ISSUE 2  |  Western Edition

House Call: High on a Hill in Los Angeles

January 16, 2014 10:00 AM

BY Sarah Lonsdale

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Not many people can lay claim to living on a historic 4.5-acre estate in the heart of Los Angeles with fabulous views of the city to boot. An artist, decorator, and objects designer who defies classification, Kelly Lamb is lucky enough to do so, albeit in renovated stables. Perched on a hill in Silver Lake, the estate is the Paramour Mansion, built in 1923 for a silent movie star and his heiress wife. In the decades following its twenties glory, it served as a convent and then later a school for wayward girls, until it was purchased in 1998 by philanthropist and interior designer Dana Hollister.

A New York transplant, Lamb moved into her studio four years ago and loves living in a building that has such a history, not to mention an enchanted setting. She confides that, “The view is insane and the main grounds and gardens are spectacular. Some days it’s amazingly magical and serene.” The downside?  “Movies are shot here, and it can suddenly turn into the back lot of a film studio with Porta Potties outside my back door and studio gaffers yelling all day.” But as Lamb concedes, “It’s always exciting.” For more on the artist and designer, visit Kelly Lamb.

Photography by Laure Joliet for Remodelista.

Above: Surrounded by a walled courtyard, Kelly’s studio is situated on the ground floor of the former stables and her living quarters are upstairs. Kelly renovated the patio and put in the brick terrace. The octagonal ottomans are custom-order Kelly designs made of indoor/outdoor fabric, and each has wheels and a detachable Velcro loop at the bottom so it can easily be rolled around. 

Above: Kelly Lamb in the arched entryway to her studio where she and a small crew work on her geometric ceramics and other prototypes for her line of products–see Kelly Lamb.

Above: A Roche Bobois leather sofa in the living area where Lamb also has her desk.  On the floor is a cast bronze disco ball made by Lamb who early on became interested in the geodesic form–which explains her faceted ceramics line. An admirer of Buckminster Fuller, she says “I have always been inspired by sacred geometry and how it unfolds into so may different beautiful shapes.”

Above: The chalkboard painted front door has a To Do list scribbled on it. To the right is a trio of Lamb’s hand-blown colored Glass Lights with a custom metal finish. (She used to blow glass when she lived in New York.) Hanging from the ceiling is one of Lamb’s Moon Pendants made from ceramic with glossy glaze on a bronze chain with a crystal at the bottom.

Above: Lamb’s desk overlooks thee courtyard. The glass balls are color samples for her lighting line. On display throughout are collections and pieces of glass, crystal, and bronze. Lamb notes that she likes the mix of natural organics shapes alongside geometric forms. 

Above: Another view of the moving living room/work area. A Donald Judd armchair in copper was purchased at the end of an exhibition that Lamb photographed for the Judd Foundation several years ago at the Tate Modern in the UK. She explains, “I was taken with the copper pieces; they really spoke to me, especially when light radiates from them.” 

Above: The kitchen and dining area is anchored by a table with marble top.

Above: A faceted white serving bowl, vase, and tea cups from Lamb’s signature line of ceramics.  

Above: A traditional Japanese wooden cabinet is used for storing food supplies.

 Above: An Ed Ruscha print sits atop an Indonesian cabinet. The chair covered in gold fabric is borrowed from a friend.

Above : A view from the kitchen into the living area. Two horns found at a flea market are displayed on the cabinet beside a cardboard prototype with silver leaf on it. The painting is an early California landscape from the twenties.

Above: An inspired answer to window treatment: a Window Veil made by Lamb from Swarovski crystals and metal chains. 

Above: The view of Hollywood on one side and Downtown on the other. 

Stay tuned for a visit to Lamb’s studio. In the meantime, LA shoppers can find Lamb’s work on sale at the General Store in Venice. See more of our House Calls