profiles

Bradley Bayou Creates A Personal Refuge In Hollywood Hills

Bradley Bayou is far from a typical interior designer. Before establishing his studio—based in both Los Angeles and New York City—in 2010, the Texas-born designer worked as a real estate developer, artist, and actor. For years, he evolved in the world of fashion, first helming an eponymous couture collection (and dressing celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Geena Davis, Beyoncé and Anne Hathaway) before becoming the creative director of Halston and, finally, launching a ready-to-wear line with QVC. This rich and eclectic professional path not only allowed Bayou to acquire experience in construction but also helped train his eye and understand the importance of colors, textures, and balance.

Located in the Bird Streets, Bayou’s house is a testament to his multidisciplinary background. Built on a lot of over 15,000 square feet, the 7,500-square-foot ground-up construction “is close to the happenings of the city but feels private,” says Bayou, who designed every detail and imagined every inch of the house to suit his personality, while using sophisticated materials and focusing on craftsmanship.

“The floor plan revolves around indoor/outdoor living—most of the walls are either stone or retractable glass,” says Bayou, who moved in last October with his partner and their dog. “The house is our sanctuary and is completely representative of my ‘world modern’ aesthetic.”

The main living space, which comprises the living room, dining room and expansive chef’s kitchen, connects with the exterior areas where the infinity pool and gardens offer unparalleled city views. In the master suite adorned with a fireplace, a spa bath with a custom sunken tub, heated floors, glass walls open up to a koi pond and a private Zen garden with yoga deck. The lower level hosts an office, a lounge and a bar area that leads to a screening room/theater. “I used stone and glass to blend into the hillside and open up the home to the outdoors,” Bayou says.

“I always wanted to build a house using the same stone that was used for the Alamo (in San Antonio, Texas). I finally got the opportunity!” While he spends most of his time outside to enjoy the warm weather of Los Angeles, Bayou keeps some of his most treasured items inside, such as a Joel Shapiro sculpture, which was created for the Central Park Conservancy utilizing parts of a Central Park bench. Several design pieces were specifically created for the space, including the custom dining table by Bayou; others reflect the owner’s love of vintage such as the pair of 1930s-era lounge chairs.

After designing homes for many of his friends, Bayou finally created a space that is uniquely his. “Having extreme privacy in the middle of the city is the ultimate luxury,” he says. “This is my dream home, but I’m always more excited about the next house I’m building.” bradleybayou.com

Peter Vincent Architects’ Home Revival

The road to Venice was not so straight for the young owners of this modern urban farmhouse on Flower Avenue. Like many parents with children, they envisioned for themselves a rural environment with lots of land for a similarly styled home. What they got, however, were busy careers in Los Angeles and an inadequate residence on the corner of a much smaller lot—but one with potential.

Maximizing its possibilities required careful calculation by Hawaii-based firm Peter Vincent Architects. The design, according to PVA, “capitalizes on the property’s corner location by breaking the building’s mass into separate structures that creates a three-sided courtyard, which incorporates the adjacent street into the sense of space.” More broadly, the property expresses the current mood and largely pedestrian lifestyle of its Los Angeles neighborhood.

“Venice is experiencing somewhat of a rebirth, particularly from people seeking a pedestrian-friendly environment and many, like our clients, who work from home, can walk to nearby shops and restaurants,” says Peter Vincent, FAIA, NCARB—Managing Partner of Peter Vincent Architects. “In terms of architecture, it seems that anything goes and many trendy new homes have replaced older, nondescript tract housing.”

There is nothing freewheeling about the architecture of this property, however; it is a showpiece of deliberation and understanding of the local lifestyle on the part of PVA. The design, notes Vincent, “wasn’t about being trendy or outlandish, but rather breaking the massing into several smaller elements, which create outdoor ‘rooms,’ much like we do in Hawaii.” To this end, he adds, “it was very much about opening the interior to private outdoor spaces to take maximum advantage of the relatively small lot, as well as the favorable climate.

