It is not news to The Cool Hunter readers that we value tasteful restorations. We believe that new and flashy and complicated is easy. Restored and restrained is difficult.
So it is easy for us to agree with British-born designer-to-the-stars Jake Arnold for whom his adopted hometown of Los Angeles can at times feel just a bit too new. His star client list includes Rashida Jones, Katy Perry and Chrissy Teigen.
On this lucky occasion, Arnold’s clients — a young couple with a toddler and a baby on the way — heeded his advice and instead of new, bought a 1951 house.
The 6,700-square-foot (622 sq.m), single-level, five-bedroom property located in Beverly Hills already possessed an “old soul” having been designed by American architect Gerard Colcord (1900-1984), who designed more than 300 residences and 100 residential remodels in California. Among others, Hollywood stars such as Bob Newhart, Dean Martin, Nicholas Cage and Harrison Ford have resided in Colcord-designed houses.
His signature was not a modernist, or any singular, style but a variety of traditional styles ranging from Tudor and Country French to Spanish Hacienda and Monterey Colonial.
Arnold stripped away all of the previous renovations of the 1951 house to reveal its initial layout and feel, and to showcase the colonnaded porches and bay windows so typical of Colcord’s houses.
Arnold then added distinctive 1950s Scandinavian, modernist and Art Deco touches, such as the 1940s Swedish chairs and a retro Finnish lamp in the breakfast room, and the curvy Art-Deco Swedish armchairs in the main bedroom.
The small bar in the living room corner also has a delightful retro feel with the suede-covered, brass-edged bar surrounded by Jean Royère’s steel-legged Yo-Yo stools.
The husband — an investor in the entertainment industry — uses the former pool house as his office where he often holds meetings as well. To deal with the large door in the middle of the side wall and to break up and soften the angular space Arnold used a circular, blue-velvet sofa flanking a 1950s bean-shaped French wicker table.
Outside in the pergola, the long wooden table and the fireplace were designed to accommodate the homeowners’ frequent dinner parties.
The landscape design is by Stephen Block’s prestigious Inner Gardens. For the safety of the children, the pool is surrounded by a protective fence. Beyond the fence is a tract of untouched landscape of trees and shrubs. Tuija Seipell
Images by Michael Clifford