 and added 400 sq ft. Had we have extended, that square footage would have cost around $300,000,” explains Kirsty. “We can now generate additional income by letting the space if desired, and we have the added bonus of that coveted square footage when we come to sell our home.”
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M A R
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In the converted attic space, keeping the color palette simple gives a sense of space and usability.
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Above: We wanted an alternative to the plastic hot tubs generally available without investing in an in-built solution. This beautiful Canadian Cedar wood tub was the perfect solution. The smell is incredible. Left top: Kirsty Lister at the outdoor bar. Outdoor living is such an accessible part of life in Los Angeles, and itâ€™s my belief that a yard should be an integral part of every home. The transition from indoor to outdoor should be inviting and seamless. We have a covered kitchen/bar, outdoor dining, basketball area and, of course, those much needed lounging fire pit areas that mean it can be used all year round.
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Above center: The football table was our son’s Christmas present. It wasn’t until we started playing that we realized we’d invited 22 miniature Donald Trumps to live with us! Right: As a family of creatives, Molly is expressing the same talent already, as can be seen in her ceramic interpretation of a flying cat!
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HOME PREVIEW EVENTS
DOWN TOW N
sonja rasula The inspirational founder of Unique Markets, SONJA RASULA, designed her Downtown LA workspace. PHOTOGRAPHY BY JESSICA ISAAC
What drew you to Downtown LA? EVERYTHING. I’ve always been drawn to places with interesting history, and Downtown has played backdrop to it all – from the glamour of The Academy Awards to the financial boom in the 80s to the fashion district to the mass desertion in the 90s. And the architecture! You’ve got the Eastern Building, City Hall, the old theaters… There are so many layers to this area. And currently, there is such an amazing energy down here. It’s going through such a change and reinvention, people from all disciplines from fashion to tech to food/beverage are here, and there’s a great sense in the community of helping each other to succeed. How did you find your space? After renting an office in the Arts District for years, the landlord kicked everyone out because he knew he could get higher rents, (J Crew took our old office). I knew that it was an important moment in the area’s history – all the artists and designers were being forced out and corporations were moving in, thus leaving no art in the Arts District. So I worked with a broker to find options for me in the area – to no avail, because there really isn’t anything less than a few thousand square feet and I only wanted 750... Just when I was about to start looking in Hollywood, he brought me to the building and said, “I’ve got the perfect space for you… It’s about 17,000 more square feet then you need but if anyone can figure out what to do with it, it’s you.” The second I walked in I knew it was meant to be! There were beautiful original brick walls, (most of it was covered with drywall but we knew it was there, ready to see the light again), wood beams, high ceilings and great energy. On top of that, it had A/C and heat, which is almost unheard of in the neighborhood, so it was perfect. I just had to figure out what to do with it, ha! Tell us a little bit about the history of the building and the surrounding neighborhood. This neighborhood is so, so special… Traditionally the area is home to the produce and food industry, (the railroad used to run right behind the building), and it’s nestled up against the LA River. So in the early 1900s, the building was a warehouse and stored food such as citrus, which would then get put onto trains and delivered across the country. The original, (and giant), scale is still in the building! But then as warehouses moved further away to cheaper areas like Vernon, the Arts District became populated with artists and people looking for studio space and cheap rent. When Shepard Fairey moved to LA, long before anyone knew who he was but he had a group of friends all starting to make things, his studio space was next door. And so throughout the 90s, until recently, the area was like Soho in NYC, filled with artists and designers and filmmakers. It’s going through another evolution because large companies always follow where there is creativity and innovation. And so, Spotify, Warner Music and Soho House are setting up their digs here. Change is the one constant in life, and so I personally can see that there are a lot of benefits with the evolution, such as increased safety and infrastructure, like much-needed parking lots. And yet most of the true creative folks are being pushed out – which is one reason why I set down roots here in this building. We’re here for the little folks.
How do you and your team now use your space? It’s very communal and community-oriented, so while we have our private office with a meeting area and lounge area within it, we use the entire building, as do all the tenants. My team cooks lunch every day, which is really, really nice. We can sit on the rooftop for telephone calls or to read. We hold meetings downstairs, and when clients visit we use the boardroom. I believe you can’t produce great work if you’re stuck behind a computer at your desk all day; having a diverse space for my staff is so important to me.