It was great that there was an alley behind the house, so the garage could be located in the rear, rather than being an imposing element at the front of the house. This allowed the front yard to become usable space, which included a vegetable garden.” On top of the garage is a work/flex space that, for couples like this client, is becoming an increasingly alluring asset for Los Angeles’ growing contingent of telecommuters.

Simple in both materials (concrete floors, locally fabricated aluminum doors and windows) and form, the finished property reflects a Scandinavian Modern and Shaker influence, and many would argue, is all the more beautiful for this reserve. The palette, which strives to be striking and unassuming at once, is as contemporary as it is timeless. “The client liked black,” explains Vincent, “so we went with black-stained wood siding, but broke it up with contrasting warm wood tones.” The result is a sustainable, locally responsive, humanly scaled home. A storybook dream remade modern—in the middle of the city. pva.com

Vibrant Palette: Farrow & Ball’s Rich Paints & Wallpaper

The history of Farrow & Ball is as colorful as its vibrant palette of paints—and storefront on La Cienega. John Farrow was a trained chemist who spent the Second World War working for Agnew Paints in Ireland; Richard Ball, an engineer captured in France and held as a prisoner of war. At the end of the conflict, each man returned to Dorset, and met, without ceremony, at a local clay pit.

Discovering a shared passion for quality ingredients and traditional methods, the men founded Farrow & Ball in 1946—a passion “we still uphold today” and “ in the very same place where the Farrow & Ball story started,” explains Charlotte Cosby, the company’s head of creative.

The austerity that impacted Britain in the years following the war also impacted Farrow & Ball, but by the early 1950s, the company was supplying paint to the Admiralty, Raleigh bikes, and the motor industry. Years passed largely without incident, until a fire destroyed the company’s original Verwood factory in the 1960s, prompting the operation to move to a site in Wimborne, where its paints and wallpaper are still produced.

Midway through the 20th century, Farrow & Ball’s intrepid stewards retired from the company they forged by stepping away from cheaper acrylic paints with high levels of plastic to stick with original formulations and natural ingredients for their efficacy. “This is something we’ve stuck to for over 70 years,” says Cosby. “Even in the 1970s and 1980s, when many brands were creating acrylic paints with added plastics and fewer pigments,” Farrow & Ball was doing it their way, switching to its eco-friendly water base in 2010, but not before a raft of changes in the 1990s—its first independent stockist, a flagship in Chelsea, and the company’s acquisition by Tom Helme, an advisor on historic interiors, and Martin Ephson, a corporate financier.

Under their leadership, the company focused on restoring heritage properties with colors that were sympathetic to their era and manufactured its first rolls of wallpaper. That was in 1995. Now this fantastically popular part of the Farrow & Ball range will embrace the first line of 25 metallic wallpapers—100-percent recyclable and made with responsibly-sourced paper and eco-friendly water-based paint—this spring.

For all its advancements, the Farrow & Ball of today is a lot like the Farrow & Ball of yesterday—same quality, same ingredients—but the luxury brand that admirably keeps in lockstep with its cornerstones has not forsaken the needs of the modern consumer, developing its technology, and collaborations with kindred businesses like The Rug Company, which teamed with Farrow & Ball in 2017 to launch the latter’s first collection of beautiful, high-quality, responsibly-made rugs in colors that complemented the company’s richly pigmented palette.

For Los Angeles consumers, Farrow & Ball—in addition to finding it in international cultural institutions including the Museum of Modern Art and Musée Rodin—has its West Hollywood showroom, quite a colorful store where so much is neutral territory.

But Farrow & Ball’s School House White No. 291, Shadow White, Shaded White and Drop Cloth, each created to look like white when used in deep shade, fits the local aesthetic. The brand’s neutrals have remained enduringly popular through the years, says Cosby. But, as people move away from grays “in favor of something bolder and more dramatic,” she recommends the brand’s darker blues.

