ISSUE 33  |  Summer Cottage

The Frank & Eileen Showroom: An Ode to Ireland in LA

August 21, 2014 11:00 AM

BY Margot Guralnick

Share This:

Audrey McLoghlin’s shirt company, Frank & Eileen, is named after her Irish grandparents. And though her designs are sewn in California from Italian chambrays and other fabrics, McLoghlin’s Irish roots are woven into her business. “My parents emigrated to the States in the late 1970s and were the first in our family to make a huge sacrifice for the American dream. It’s something I’m so thankful for. And because of this, I felt the collection had to be made in the US—it’s my way of paying it forward.”

To celebrate Frank & Eileen’s five-year anniversary and burgeoning success, the company has just moved into a proper home—one that’s spread over 6,800 square feet and designed to evoke an old Irish country house. The showroom/office is the work of New York interior designer Melody Weir, who went shopping for old windows and chairs, and proceeded to create an astonishing stage set of sorts. The space is located on the top floor of the 1914 Lady Liberty Building, originally a billiard table factory and now converted into raw lofts for fashion showrooms. Filled with clever DIY solutions and off-the-rack finds, Weir’s “house” offers plenty of designs ideas worth replicating at home. Make yourself a cup of Irish breakfast and take a look.

Photographs by Torkil Stavdal.

Above: The space started as a wide-open loft with exposed brick and a buckling Sheetrock ceiling. After ripping out the Sheetrock (and applying six coats of paint to cover the rusty beams), Weir divided the setup into rooms by creating walls out of old windows. The center attraction is this grand hallway.

Weir scoured LA for large and small windows, and “hit the jackpot at the Pasadena Habitat for Humanity.” She made the tables, shown here, from old zinc warehouse fire doors set on white sawhorses. The hardwood floors are original to the factory.

Above: “A lovely man in LA, Mr. Lester Anderson, makes benches out of old chairs,” Weir says. “I worked with him and picked the chairs; we put three together, painted them gray, and made seat cushions out of Frank & Eileen shirt fabric.” The benches can be ordered on request at Melody Weir.

Above: The grand hall is 11 1/2 feet wide and 40 feet long. The glass bottles, known as demijohns, were purchased on eBay, Etsy, and online shop Italian Demijohn.

Above: A 20-foot-tall olive tree stands in the center of the grand hall. It’s positioned between the archive room and the showroom, both of which have doors built from extra-long windows.

Above: In the archive/design room, the full collection of Frank & Eileen’s shirts over the years are displayed on hangers suspended on jute twine hung from hooks in the ceiling. “I wanted the shirts to have a museum installation feel,” Weir says.

Above: Designers work in the archive room on Borges Zinc-Topped Tables by Zentique. Victory Pendant Lamps from CB2 hang from the 20-foot-high ceiling. The wall cabinets are made from Ikea’s Pax Wardrobes and Risdal doors.

Above: The showroom is anchored by a Lenox Charcoal Wool Woven Rug from Dash and Albert. The Salvaged-Wood Round Trestle Table and Madeleine Side Chairs are both from Restoration Hardware.

Above: Frank & Eileen’s latest women’s and men’s collections are displayed on wooden dowels suspended from 1 1/2-inch marine rope. Go to Frank & Eileen to see the company’s designs.

Above L: A detail of the twine-tied rope. Weir made the hanging bars from closet dowels and capped them with wooden finials from a hardware store. Above R: Women’s belts are showcased on an old ladder against two-toned painted brick walls.

Above: Buyers who come to Frank & Eileen’s are offered tea and biscuits—and can take a seat at the in-house tea bar. “The counter is made from T111 plywood with eight-inch, on-center grooves,” Weir says. “It’s topped with Carrara marble.” She found the apothecary shelves at Olde Good Things in LA and painted them and the bar in a Farrow & Ball gray called Down Pipe. The Tea Canisters came from ABC Tea; Weir made the labels out of “Frank & Eileen shirt labels that we blew up and adhered to the tins.”

Above: The cafe table is a Habitat for Humanity find that Weir painted gray and positioned against the two-toned brick. To work well with Frank & Eileen’s pinstripes, Weir adhered to a palette of white, gray, and black throughout.

Above L: A wall of the tea bar is a Frank & Eileen scrapbook of sorts, decorated with what McLoghlin describes as “family photos, love letters, wedding announcements, and old Irish sayings.” Weir gathered the frames at flea markets. Above R: The metal and leather bar stools came from Olde Good Things.

Above: The dramatic dining room features a wall collage made from Frank & Eileen shirt fabrics mounted on poster board and glued onto two connected sheets of plywood. It’s the work of designer/maker Don McLoghlin, brother of Audrey. The windows came from Pasadena Architectural Salvage. The table is another Habitat for Humanity find that Weir painted gray and is surrounded by vintage bentwood chairs from Olde Good Things. The galvanized light came from the Fairfax Flea Market, in LA.

Above: The bathroom has beadboard wainscoting and a floor of light Carrara marble tiles from Home Depot. The sink is the Structure Lavatory and Pedestal Combo from Home Depot. Weir found the mirror at the Rose Bowl Flea Market and flanked it with Edison Caged Sconces from Restoration Hardware.

Above: Weir used old windows to build a house-like peaked entrance off the elevator.

Above: Rows of ivy, succulents, and other greenery are displayed on scaffolding. Weir reports that she got the shelves from Cornerstone Scaffolding: “We painted the poles with a Rustoleum rust-colored spray paint and painted the boards a medium gray.” The pots are tool and screw bins and wooden grout boxes from Olde Good Things. Presented in rows, they impart a country feel to the top of the loft building.

Melody Weir is a commercial and residential interior designer. See more of her work at the WellNest Store in Sag Harbor, New York, and at Melody Weir.

Go to our photo gallery to browse our favorite Loft Spaces. And for more plant display ideas, have a look at A DIY Hanging Garden and other Planters & Plant Stands on Gardenista.