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What were the biggest challenges you faced in your renovation? My original plan was to have the second floor be an open, communal space with lots of light. But after designing it all, we found out that there was an earthquake wall on the second floor that couldn’t be moved, and so I had to quickly pivot from the original plans and figure out how to make the first floor the communal space. Irritating, but we did it and it’s all great. What did you learn through the process of renovating the space? As a former interior designer on HGTV, where you basically have to turn coal into gold, I’ve had my fair share of challenges – but taking on an 18,000 sq. ft. space was way more work than I truly realized until we were knee-deep. One of the biggest things I learned was that my ability to be flexible and change when needed, was invaluable throughout the process. That’s one of the best things about owning your own business – I don’t have to get decisions approved up a chain of command, I am the decision maker! What was your initial vision/theme for the space and did the final outcome match that? I set out to create a space for the community that felt more like a home instead of an office building. A place for creatives that was inspiring, safe, comfortable and functional. So many workspaces are drab and boring, and to be perfectly honest, are created by men. So I focused on designing it for me – for women – adding visual elements to stimulate the senses, like patterned wallpapers, colorful sinks and art. I chose every type of seating from upholstered stools to metals ones, sofas to lounge chairs, dining chairs to poufs – to accommodate all shapes and sizes. Seriously, I don’t think men realize that there’s a 50/50 chance that I’ll go to a meeting and my feet won’t touch the ground because the chairs are too tall, and so I have to balance and sit awkwardly the entire time! I added a full-kitchen, to encourage and allow people to get away from their desks and cook meals. The idea was to create a space that would be functional for all, but also to inspire and spark new ideas, and I think I achieved that. Describe the type of events you host. It’s pretty magical to know that people declare their love for one another in the space… We’ve become a spot for all types of events from weddings to corporate parties to yoga workshops. Again, it’s all about flexibility. Having a space that clients can truly make unique! What inspires you? California and the City of LA are major sources of inspiration. The diversity in the landscapes, from desert to ocean to redwoods to mountains, it’s all so beautiful. And there is a light in California that is so incredible. I also think the sense of community, (over competition), that exists here, is really amazing. LA attracts dreamers – the folks who innovate, go after big ideas and risk it all. I’ve lived in many different cities and I honestly think the sense of camaraderie, and the idea of being happy and healthy, is the magic that inspires everyone who lives here. In which direction do you see Unique LA evolving? We’re about to make a huge pivot and go in a direction that I’ve wanted to go for a few years… I’m franchising the markets! It’s really exciting because it allows me to continue my work of helping small businesses and creative communities grow and succeed. Essentially, I’ll be training people all over the globe to create and lead unique pop-up markets in their cities, having a profound effect on their local economy and entrepreneur community!
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MY WORKSPACE I surround myself with art and pictures of my family for inspiration. I collect old Polaroids on eBay, these are all of California. I love that they look modern and could have been snapped today, but are in fact from the 1960s! We have gallery walls throughout the building to provide pops of color and inspire creativity; some of what you see includes pieces from Anthony Burrill, Brian Rea, Society 6 and that ‘Proceed and Be Bold’ print is from Facebook’s HQ. The wood print behind my desk is by an up-and-coming artist in LA named Andre Mirzaian, and the beautiful motel photo above the sofa is by Erin Simkin – both sold at Unique LA last year. - Sonja
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amy bartlam English Photographer, AMY BARTLAM, has a talent for enhancing the work of interior designers, through her thoughtful compositions and natural lighting.
What is your background and how did you become interested in photography? Photography was ever-present in my house growing up; my Dad is an amateur photographer and had lots of different cameras and a makeshift darkroom, so it was a medium that I was aware of from a very young age. I was definitely very creatively oriented as a child, and when it came to making a decision about college, I applied to do a Visual Communication degree that covered film, illustration, graphic design and photography. I always thought I was going to end up doing graphic design, maybe because that’s what my older sister does, but I definitely had an innate aptitude for photography over everything else, and I ended up specializing in just that. How did you decide to specialize in interiors? My first job out of college was with wedding photographer Lisa Devlin. She’s incredible and taught me so much about the business of photography, but I didn’t enjoy the pressure of shooting weddings, and after a couple of years I started thinking about other types of photography. One of my responsibilities working with Lisa was to photograph the venue and take still lifes of all the details, and this got me wondering if interior photography could be a route for me. I’ve always loved interior design; I actually wanted to be a designer when I was in my early teens so this seemed like the perfect combination of passions for me. I shot a friend’s design portfolio and it just went from there. What is your favorite camera and lens? My favorite camera is my Canon 5d Mark III. Lens-wise, my 1740mm is my workhorse, it’s great for shooting interiors. I also collect instant cameras – my favorite of those is my Polaroid Sun 600 – it was my Dad’s.