Regardless of the tone of the moment, Farrow & Ball is here, doing what it’s done for 70 years, painting—and papering—the town, from Dorset to Los Angeles. farrow-ball.com

 

PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF FARROW & BALL; LA STOREFRONT IMAGES BY LAURE JOLIET

Architectural photographer Ben Rahn A-frame home

Ben Rahn High Visuality

Had Ben Rahn started architecture school as he planned, it’s entirely possible that he might have designed some of the spaces he now shoots as an architectural photographer.

But in discovering what seemed to be a large number of dissatisfied young architects and the fun of photographing architecture and interiors, he pictured an entirely new career—quite wisely, as it turns out.

Gibbs Smith

 

Now with A-Frame, the studio he founded in 2003 with offices in Toronto and Brooklyn, and a book, The Modern A-Frame, under his belt, Rahn has achieved maximum exposure for his work—images of spectacular spaces from residences to retail and more.

That we see these spaces so spectacularly is not all his doing. “Some spaces just are what they are,” says Rahn, with the humility of a native Canadian, despite the fact that to his clients, who, along with architects like Santa Monica-based Hagy Belzberg, include developers and designers, he is the man with the camera.

Gibbs Smith

 

Awarding not a moment of self-promotion to himself, Rahn only adds: “It’s pretty easy to make an amazing look amazing.” But something “a little less design-forward that still serves an important function? That’s harder.”

Between the technical and artistic is where Rahn does his best work. “A beautiful abstract photograph doesn’t tell you anything beyond the frame,” he notes. “If I can build a narrative, then I can make a space more compelling.” Even largely undeviating spaces, like a hospital.

Gibbs Smith

“Part of what we do is informational,” Rahn continues. “With health care, maybe the architecture isn’t as spectacular as a museum or an art gallery, but it serves a really important function. We try to show how architecture actually engages with the user, which is invaluable to what you don’t see, like good medical outcomes. It’s easy to go down the design-fetish hole and find yourself somewhere where the end user doesn’t matter. I want it to matter.”

Clearly, Rahn is no vanity-project photographer; his first foray into architectural photography was shooting abandoned buildings. True, he is in glossier territory these days—Rahn’s work frequently appears in top shelter mags including Interior Design—but his is a process guy’s way of working.

He starts with lighting, considers conditions, and consults with collaborators. While a less thoughtful lensman’s first tendency might be to find a corner in order to fit everything possible into the frame, “the more effective photograph is one that is edited and looked at in a tighter way to find the essence of a space,” says Rahn, who thinks about how to distill a project to a series of smaller images as opposed to just “big wide shots that show everything and nothing.”

Gibbs Smith

In bringing his abandoned-buildings appreciation for authenticity to higher-profile projects, Rahn has become a top draw in architectural photography, which offers “a slower way of working than other kinds of photography,” he notes. “I like that it’s more contemplative.

Gibbs Smith

There’s a different energy.” As for leaving thoughts of architecture school behind, Rahn, with no regrets, takes this view: “It’s been an incredible design education. I see something new every day.” aframestudio.com

PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY OF BEN RAHN FROM THE MODERN A-FRAME, REPRINTED BY PERMISSION OF GIBBS SMITH

Jonathan Adler-decorated—and redecorated—Parker Palm Springs

Jonathan Adler: Decorated & Redecorated Parker Palm Springs

“Groovy modern meets Hollywood glamour with a touch of hedonism” is how Jonathan Adler describes the look of Parker Palm Springs, a hotel he worked on for its 2004 opening, then again for its makeover in 2017. Characterized by the use of bright colors and diverse textures, the hotel’s vibrancy reflects Adler’s own style and pervades its spaces.

Formerly Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch and Merv Griffin’s Givenchy Resort and Spa, the property—which was built on 13 acres—is surrounded by a variety of gardens with the desert and mountains providing a pleasing backdrop.

Jonathan Adler Parker Palm Springs in digs.net

Throughout the latest renovation, Adler was careful to preserve the hotel’s historic soul, but he complemented the midcentury modern architecture influences with more contemporary touches. A 7-foot tall, 900-pound bronze banana lawn sculpture is just one of the new elements, an addition that allowed Adler to put eccentricity and color center stage.

