Monday, January 12, 2009

House Voyeur: Rustic and Retro in Silverlake

Sheharazad Pezeshkpour and Ron Fleming's Silverlake home is, to me, the quintessential arty Los Angeles abode: set into a leafy hillside and filled with quirky vintage treasures.

I love how the couple has fused rustic, retro, and modern elements. This is no cookie-cutter midcentury modern showhouse, outfitted with the requisite iconic pieces but somehow lacking soul. Rather, it's a warm, inviting space that feels very personal and reflective of its owners' personalities. I'd love to come to a party here, sipping glass after glass of red wine out on the patio and having heady conversations late into the balmy L.A. night.

Here, Sheharazad gives us a virtual tour of the designing duo's (she works for a business-design firm called Studio Deluxe, while Ron co-owns YYES) 1,980-square-foot urban oasis:

"Built in 1952, our home is a California rancher with midcentury, clean-lined touches.

Our style is eclectic and considered. We like to mix pieces from different decades and have an appreciation for objects that showcase excellence in design and craftsmanship. We’ve designed the house as a whole to have a relaxed, atmospheric vibe. And within that, each room in our home is designed to have a purpose.

We’re inspired by so many designers: Tony Duquette, David Hicks, Kelly Wearstler, Jonathan Adler, Ralph Lauren, John Lautner, Edward Durrell Stone, LaGardo Tackett, Yves St. Laurent … all have such an incredible sense of style. We also find inspiration through reading old issues of Sunset magazine and Architectural Digest from the ’60s, ’70s, and even the ’80s. You really get to see a variety of design solutions that worked in the past — and, of course, some that should stay in the past. But the most inspiring ones are always the things that were so ahead of their time that they still look futuristic, even now when they’re considered vintage.

A couple of our favorite things about this house are the exposed beams and high ceilings in the main room, which adds a lot of depth to the space, making it feel larger than it is.

We tend to gravitate toward midcentury modern and 1960s design, so we often buy secondhand. Most of our décor is pieced together from trips to local flea markets, secondhand stores, and yard sales, and from perusing craigslist. We’re definitely bargain-hunters. We see our house as a work in progress. We’re constantly changing the décor, adding and taking away. It evolves with each new find.

When it came time to think about furniture, we opted to keep our vintage pieces and have them reupholstered. For our couch, we chose brown Italian theater velvet and for our chairs, we chose remnants from the Holly Hunt collection that our upholsterer had left over from a previous commission.

We also splurged on the shelving in our main room. Ron's a vinyl junkie and we both love books. We needed quality pieces that were modern and functional to house our favorite books and Ron's record collection. Our good friend Amy Devers is an amazing furniture designer and carpenter. She and Ron worked together to come up with a design that fit the room, and Amy built all the custom hardwood casework herself.

Over the years we've collected a group of paintings, serigraphs, lithographs, etchings, drawing, prints, pottery, and glass that suit our taste. Many of the midcentury pieces are from artists associated with the Chouinard School in California, but they're peppered with an original Chagall (thanks, St. Vincent de Paul!), an early Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, various works by talented friends, and the occasional anonymous trash-heap find.

Our house is surrounded by bamboo, which grows incessantly and Ron trims regularly. We have so much of it, in fact, that we’ve begun to display some of the taller trimmings as vertical elements throughout the house. As they dry and age, the bamboo changes from green to a neutral color. It’s a nice homage to the living bamboo you see through the windows.

We tend to display the things we collect — pottery, ceramics, cast iron kitchenware — in larger groups to add visual interest.

Our biggest challenge is keeping our love of 'things' from taking over the house. To control our ever-growing collections, we recently started an Etsy store called the White Mole, where we sell some of our finds so we don’t have to start charging them rent.

We used Ralph Lauren paints throughout our home — specifically the Vintage Masters Collection. Our bedroom is painted in the Olive Tree shade.

We got a great deal on a set of black leather Le Corbusier-style couches that we use in our movie room. The paint color is Ralph Lauren's New Castle Brown.

Ron built the table in our 'Japanese tea room' from an antique head- and footboard that our neighbors were getting rid of. He designed custom fasteners to bring the two pieces together and had glass fitted for the tabletop. I’m so proud of how he was able to creatively repurpose something old and give it a new life. It’s a great conversation piece.

We love our home’s original wood windows. We don’t use window treatments, except in our bedroom and in the movie room (where we need the option of keeping light out), so it really brings in a nice sense of the immediate outdoors.

In our backyard, which is built on a hillside so that it has tiers, we’ve tried to create separate spaces, each evoking an emotional response. For example, a space you’d want to meditate in versus a space you’d want to entertain in versus a space you’d want to read in.

Our advice: Don’t be afraid to mix things up. Add your own touch by playing with different textures and shapes that speak to you. Put something old next to something new, and both items will have an added sense of character."

Thanks so much for sharing your enchanting home and garden with us, Sheharazad and Ron! (Pssst — you can check out even more of it on their flickr set.)

P.S. Want to see more? Click here for a look inside other readers' homes.

8 comments:

beachbungalow8 said...

it's like a gallery, of all cool things. They've done such a good job at 'curating' it doesn't feel cluttered. That back yard is lovely.

Turquoise said...

Fabulous home and post! Thank you for sharing!

sandra said...

Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous!
I love these home tours... more please! (:
(u are one of my fav blogs because of these!! Could you designate a day for them so I have something to look forward to. Like house voyeur mondays etc? )

Leah said...

Hi Sandra,

I almost always do run these on Mondays, but usually don't have enough lined up to guarantee one *every* Monday. (Volunteers always welcome!)

;-)

Leah

j & g said...

this house is gorgeous...i love the collections of lovely things, the plants, the bamboo, the earthy vibe mixed in with all your retro finds. good work!

Anonymous said...

What a great spot to have a BBQ and party on a warm summer night...is that the money you can save with Geico hiding in the pots and pans?

TheDecoDetective said...

Gorgeous home! I'm impressed how it's been filled with beautiful things yet it's still not looking cluttered!

erin@designcrisis said...

Beautiful home! I especially love the homemade Japanese tea table and the gorgeous patio.

 

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