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Design for Living Larchmont Chronicle July 2016

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uckily, Allison Hawley Simmons’ newborn had perfect timing. Scarlett was born two weeks late, which turned out to be just in time for the finishing touches of the family’s kitchen remodel. Allison and her husband Mike had been living at their N. Irving Blvd. home while (Please turn to page D-2)

SIBLINGS Edward and Mercedes Simonian in the Edmon's furniture showroom.

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f you’ve ever been in the market for a new fireplace mantel, then you’ve probably heard of Edmon’s Unique Furniture and Stone Gallery. The family-owned business on Melrose near Larchmont has been (Please turn to page D-4) operating for the

SCARLETT, 16 months, arrived in time for the new kitchen.

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July 2016

Larchmont Chronicle

Design for Living

Area designers and stores ready to update your home By Brooke Stewart Alakazam Upholstery and Drapery is the perfect place for your upholstery and drapery needs. Located on Sweetzer Ave., this family-run workshop owned by Rosie Fortunate has been open for six years with clientele all over Los Angeles. They can fix any style of chair or slipcover with a wide selection of fabrics, and also replace weatherproof fabrics. With a multitude of services, Alakazam is the place to go for upholstery. 1236 N. Sweetzer Ave. 310-491-8409 ••• With 20 years of experience as a contractor, interior designer and landscape designer Brian G. Little of BGL Design Construction is a “one-stop shop” for clients looking to restore their homes. Little’s work has been acclaimed by the press. In 2006, the Larchmont Chronicle recognized him for “best home renovation” for a commission on Rossmore Ave. His all-encompassing services and acclaim for past commissions, make him one of a kind. 809 N. McCadden Place

brianlittledesign.com ••• With a wide array of lighting, door and window fixtures, as well as furniture hardware ranging from Victorian to contemporary styles, Liz’s Antique Hardware is the place to go if you seek to restore antique furniture or historic homes. With such a wide selection of hardware, it’s no wonder so many people shop at Liz’s. Upstairs from the hardware and furniture section is Liz’s Loft – a contemporary art gallery with works from emerging and established artists. 435 N. La Brea Ave. lahardware.com ••• McWhorter Design appeals to the taste of the client instead of following trends. Interior and landscape designer Bill McWhorter works to create a space for his clients within a framework of “taste, style, and panache.” Whether you are looking for a droughtfriendly landscape or a modern kitchen, McWhorter can help make your dreams a reality. 5442 Wilshire Blvd. mcwhorterdesign.com •••

Randy Esada of Windsor Square is moving east on Beverly Blvd. to his new venture, Prospr. Prospr offers mid-century modern furniture with a selection of antiques and decorative art. With a wide selection, Prospr is the perfect place to spruce up your home. The

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Pieces are crafted from a range of high-quality wood; veneers are made in the store’s workshop. The family-run business provides repair services, refinishing and fine antique restorations, and it creates modern custom-made pieces. 351 S. La Brea Ave. viennawoodsla.com

New kitchen adds light and space (Continued from page D-1) the four-months-plus project was underway; the holidays and the birth were imminent. “There was some time pressure to finish this job,” said Windsor Square based-architect Mary Pickhardt. The couple had bought the 1922 Mediterranean-style home the year before, and with their growing family, needed more room. The galley kitchen was long and narrow, cramped next to a long hallway and a tiny bedroom. “There was only room for

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store will also feature Diane Merrick Vintage cashmere and jewelry. The grand opening of Prospr is Fri., July 15. 7407 Beverly Blvd. ProsprCo.com ••• Vienna Woods specializes in Empire and Biedermeier antiques and reproductions.