Parker Palm Springs comprises 144 rooms organized in several categories: the 600-square-foot Junior Suites are described as having “decadent, divine decor”; Poolside Rooms are “the nest you never need to leave”; with gorgeous outdoor sitting areas, Hammock Rooms are “crisp, happy, modern”; spacious Deluxe rooms feature an “easy-going essence and laid-back luxury”; and Estate Rooms are where “excess meets value.”

Finally are the property’s 12 one-bedroom Villas, each with a large living room, dining area, and private enclosed patio. In a category, all it’s own is the Gene Autry two-bedroom house, which presents as such with a living room, dining room, full kitchen, two bathrooms, closet, treatment room with sauna, screening room and lawn, immediately fostering the feeling of being at home in an atmosphere of luxury and intimacy.

Perfectly expressing the spirit of Hollywood, the place is appointed with several pieces of furniture from Jonathan Adler’s collection; architecturally, it epitomizes the midcentury modern architectural vernacular that defines Palm Springs.

Jonathan Adler Parker Palm Springs in digs.netIn addition to the 5,500-square-foot building dedicated to meetings and private events, the hotel also is home to various points of recreation, from European red clay tennis courts and two outdoor heated pools to the Palm Springs Yacht Club spa offering body treatments, steam and sauna rooms, an indoor pool, an open-air yoga studio and a gym.

Finding five restaurants and bars on the property is a particular feast for the eyes. With its fresh look, the open-all-day Norma’s—which hosts both an indoor and outdoor space for dining—contrasts with the dark-toned Mister Parker’s that has that Old Hollywood/Palm Springs style; Counter-Reformation, with its brass details, stylish mirrors and cement tiles is a hidden wine bar just waiting to be discovered; while the jewel box-like Mini Bar is an intimate yet grand establishment in the lobby. Outside, Lemonade Stand is a relaxed poolside venue with picnic tables and a bar.

Eye-catching for its bold interior design, Parker Palm Springs has started the new chapter of its fantastically interesting story, keeping its soul while setting new trends. Thank you, Mr. Adler. parkerpalmsprings.com

PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY OF PARKER PALM SPRINGS

Minimalism & Maximalism By Black Lacquer Design

“Nothing is as creatively exhilarating (and challenging) than starting from scratch,” says interior designer Caitlin Murray, founder of Black Lacquer Design. “What began as a sandy lot soon became a daring yet refined marriage of modern minimalism and maximalism.”

The owners of this home—a family of four living in Manhattan Beach—wanted a colorful, modern and inspired dwelling. They were immediately receptive to the bold ideas suggested by Murray, who worked on this project. The house, which is new construction, features clean, contemporary lines and white walls.

“This blank canvas allowed for a lot of creative freedom,” Murray says. “At the same time, it was a very collaborative process as the homeowners were so interested and involved in the design process; in fact, the shower tile layout in the main bath was client-designed.”

One small piece of decoration was the starting point for everything. “Very early in the project, the homeowners sent me a piece of multicolored, geometric wallpaper, which can be found in the downstairs bathroom, that became the inspiration for the whole project,” Murray explains. “It really encouraged the combination of vibrant and desaturated hues.”

Paints by Benjamin Moore, geometric wallpapers by Farrow & Ball and Astek, oversized abstract paintings, rich wooden credenzas, sculptural accessories, and wool rugs create textures and visual dynamism throughout all the areas.

When asked about her favorite element in the house, Murray answers without hesitation: “The paint-splattered Encrusted Spectrum wallpaper by Astek in the bedroom makes a fearless statement that I find so special.”

Lighting fixtures by France & Son, Leucos Lighting, Flos and Moooi—among others—combined with pieces by brands and designers such as Lawson-Fenning, Tom Dixon, RH Modern, ABC Carpet & Home, Kartell and Calligaris showcase different design styles and eras.