Photo by Marisa Vitale
Do you have a preferred client, and what appeals to you about their work? It’s far too hard for me to choose – one of the big things I love about my job is the variety! I definitely do prefer interiors with a muted palette though, and I am a big fan of bohemian modern spaces.
Amy Bartlam amybartlam.com
Have you noticed any differences between the work of designers in England, compared to LA? It is tough to compare actually, because styles vary so wildly both here and back in the UK – traditional to super contemporary and everything in-between can be found in both locations. But architecture and history play a big role in designers’ work. I’ve noticed Californians tend to embrace a more laid-back style, focusing on indoor/outdoor living and often picking up on the mid-century modern history here. Whereas, Brits are maybe more influenced by the older architecture that is so prevalent there – high, ornate ceilings, brick walls, hardwood floors etc. and a slightly more formal, buttoned-up approach.
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Janette Mallory Interiors
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J Latter Design
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D L Rhein
Jenn Feldman Designs
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PHOTO G RA P H Y
What is your background, how did you become interested in photography? I always wanted to be a photographer. I started shooting after taking a photography class in middle school and was immediately hooked. Developer, stop bath, and fixer became my closest friends. However, because I had asthma I was only able to spend small amounts of time in the darkroom, and schools were not yet making accommodations for illnesses so I had to learn from books. My first teachers were Henri Cartier Bresson, Avedon, Irving Penn, Stieglitz until twenty years later while working in retail, I befriended cinematographer Conrad Hall. He sensed my love for the camera, and we began to discuss the art of lighting. I remember him saying he started with a dark room, and how simply illuminating a corner of it could tell a story. His teachings eventually led me to leave retail. I started assisting advertising photographer Moshe Brakha, and that is where I learned my craft. Your work spans different genres – do you find that a challenge, and which do you prefer? I enjoy working in various genres because it allows me to never get staid in my work. When I work in still life, I find myself still using a similar eye I use in architecture, and vice versa. Everything we learn is applied.
shaun lang SHAUN LANG excels in the art of advertising photography, crafting compelling images of commercial products. His versatility equally extends to the balanced composure of his architectural photography and portraiture.
What cameras/lens do you like to use? I’m a camera junkie...film and digital. Leica, Mamiya, Phase One, Canon, Polaroids - I’m all over the place. I have 35mm, 645, 6x7, and an old Graflex Auto B 4x5 from 1913, but for my work I shoot mostly medium format. There is a three-dimensional quality to the format I absolutely love. My favorite lenses are my Leica 80mm f1.4 Summilux, and from the 70’s my vintage 80mm f1.9 645 Mamiya glass. For digital I shoot Phase One, but for film I still shoot my old Mamiya RZ67 Pro IID film camera. The damn thing is a tank. With the prism finder and winder, it weighs just shy of 12 pounds, but the images make it all worthwhile. I spend so much time in the studio shooting client work, I need the digital detox I get from shooting film. Medium format makes you slow down, and at ten images per roll, you gotta make ‘em count. What are the qualities of a great photo in your opinion? Can a great photo be taken on an Iphone? Living in Los Angeles it’s a non-stop visual assault on our collective senses. A great photo makes me stop and think. As for getting a great photo with an iPhone I say absolutely. It’s simply a tool...and like any tool has advantages and disadvantages. For me when choosing a camera, it’s all about the end product, and if the iPhone gets it done, so be it. Is much of your work staged or shot on impulse? Much of my work is commercial advertising so by the time the project gets to me it has passed through many, many hands...brand directors, creative directors, art directors, producers. There is often a very specific vision, so it is my goal to put my imprint said vision through photography. Which photographers do you admire? I tend to gravitate to storytelling, documentary, and portraiture. Photographers like Diane Arbus, James Nachtwey, Gordon Parks, William Eggleston, and so many others. What are you currently working on? Ah the passion project. I have an ongoing project documenting the slow death of the Salton Sea. I had a gallery show about the sea in 2007, and ten years later, I have started going back to the same locations – seeing how climate change is taking its toll on the environment and its inhabitants. A devastating yet rewarding project.
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Lady Gaga, Paparazzi
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Shaun Lang www.shaunlang.com
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“The surface of my works, that consists of numerous pieces of different kinds of fabrics sewn together, looks smooth and almost flawless. the hidden backside however, is raw and messy. an analogy to the facade we tend to keep up to make our lives look good from the outside even if beneath the surface it’s all but perfect. In some pieces, I intentionally integrate the fray edges as an accent on the surface of the piece to create tension between order and rawness.”
meike legler A German textile artist based in LA, MEIKE LEGLER, conjures graphic paintings from remnants of fabric from her years in the fashion industry.
