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LA Palette Cleanser: A Flash-Free Holmby Hills Makeover by DISC Interiors, Before and After

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LA Palette Cleanser: A Flash-Free Holmby Hills Makeover by DISC Interiors, Before and After

May 24, 2019

“Not to get too woo-woo, but the first thing we noticed on touring our house was the warm loving energy that lingered from the two families who had lived in it before.” The new occupant of this 1936 brick and board-and-batten house is explaining how she and her husband jumped at the opportunity to be its third owners. The couple—she’s a caterer, he’s in real estate, and they have three young sons—appreciated details others might have found dated: the full bar, the paneled den, the internal buzzer system. They also saw room for improvement; they wanted to replace the vintage Ethan Allen vibe with opened-up spaces in shades of pale.

Specialists in low-key tailored ensembles, LA interior designers David John Dick and Krista Schrock of Remodelista directory members DISC Interiors stepped in to respectfully usher the structure into the 21st century. “We aimed for calibrated simplicity,” they say of their refreshingly low-glitz approach. “The house was very well-maintained but in need of a serious update.” Scroll to the end for a glimpse of what it looked like before.

Photography by Sam Frost, courtesy of DISC Interiors.

The red brick was whitewashed, but otherwise the exterior was preserved as is. (Because of tall hedges, Dick explains, it&#8
Above: The red brick was whitewashed, but otherwise the exterior was preserved as is. (Because of tall hedges, Dick explains, it’s hard to take a full-view photo.)

The house is located in Holmby Hills, in a neighborly section called Little Holmby that’s right next to UCLA.

In the entry, a collection of ceramics by LA-based French artist Emilie Halpern is paired with Apparatus&#8
Above: In the entry, a collection of ceramics by LA-based French artist Emilie Halpern is paired with Apparatus’s Trapeze 2 sconce. The designers preserved the original moldings and paneling throughout—”we fell in love with it”—and painted it and the walls Benjamin Moore’s White Dove, one of our 10 Easy Pieces: Architects’ White Paint Picks.
The living room was streamlined with a minimalist limestone mantel and wide-board fumed oak floors in place of wall-to-wall carpeting. The long sofa and wood coffee table are custom DISC designs. The vintage steel display cabinet came from Big Daddy&#8
Above: The living room was streamlined with a minimalist limestone mantel and wide-board fumed oak floors in place of wall-to-wall carpeting. The long sofa and wood coffee table are custom DISC designs. The vintage steel display cabinet came from Big Daddy’s Antiques; for more, see 10 Easy Pieces: Glass and Steel Cabinets and High/Low: The Vintage-Style Pharmacy Vitrine.

“I’m a neat freak in a house of boys,” the mother of the family tells us. “I wanted it to be very neutral but we had to keep in mind that we can’t live delicately: Everything we chose is comfy and easy to clean—and believe me, it all gets used. I hate those houses with rooms no one goes in.”

A custom console table displays a Ross Bleckner painting.
Above: A custom console table displays a Ross Bleckner painting.
The family gather in the paneled game room to play Rummikube and canasta—&#8
Above: The family gather in the paneled game room to play Rummikube and canasta—”we pull up more chairs and it gets very competitive.” The room was given a cosmetic makeover courtesy of Cedar Ridge, a pink from the Benjamin Moore Classic Color Collection, and Servomuto’s Giardino 2 pendant light inspired by Italian garden lanterns of the 1950s. The  Josef Hoffmann Side Chairs are early 20th century classics.
Is it time to bring back the rumpus room? This one is located right off the living room and gets put to use during the family&#8
Above: Is it time to bring back the rumpus room? This one is located right off the living room and gets put to use during the family’s many parties.
  In the den, the original mantel and paneling were updated with fresh paint: satin Collingwood from Benjamin Moore. The Li&#8
Above:  In the den, the original mantel and paneling were updated with fresh paint: satin Collingwood from Benjamin Moore. The Li’l Abner panel is an original Al Capp that came out of the client’s childhood kitchen. “My father was a dentist who used to barter his services for art,” she says.
&#8
Above: “It’s my only toy,” the father of the family says of the dining room’s new focal point: a walk-in wine cellar. The design—by DISC, fabricated by Cellar Masters—features aluminum-framed glass panels with a door in the center. The shelves, fitted for a 1,000-bottle California-centric collection, are made of ash with an antiqued mirror in the middle. Yes, it’s refrigerated: “temperature-controlled 55 degrees,” specifies its owner.

The leather chairs are from Restoration Hardware. “Our boys have spilled everything on them; it all just wipes up and adds to the patina.”

Enlarged and built from scratch, the kitchen was &#8
Above: Enlarged and built from scratch, the kitchen was “inspired by classic English designs that have warmth and utility,” says Dick. The cabinets and island are painted Benjamin Gray Mist and the polished nickel bridge faucet is from the Rohl Perrin & Rowe Contemporary Collection. The choice of pale upholstery on the stools was made viable by going with Sunbrella fabric.
  The owners themselves selected Calacatta Gold marble (with a &#8
Above:  The owners themselves selected Calacatta Gold marble (with a “leathered” finish) for the counters and backsplash: “Everyone told us not to do marble: do quartz, marble gets damaged. We said no, we want to have that marked-up European restaurant look,” says the resident caterer. “When you’re remodeling, there are hundreds of choices you have to make. We decided from the start, if we like something and can afford it, we’ll just go with it—and we won’t look at every other option. You drive yourself crazy if you do and you put off making decisions. Instead we said, good, done!”

The fridge and freezer are concealed behind paneled doors on the side wall. The porcelain lights over the island are Lucia Pendants, Remodelista favorites from British company Hector Finch.

A shaded sitting area off the living room opens to a terrace.
Above: A shaded sitting area off the living room opens to a terrace.
&#8
Above: “I know how loud and wild our life is,” says the mother (with her boys hooting in the background). “I wanted our bedroom to be completely simple.” The bedside table is DISC’s Ito Nightstand, part of a small collection of design staples available from the firm.
Like the kitchen, the master bath was given a complete rethink. Enlarged (by removing a closet and sitting room with a vanity), it now has a freestanding tub—the Michelangelo from Hydrosystems—set in a sunny niche with shelving at one end and a window in the other.
Above: Like the kitchen, the master bath was given a complete rethink. Enlarged (by removing a closet and sitting room with a vanity), it now has a freestanding tub—the Michelangelo from Hydrosystems—set in a sunny niche with shelving at one end and a window in the other.
A Lucca Antiques chair—does it look like a seated person to you?—stands next to an African stool. The walls are painted Benjamin Moore White Dove. &#8
Above: A Lucca Antiques chair—does it look like a seated person to you?—stands next to an African stool. The walls are painted Benjamin Moore White Dove. “In our practice, we attempt to create balance, to design spaces that provide places of comfort,” write the designers.

Before

Matching florals extended from the armchairs to the curtains in the living room. The wooden mantel, preserved in the den, was one of the only original architectural details the team ultimately decided to replace.
Above: Matching florals extended from the armchairs to the curtains in the living room. The wooden mantel, preserved in the den, was one of the only original architectural details the team ultimately decided to replace.
The game room and bar had hints of a different pale pink on the walls.
Above: The game room and bar had hints of a different pale pink on the walls.
The  kitchen was the only part of the house that had been remodeled in recent decades, during the era of speckled granite. The adjacent breakfast room became the wine cellar.
Above: The  kitchen was the only part of the house that had been remodeled in recent decades, during the era of speckled granite. The adjacent breakfast room became the wine cellar.

Hear what the duo behind DISC have to say about their approach in The Designers Are In, and here are two more of their projects:

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