“Since the space is inhabited by a young family, form and function are equally important,” Murray says. “We juxtaposed very organic textures with metallics, acrylics and bright pops of color to bring soul, depth, and comfort to a very contemporary aesthetic. I think the variance makes the modern bones of the home feel kid-friendly and lived-in.” Touches of bold hues complement tonal grays, creating a playful and energetic look. “Adventurous color choices was definitely the theme for the home,” Murray confesses.

“I wanted to see a lot of variation in tones throughout the space, and I balanced it and made it pop by making softer, more subdued choices around those bursts of color.”

Thanks to a great dose of imagination and audacity, Murray has created a home with a strong personality like no other. blacklacquerdesign.com

PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY OF MARY COSTA PHOTOGRAPHY

Laura Aviva Creates Handmade Alchemy

We find inspiration in the unexpected and handmade alchemy of cultures colliding. We believe the artist’s hand has the power to transform age-old traditions into new creations. We honor the ties that bind an object to its origins, and we understand luxury as a way of deeply connecting with the people and the things that surround us.”

This is the ethos of L’Aviva Home, the brand founded by Laura Aviva who, after eight years as the Creative Director for Travel + Leisure magazine, started her own creative project.

In her New York City home, which is also her studio, Aviva and her small team design lamps, rugs, cushions, and wallpapers that are fabricated in different parts of the world, from Latin America to Africa and beyond. Behind every product is the hand of a skilled craftsperson.

“Each of our collections is born from a collaboration with master artisans,” says Aviva.“We marry their distinctive style with our own, designing through a process of shared vision.” Mexico holds a special place in her heart. “I have been spending time in Mexico since I was a baby and have, for many years, spent a month or two there… for both vacation and work,” she explains.

“I’ve traveled all over the country while I was at Travel + Leisure and now with L’Aviva Home. It’s hands-down my favorite country in the world […] both for its traditions and the people.” Raised in L.A., she adds that “the Mexican influence was a weighty one, especially in the realm of design—the Mexican design vernacular in Southern California is ‘mother tongue,’ and it really formed my design sensibility.”

L’Aviva Home’s newest collections include the Piedra lighting line, sculpted in the Mexican city of Tecalí from marble and onyx. The lighting fixtures’ clean lines and defined angles were inspired by the stone masks of the ancient Mexican civilization of Teotihuacan. Meanwhile, the Agave lighting collection was created in collaboration with glass studio Xaquixe in the Mexican city of Oaxaca.

This line features hand-blown glass pendants echoing the shape of the heart of the agave plant from which the beverage mezcal is made. A remote province in northwestern Argentina inspired L’Aviva’s Jujuy rug collection, comprising colorful wool rugs produced by a women’s cooperative in the region and L’Aviva Home’s workshop in Buenos Aires.

“Our departure points can range from a person to a tradition to a material to a workshop that inspires us,” says Aviva. “Wherever the inspiration starts, we then follow the trail—reaching into our network of friends, friends of friends, and word of mouth.

We seek to form collaborative relationships with the people we work with to create collections that are both uniquely ours and also ‘of a place’—they tell a visual story of where they are from and the tradition behind them.” lavivahome.com

 

PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF GENEVIEVE GARRUPPO AND L’AVIVA HOME (COLLECTION)

Beverly Hills Music History

Founded in 2003 by David Alhadeff, The Future Perfect is a unique gallery that operates in an unconventional way. Its program is adapted to each one of its locations: New York City, San Francisco and, most recently, Los Angeles.

“I love Los Angeles and have for years,” says Alhadeff. “We did an installation with TenOverSix years back and I fell in love with the energy in L.A…. I started to see an increase in the appreciation for contemporary design and felt now was a great opportunity to bring The Future Perfect to L.A.”

Located in Hollywood Hills and nestled in a modernist villa designed by architect David Hyun, the property was built in 1957 and purchased by Elvis Presley in 1967. For six years, Presley lived there with his wife, Priscilla, and their daughter, Lisa Marie; during this time he released “Suspicious Minds,” “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Hound Dog.”