How did you decide to become an artist, and choose fabric as your medium? My decision to work with fabric as my medium for my art actually has a lot to do with my background. I am a trained fashion designer and working with fabric has always had a big attraction for me. The transition from being a designer to becoming an artist was never planned though. I just felt more and more turned off by fashion, I can’t even say why, it just has lost its magic to me. Instead, I wanted to make something out of fabric that doesn’t have to fit a body, but that has a different purpose than making the person who wears it look good or feel comfortable. After a long break of designing apparel I first designed interior textiles like pillows, bed linen and shower curtains, but something just didn’t feel right. After a few years of doing it, I lost my enthusiasm and I decided to let it go, but I was sitting on a lot of fabrics that I have collected over the past years and I didn’t want to throw them away. After a period of doing nothing with them, I took them out and thought I could try sewing a picture that could be hung on the wall like a painting. This is how it all started and it’s only been about two years that I turned into a textile artist, but it has been feeling more rewarding and more like me than all the years of being a fashion and home textile designer combined. As you work in fabric instead of paint, what challenges are inherent in that medium? It’s true that working with fabric doesn’t have the same qualities as paint, which you can mix into endless color variations or apply it to the canvas in multiple layers to get a certain effect. Also, the shapes you can create with fabric are not as unlimited as if you would use paint. But these limitations also force me to come up with compositions that are technically doable yet still interesting and complex. Luckily, there are many, many different kinds of fabrics in all kinds of textures and weights, from smooth to rough, heavy to sheer, and combining very different fabrics with each other gives my pieces 3-dimensionality and character. Sometimes, I also paint the edges of some pieces of fabric with paint before I sew them together, which makes the piece look a bit like wall sculpture. Another means that I sometimes use is to turn the inside seams out so that you see the raw and frayed edges of the fabric instead of a clean seam. It always depends on the composition as to which technique I decide to use. How do you get your inspiration? Going for a walk and looking at the ground where I often see cracked asphalt lines is one big source of inspiration. Another one is to just take a pen and paper and to draw without looking at the paper to allow my hand to move freely. These doodles are a start for a more considerate composition and I draw several, more detailed versions of the original sketch until I feel I hit the nail on the head. The next step is to think of which colors to use, which is often dictated by the amount of fabric I still have in the specific colors. Sometimes I have to exchange some colors I first picked with other ones just because what I have left of this one fabric is not enough for
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the surface I need to cover. I like working this way though because it forces me to work with what I have instead of going out and simply buying more fabric. This way I combine colors that I might not have chosen in the first place. It also reflects my ambition to be as least wasteful as I can. I know about the enormous amounts of waste that the fashion industry produces every day and I really want to produce as little garbage as I can. Do you see your artworks as being capable of emotion (that a viewer can empathize with)? Absolutely, I think a viewer can see a lot of emotions in my works. Many people tell me they feel happy or uplifted when they look at some of my works and I would say some others transport feelings such as serenity or sensitivity. Tell us about the actual process of creating one of your artworks. It can take between several hours and several days to make a piece depending on the size and how much thought I have given a new work before I start the process of actually making it. In the beginning, there is always a sketch, sometimes a very detailed one, sometimes only a vague one. It depends on my mood, there are days when I want to have a very precise plan and then there are times that I feel like being more intuitive, open to an outcome that I don’t know yet, and willing to take the risk that the result just doesn’t work out. I use a machine to sew the pieces together because my works are stretched over an already stretched canvas with a lot of tension to smoothen out any crinkles or bumps and a hand-sewn seam is just not as strong as a machine sewn seam is. I don’t want the seams to rip or open up. Once I finish sewing all the pieces together, I iron the whole piece and then stretch it over an already stretched canvas. I do this so the piece is sturdier and also to have a backside that protects the seams. In terms of what fabrics work best, I prefer cotton canvas, linen, or other heavy fabrics that don’t stretch and I love it when I find fabrics that have interesting textures, since combining different textures is what makes them look more alive and intriguing. Do you take on private commissions? If so, what are the sorts of briefs you get? I do take commissions and often, the clients have a specific mood or color palate on their mind that they tell me about. Or they show me a photo of the place in their house where they want to hang the piece, which gives me an idea what might work. Another aspect are the dimensions of a piece, is it a very long horizontal size the client wants, does he like a dyptich or can I work in one of the sizes I mostly use? Since I have made so many different compositions ranging from straight, geometric lines to organic and fluent shapes, it always helps me to know what he or she prefers, which is not always easy for the client to say, which in turn makes it harder for me to kind of guess what the client might like. It can be a long process taking anything from several weeks to several months.