one or two people” in the kitchen, said Allison. The challenge was to open the space without adding square feet, said Pickhardt, who had several tricks up her sleeve. The home’s fourth and uninviting bedroom was knocked down and a wall was opened and framed with an arch that ties into the home’s Spanish theme and also reveals the family room and views of the backyard. “If you can see outside, it makes it feel bigger,” said Pickhardt. The kitchen’s new white recessed panel cabinets reach the ceiling  — drawing the eye up and giving the illusion of more space. The Caesarstone countertops “are indestructible,” a must with a toddler prone to eating raspberries, says her mom. The backsplash, a blue Moroccan-influenced, handmade clay tile, adds color. Pickhardt designed a banquette for where the couple’s extensive family and friends can congregate in the kitchen, while the cook has room to move near the Sub-Zero and six-burner stove behind an island. Interior decorator Bebe Johnson added a custom table next to the banquette, as well as the built-in media cabinets, curtains, a sectional sofa and his and her’s (Scarlett’s) matching elephant-patterned chairs in the family room. A long “bowling alley” of a hallway was narrowed, which allowed for expanded laundry and broom closets and an office area, where Mike displays some of his penguin collection on an upper shelf. “This is my favorite feature,” says Allison of a light that goes on when opening the broom closet. Pickhardt’s ties to the family

MIKE and Scarlett on matching elephant-patterned chairs.

go back at least 23 years when she designed Allison’s mom’s kitchen on Lorraine Blvd. It still holds up today, says Allison. “What we try to do is make the kitchen go with the house, so it’s classic and everything ages together. We don’t do trendy stuff,” explains Pickhardt. When the couple bought the home, many of its original features had been stripped or modernized. Addition of crown moulding and other touches brought back the home’s former glory, while large-pane windows add light and tie the old with the new. The contractor, Doug Dalton, who grew up in Fremont Place, was the “unsung hero” of the project, said Pickhardt. An arched entry way — matching the one in the family room — softens that space. Painted a warm shade of coral, the entryway’s chandelier matches one in the hallway. A larger chandelier that hangs in the dining room was from an old French hotel and among purchases from La Brea antique stores. “We’re pretty traditional and wanted to stay true to the home’s style,” says Allison. By Suzan Filipek


Larchmont Chronicle

July 2016

Christina Karras interior design · boutique 456 South La Brea Avenue · t: 323.939.9996 · www.christinakarras.com

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July 2016

Larchmont Chronicle

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(Continued from page D-1) past 38 years on the first floor of what is now the Historic Hollywood Hotel, located on Melrose at Wilton. “We specialize in custommade, hand-carved mantels,” says co-owner Mercedes Simonian. “But what makes us different is that we use all of our own original designs that have been patented to us. Everything we sell is completely unique and hand-made." Mercedes’ father, Edmon, opened the store in 1978 using a small amount of savings. He was an Armenian immigrant who arrived in Los Angeles two years prior with only $90 in his pockets. Before leaving Armenia, however, Edmon had trained under both his father and grandfather to become a master craftsman, a family tradition dating back to 1890. Using stone and woodcarving tools, Edmon set up shop determined to sell only high quality, hand-carved products — a business he continued to operate for the next 32 years. In fact, the business was so successful that it grew from a single rented storefront to the

entire ground floor of the Hollywood Historic Hotel building. In 1997, Edmon bought the entire building. According to Mercedes, Edmon passed away six years ago, leaving his wife Vicky and son Edward to join with her in picking up their father’s mantle (pun intended): “It is truly family owned and operated,” says Mercedes, who has worked in the shop since she was 18. Consumers have come to expect custom products to be complicated and time-consuming to order. But according to Mercedes, this is not the case at Edmon’s. “We are the manufacturers of our products,” she says, noting how they eliminate the middleman. “We always tell people to come to our showroom first. It helps if they bring a picture of what they have, then we can talk about available options.” Customers can preview and select from a wide variety. “A cast stone mantel takes a week, and a wood-carved mantel takes four weeks,” says Mercedes. By Billy Taylor


Larchmont Chronicle

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July 2016

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July 2016

Larchmont Chronicle

Design for Living

Karras refines music mogul’s bachelor pad By Brooke Stewart Neighborhood interior designer Christina Karras’ recent project is a sophisticated bachelor pad. Designed for a music industry executive, Karras wanted the home to have a sense of Hollywood glamour while reflecting the tastes and lifestyle of a successful bachelor. The entry is inviting with the late English decorator David Hicks-inspired, 1960s wallpaper lining the walls and ceiling. The bold use of pattern makes a statement but also draws focus to the centerpiece of the

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room, a vintage green table. The entry leads to the dining room. The room’s walls are simple compared to the entryway, yet the room stands out with its 1980s Pantone felt-covered chairs as well as a snakeskin framed mirror. The brass accents add a sense of subtle Hollywood glamour. The master bedroom displays a sophisticated aesthetic. The color palette features warm tones like cognac and whiskey. The walls are covered in a golden wallpaper, reflecting light which enters from (Please turn to page D-7)

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CONTRACTOR Matt Plaskoff stands among color samples ready for his next bathroom remodel.