“Given its pedigree, both as an incubator for a typical California style of architecture and as a storied, celebrity-filled enclave, Trousdale Estates was the perfect choice for the second iteration of Casa Perfect, of our Southern Californian gallery,” says The Future Perfect team.

Indeed, the Los Angeles location has the particularity of being nomadic. “Casa changes locations to experiment in different architectural settings overlaid with cultural or historical significance.”

The house features floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of the city and restored elements such as the marble fireplaces and coffered ceilings. “The newly renovated residence is nothing short of the mythical California pad imagined in vivid celluloid dreams,” notes the team.

Visitors (by appointment only) find in free-flowing and chic spaces pieces of contemporary design by Lindsey Adelman, Eric Roinestad, Chris Wolston, Dimorestudio, and Piet Hein Eek, among others. The environment, which looks like a home more than a showroom, makes sense. “It’s a 100-percent private experience for our clients,” says Alhadeff. “It’s a truly special experience where the work is surrounded by a residential context. And who doesn’t want to stop by a showroom that lets you take a dip in the pool?”

Pool parties, movie nights and one-of-a-kind exhibitions are all part of the gallery’s eclectic programming. In parallel to the first edition of Frieze Los Angeles, taking place Feb. 15-17, Casa Perfect will showcase never-before-seen photographs and films of pop art master Andy Warhol.

“It’s a dream come true, personally and professionally,” Alhadeff says about Casa Perfect. “I hope, through this location, to develop and work with more L.A. locals!” thefutureperfect.com

Terry Hunziker’s Own Creative Lab

Specializing in interior design, interior architecture, and furniture design, Terry Hunziker has lived in this apartment—located in downtown Seattle, in the historic neighborhood of Pioneer Square—for almost 24 years.

It is nestled in a brick building designed between 1892 and 1896, which housed a hotel for years; in 1995, it was transformed into condominiums with the addition of a fourth floor that allowed for rooftop garden spaces.

When Hunziker visited the apartments on the third floor—which all have two stories—he saw the potential immediately. The high ceilings (11 feet on the lower floor; almost 10 feet on the upper) and spectacular views of the Seattle skyline from the terrace convinced the interior designer, who reshaped the space during an eight-month renovation.

“I envisioned two units, side by side, to be opened up into one with reconfigured space,” Hunziker says. “One very important detail was to turn six double-hung windows facing the city into a second set of steel French doors.

By adding a steel beam detail above each window and a lower translucent glass panel at the bottom, the feeling of these windows now had that of a more industrial factory look: taller and narrower than the actual building windows.” In 2006, he added a third apartment and integrated it into the mix.

All areas were reorganized and delineated through the use of different materials such as cast concrete pavers and a terracotta Venetian plaster freestanding wall that acts as a partition for the entry. Blackened steel embedded runners visually divide the long dining gallery from the living room.

“The idea was to use contrasting colors, values, and textures, all fairly earthy tones from black to a kind of celadon beige, to off-white ceilings,” Hunziker explains. “My home is comforting, and given the gritty and extreme activity in Pioneer Square, it is like walking into another world, quiet and serene.”

After living here for over two decades, Hunziker, though he still loves his apartment, makes changes on a regular basis. For example, he plans to install a deeper and warmer oak floor, and possibly lighter plaster walls. “It is very much my design lab and I use some of its elements in my work with clients as well,” he confesses.

One of the most used pieces of furniture in the apartment is the dining table, where the interior designer sits, draws, reads and takes phone calls. The master bedroom suite, which has no doors and looks out to the terrace, is Hunziker’s haven of peace.

“The design of my home reflects my personality in that I am a collector of sorts: art, furniture, objects, and books,” explains Hunziker. “I like order and serenity and even though there are many things in my space, it doesn’t feel cluttered or unfocused.”

In his own space, Hunziker played with contrasts in many ways—between light and shadow, soft and raw, bright and matte—creating a perfect refuge to stimulate his creativity. terryhunziker.com

PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF KEVIN SCOTT AND AARON LEITZ

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