Beauty in the Bland: A Hollywood Condo Sees the Light
Marrying two tiny condo units into one beautiful space was a both a thrill and a challenge for Los Angeles interior designer Jeff Andrews. On one hand, he was given free rein to experiment, as this was his client’s second home and the focus was on entertaining. On the other, the units had little character, ceilings whose heights didn’t match up and a web of utility vents to work navigate, making every step difficult. In the end, the designer surmounted the problems, and checked off several items on his design bucket list along the way.
One of Andrews starting points was the wide-plank oak floors. "I was trying to add character," he says. "These floors struck the perfect rustic-modern note." The weathered boards offer a firm foundation for the round Eero Saarinin dining table surrounded by Charles Eames' office chairs—an uncoventional choice. "My client wanted these chairs because he finds them more comfortable than any other," says Andrews. "Since they swivel, eliminating the need to push a chair back from the table, I was able to use a beautiful shag rug underneath." The ceiling displays a modern grid—a fresh take on a traditional coffer—and a custom light fixture, both designed to solve problems. The grid ceiling allows for more heighth while accomodating incovenient vent pipes. The light fixture adds a much-needed dash of visual interest in what used to be a white box.
The kitchen, which won a California Home+Design Award in 2011, allowed Andrews to use a material he'd been hungering to try: Heath ceramic tiles with an oval pattern. "It's a small space, and they make a great statement in it," he says.
The living room is dominated by a wooden artwork with surprising origins. "It was the top of a coffee table," says Andrews. "I saw it in a showroom and thought it was striking, and would be even more so on the wall."