A Place In The SunAuthor:Abigail Stone
Kim Gordon weaves Southern California cool in a dark and dreary Venice home
“When I first saw it, the house was so cold. There were cement floors, lots of exposed metal and sharp edges everywhere,” says interior designer Kim Gordon remembering her initial impression of this Venice Beach home. Built in 2008, it already felt dated, dark and heavy. “People are under the mistaken impression that contemporary design has to be cold and theoretical.” One look at Gordon’s work here instantly disproves that notion.
The European clients, who’d found Gordon through her Instagram, wanted a contemporary and relaxing home that felt “California”. “I remember her saying, ‘Please help me with this bachelor pad. I don’t even know where to put my shoes.’”
Gordon, who’s known for her livable interiors, got to work. She gutted the bathrooms and the kitchen. She reconfigured the floor plan. She replaced doors and windows. She warmed up the cement floors with stains. She reshaped the primary suite to optimize flow, view and sunlight. “So now you have a home that actually makes sense.” she says, “There are clean lines.”
Gordon takes a measured approach to open-concept living, creating a rhythm of open and closed spaces that speak to everyday needs. As one example, she created a entryway. “Before you walked in and saw the entire ground floor. So we created a foyer with coat closet for your shoes and places to put things,” she explains.
There’s also a twelve-foot wall hanging that creates a visual separation between the kitchen and living areas. “It’s like a macrame moment,” she says of the intricately woven piece by Venice-based artist Jayme Cole. Made of cord, it includes air succulents on both sides. “You can see right through, so the spaces are still connected in a way that keeps the light flowing, but there’s a slight division that creates definition.”
In the kitchen, Gordon reduced the island’s footprint, enabling her to carve out a welcoming breakfast banquet, pairing it with a set of vintage Arthur Umanoff barstools. “We had everything rebuilt,” she explains, “In addition to storage, it gave us the opportunity to create a coffee center and bar area.” Steel frame glass doors merge indoor and out while tall hedges ensure privacy.
“When we first got here, the home was a patchwork of industrial elements with lots of metal and different finishes,” she says, “Our goal was to calm that profusion down and create a more visually soothing experience.” Warm and welcoming, we’re calling it “California Compelling”.