A Matter of Form


Joshua Rose and Rafael Kalichstein of Form Design Studio  whip up a Brentwood home befitting a celebrity stylist and her husband.

The glamorous pedigree — she’s a celebrity stylist, he’s a high-powered businessman — wanted an equally chic home. A friend, who’d heard of their trouble finding a design team that understood their needs, recommended Joshua Rose and Rafael Kalichstein of Form Design Studio. “She gave us a ringing endorsement,” says Kalichstein, “We met and were immediately drawn to them. They’re happy, fun to be with, and up for anything fabulous!”

Opening image, above and throughout by Marc Angeles

The duo, riffing off their studio’s credo — Carl Molino’s decree that “everything is permissible as long as long as it is fantastic” — are known for their dazzling interiors which combine elegant fabrics, sumptuous textiles and luxurious materials to stunning effect. But their work is more than just pretty; they take a holistic approach to design. Explains Rose, “We provide a truly bespoke service that considers not only the aesthetic, but the emotional and experiential aspects of each project as well.”

In the dining room, Fuse Lighting’s Manhattan chandelier; Innovations Mica, Aegean wallcovering on the ceiling; BaaKo bowl by Corbin Bronze. Photo by Marc Angeles

The clients were used to beautiful pieces with incredible details. “As a stylist, she had those same expectations of the things that went into home,” says Rose. Kalichstein agrees, adding, “They have impeccable taste. They appreciate refined and elegant forms and materials and they recognize the value of craftsmanship.”

Photo by Marc Angeles

Above all, the clients wanted to erase what the team jokingly refers to as “the developer curse.” “While they couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was about the home that wasn’t working,” says Rose, “we had an immediate reaction to the space and a clear vision what it could be.” Overall, the interior and exterior need to be integrated. “It needed considerable renovation” says Rose. “The challenge was getting them comfortable with the big ideas,” says Kalichstein. But the clients, understanding that they had put themselves in the hands of an experienced team, were “thrilled to have a clear direction.” The results prove their trust in the Studio was well-founded.

In the kitchen, van Cronenburg hardware; Charlie Smallbone (distressed white marble floor tile); custom bleached walnut countertop; Martha Sturdy large resin platter. The cabinetry is hand-brushed with Fine Paints of Europe, imparting a feeling of both luxury and history. Photo by Marc Angeles
Photo by Marc Angeles

Although Form was able to use the same cabinetry, in its new incarnation the kitchen, butler’s pantry and bar bear no resemblance to their former selves. The kitchen has been transformed into a bright space with contemporary organic touches. The dark bar, which wraps around one corner, counterbalances the kitchen’s lightness with a comforting depth that encourages lingering.

Photo by Marc Angeles

While the purr of sleek elegance moves throughout all the rooms, it’s especially apparent in the the formal living room. Here a curvy pair of custom sofas with Art Deco sex appeal, covered in white mohair from Thomas Lavin, are paired with bespoke cinched-waist silver leaf tables, designed by Form and realized by Emanuel Morez. In the dining room, the glow from Fuse Lighting’s Manhattan chandelier is amplified in the mirror and the sparkling “Innovations Mica” Aegean Wallcover that papers the ceiling.

Photo by Marc Angeles

The results, accomplished in double time when two learned the clients were pregnant, were greeted with deight by the clients. In fact, when they recently purchased another property, they called Kalichstein and Rose at near midnight on a Saturday, “The said, ‘Guys, we have a new project to talk about!’ They love the house and were effusive in their thanks.” In top form indeed.

Photo by Marc Angeles