Edmon’s Unique Furniture and Stone Gallery Est. 1978

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5174 Melrose Ave. (at Wilton) L.A. 90038 EdmonsGallery.com

One Week Bath makes custom remodeling easy By Billy Taylor Does your bathroom need a facelift? This contractor aims to eliminate the risk and stress of bathroom remodeling with a business model focused on improving the customer experience. Meet Matt Plaskoff from One Week Bath. Industry insiders might recognize Plaskoff as the owner of Plaskoff Construction, a 28-year-old remodeling company based in Van Nuys, but you probably know him from his role as the lead construction consultant for ABC’s remodeling TV show, “Extreme Makeover Home Edition.” “In one way or another,” he says, “I’ve been involved in nearly 3,000 bathroom remodels.” According to Plaskoff, the bathroom is an area of construction where size doesn’t translate to ease, cost or speed. In fact, he explains, its complexity is measured in details and systems, not square feet: “It’s one of the smallest spaces in the home, yet it demands the greatest amount of detail and attention.” A new approach In 2000 — drawing from years of experience working with everything from milliondollar mansions to humble abodes — Plaskoff decided to create a new business ap-

proach to remodeling. He had an idea: “If I could just eliminate the excuses and obstacles in the process, my job would be fun.” Since then, Plaskoff says he has designed and remodeled thousands of custom bathrooms through the One Week Bath process, which “gives everyone involved in the project a sense of accomplishment.” How it works One Week Bath makes the custom bathroom remodeling process more pleasant through an “all-inclusive” custom design and construction experience. And every single item for the project is included in the contract, says Plaskoff: “There are no surprises.” The process begins with a short project questionnaire, followed by a 30-minute phone consultation to determine scope, style and a budget. After this is squared, a designer brings a mobile showroom to your home, which leads to a completed design, product list and a guaranteed price. On the scheduled start date, construction begins and your bathroom will be ready in just one week. “It’s that easy,” says Plaskoff. For more information, visit oneweekbath.com.


Larchmont Chronicle

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July 2016

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(Continued from page D-6) the back patio. The warm colors are “incredibly masculine” Karras adds – “perfect for a bachelor bedroom.” The guest bedroom diverges from the warm cognac and whiskey colors of the master bedroom with a navy-patterned wallpaper. The pattern of dark blue palm fronds is repeated on the curtains as well as the duvet. Karris remarks that she “wanted to create a retreat for guests, add[ing] layer upon layer of the same sensual pattern.” The dark pattern of the wallpaper is offset by a light wood floor, white closet doors and gold accents. The plants in the room reflect the floral pattern of the walls in

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July 2016

Larchmont Chronicle

Design for Living

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Designers Melissa Warner homes across the country and Rothblum, Hancock Park, and the cover of books “Decorate Julie Massucco Kleiner each Fearlessly” and “Be Your Own worked at top design firms in Decorator.” San Francisco and New York MWM blends color and texbefore opening a shop in a tural palettes that range from bungalow on Larchmont Blvd. bold, stunning, and edgy, to Massucco Warner Miller soft, tranquil, and serene, says Interior Design Rothblum. and Decoration Vintage finds, (MWM), at 560 custom-gilded N. Larchmont, hand-embroiopened in 2014. dered wallpaper “We loved the and well-made neighborhood furniture result feel and sense of in a “beautiful, community on well-designed Larchmont.  We home, and hapwere also inpy client, every spired by all of time,” she adds. the beautiful Design can architecture in seem overMWM designed entryway. the homes all whelming to a around us,” says Rothblum. novice client. The duo pride They joined as a team in themselves on respecting bud2008, after which they were gets and tight deadlines. named “designers to watch” For more information, visit by “House Beautiful,” “Tradi- massuccowarnermiller.com. tional Home” and “San Fran- Massucco Warner Miller Incisco Magazine,” and they terior Design and Decoration, graced the cover of “House 560 N. Larchmont Blvd., Suite Beautiful.” MWM has designed 101, 310-570-0084.


LC Design for Living 07 2016