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Left No Need For Secrecy
Opposite (clockwise) Somewhere in Absurdistan Tell Me About It Hot Thoughts Quiet, Quiet
Meike Legler meikelegler.world
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Focus Media Agency Focus Media Agency was established in 2012 as a multi-level platform, to give voice to the West Los Angeles community businesses and talent which are largely overlooked by traditional media. With a firm emphasis on storytelling, we publish two lifestyle magazines, FOCUS and LA HOME. From our West Hollywood studio, we produce multiple, diverse, online streaming chat shows. We also organize red carpet events across West Los Angeles.
Printed Publications LA Home
B E V E R LY H I L L S | B R E N T W O O D | M A L I B U | W E S T H O L LY W O O D | S A N T A M O N I C A
COMMUNITY POWERED EXECUTIVE CHEF CRAIGâ€™S LA
FOCUS TRAVEL EDITOR
WENDY BROKAW KRETCHMER
AUTHOR AND PHILANTHROPIST
JANUARY 2017 | FOCUSMAG.US
JULIE STEINES AND NORBERT
HOST | FEARLESS FEMALES
FOUNDERS | CEREMONY MEDITATION
ROXY GHORAISHY, TRAVIS MAJICK
Focus Media Studio
The Agency Womenâ€™s Charity
Malibu Guitar Festival
Real Estate Insights - Billy Rose Interview
T ECHN O LO GY
CURATED BY JENNA ATCHISON
(Top left to bottom right)
Gryphon Gryphon is the most powerful & secure WiFi router that gives parents complete control of their home’s internet access. Easily set age levels for each device, pre-set bedtimes, homework times, or simply pause the internet. You can also view their browsing history, even the ones they view in incognito mode. Sensible protection for your kids, your webcams, and all the “smart” devices invading our homes. gryphonconnect.com $219
Neato Botvac D4 Botvac Connected robot vacuums with Wi-Fi connectivity let you control your robot with your smartphone. Clean your carpet, hardwood and tile floors remotely with this self-navigating Neato Botvac D4 robotic vacuum. Customize its path through an app on your phone so it avoids certain areas while it expertly cleans others. This Neato Botvac D4 robotic vacuum operates for up to 75 minutes on a single charge. neatorobotics.com $499
iotty The smart switch that innovates your home. Install iotty Smart Switch and, with just a Wi-Fi connection, your home becomes instantly smart. Thanks to the iotty built-in Wi-Fi, you won’t need any hub or central unit. Remove your old switch, install iotty and connect it to your Wi-Fi through the app. iotty.com starting at $79
Mitte Mitte, Create your own mineral water, just like nature. Mitte is the first of its kind smart home water system that purifies and enhances water through a process inspired by the natural water cycle. It works in two simple steps: first, it purifies water, then Mitte makes the water not only pure, but also enhances it with essential minerals. mitte.co price TBD
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Nanoleaf Nanoleaf and remote: Nanoleaf Light Panels are a smart lighting product unlike anything you’ve seen before. Automate your lighting throughout the day, sunrise, sunset and everything in-between. The rhythm add-on module transforms music into light for your Panels. Plug it in, turn it on, and embark on a sensory adventure. The Nanoleaf Remote is a sleek dodecahedron inspired Bluetooth HomeKit remote designed to make controlling the NLPs and other HomeKit products even more convenient. nanoleaf.me
Knocki Knocki, make any surface smart. Knocki is a small wireless device that instantly transforms ordinary surfaces into powerful yet easy to access remotes for your favorite devices and software. (Think modern day “clapper”). With Knocki attached to a surface, the entire surface transforms into a touch interface. knocki.com $89
The LA HOME streaming chat show on Focus TV Network features interviews with Architects, Interior Designers, Realtors and Developers.
billy rose david phoenix
Host your own talk show - streamed on Focus TV network or on your website. contact us for details about filming in our production studio.
To submit ideas for content and for sponsorship inquiries please email: email@example.com.
L A N D M A R K S
Herald Examiner Building
1111 South Broadway CA 90015 Architect, Julia Morgan Completed 1914
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