In Darren Star’s Living room is an amazing collection of Art by Kehinde Wiley (through doorway), Candida Höfer and Robert Therrien
I must profess, Architectural Digest has been on a whirlwind of spectacular Features for the last few months. (Case in point ONE, TWO and THREE) Keeping with this trend of inspiring, brilliant and gorgeous interiors/gardens that are both visually arresting as well as resonating deeply & conceptually, is the home of famed Writer/Producer Darren Star’s (Sex and the City) gloriously inviting home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. One part Old Hollywood, one part Gallery-Chic, one part Entertainer’s delight and one part Designer Zen… it is simply put, glorious.
The house is a 1930’s Old-Hollywood gem and was designed by John Byers (a famous Hollywood Architect whose work was a fusion of Spanish and Mexican elements combined with the lifestyle and sensibility of Hollywood glamour and style). As Darren Star says in the Architectural Digest feature “I loved the Old Hollywood feel, especially in the spectacular rounded bar”. To transform the beautiful bones but remove the decades of dated remodeling and ill-fated “paste-on’s”, Star hired Architect Mark Rios to create the space of his dreams… YET COMPLETELY keeping the original features and qualities of the house that made him fall in love with it originally. For myself, I adore the breathtaking views seen in the detailed photo spread showing the mountains, the famed L.A. city views and the ocean. The “21-st Century” upgrades included carving out a Hollywood worthy entrance hall centered around a sculptural floating staircase, building an independent “guest house” that includes a screening room, gym & an office fit for a major TV mogul AND converting the garage adjacent to the kitchen into a double-height family room that serves as the “inner sanctum”. ALL this, while maintaining the original thrust and language of the John Byers original Design.
Design wise, I love the fact that Style is ALWAYS equally paired with comfort and use-ability. This is not a case of the usual “pretty to look at but don’t touch, sit or enter” type of interiors…the rooms are spacious, beautiful, balanced and completely welcoming to be touched, loved and have a flock of friends over at any time… perhaps the grandest space is the Hollywood Bar…where the walls and beams are enrobed in 16 luxurious coats of chocolate lacquer!!! Seriously…you need to go see ALL the photos of this stunning home AND pick up this issue of Architectural Digest.
Calm yet cerebral and visually FRESH… the Living room has many subtle yet beautiful details such as the pair of vintage Italian floor lamps. Over the marble mantle is a work by John McLaughlin. The 1950s trapezoidal cocktail tables are by Edward Wormley and give a quiet sense of playfulness and personality.
The bold, modern and striking kitchen (the cabinetry is by Bulthaup and really grounds the space beautifully), includes suede stools with a sculptural form and stainless frames. My favourite aspect in the kitchen are the gorgeous, jewelry-like sink fittings by Dornbracht.
In the 2-storey family room a bronze-clad fireplace is surrounded by vintage Gianfranco Frattini lounge chairs upholstered in a Donghia cotton (giving a stunning, delicate visual texture), a pair of (circa-1925) Eugène Printz palmwood stools and a custom tuxedo/boxy sofa clad in a Castel fabric. The STUNNING leather-covered cocktail table is by Nicholas Mongiardo … I am in LOVE with this piece at the moment and just want to stroke it lovingly while sipping a latte and watching SITC reruns.
The Master Suite sitting area features a sculptural, vintage telescope and a Pierre Jeanneret bookcase.