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Kitchen of the Week: French Mid-Century Style in Santa Monica

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Kitchen of the Week: French Mid-Century Style in Santa Monica

October 10, 2019

We like to check in on Los Angeles-based Commune Design from time to time. The multidisciplinary design studio (it works on architecture, interior, graphic, and product design projects) always seems to have something interesting in its portfolio. On our latest visit, we were rewarded with this distinctive kitchen in Santa Monica.

It belongs to Hollywood talent manager Evelyn O’Neill and was inspired by Maison La Roche in Paris. (Not familiar with the architecturally important residence? See Alexa’s 12 Design Lessons from Le Corbusier’s Maison La Roche in Paris.) O’Neill visited the landmark in 2015 with her friend, actress and design enthusiast Julianne Moore, and was immediately enamored with its unusual palette of warm apricot and vibrant green-blue, a color scheme she thought would translate well in her high-rise apartment overlooking the Pacific.

On Moore’s recommendation, she hired Commune to bring some of Le Corbusier’s mid-century modern sensibility to her two-bedroom flat. “I would say it’s more like the feel and spirit of the project were inspired by Le Corbusier than any particular thing—except for the color palette which is literally his,” says the firm’s co-founder Roman Alonso, who also cites French mid-century giant Charlotte Perriand as an influence on this renovation.

Below, the chic results.

Photography by Stephen Kent Johnson, courtesy of Commune Design.

The white oak cabinets are painted “Blanc,&#8
Above: The white oak cabinets are painted “Blanc,” from Le Corbusier’s Polychromie Architecturale line by Drikolor, says Alonso. A custom white oak butcher-block island and cork flooring add warmth to the space.
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Above: “The handles are inspired by Charlotte Perriand’s. We did our own version of her vertical cabinet pulls,” shares Alonso. A mix of metals— stainless steel on the countertops and along the side of the island; a copper backsplash and vent hood, unsealed to allow for oxidation—plays nicely.
More metals to add to the appealing mix: aluminum sliding doors (fronting the slim niche for drinking glasses) and a brass faucet from Waterworks&#8
Above: More metals to add to the appealing mix: aluminum sliding doors (fronting the slim niche for drinking glasses) and a brass faucet from Waterworks’ “Henry” line. “The tiles are Heath ‘Nude’ tiles that we developed for the Tartine Manufactory project in San Francisco and later became part of the line at Heath. It’s the clay used for the tiles [but] with no glaze and simply sealed, hence ‘nude’,” explains Alonso.
A VL45 Radiohus Pendant hangs in the custom breakfast nook.
Above: A VL45 Radiohus Pendant hangs in the custom breakfast nook.
Adjacent to the kitchen is the dining area, with a Commune-designed console with attached bar. Surrounding the table are George Nakashima&#8
Above: Adjacent to the kitchen is the dining area, with a Commune-designed console with attached bar. Surrounding the table are George Nakashima’s Grass-Seated Chairs.
Another bespoke touch: Lindsey Adelman&#8
Above: Another bespoke touch: Lindsey Adelman‘s “Cherry Bomb” wall sconce.

For more Commune projects, see:

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