Collect Call


Seyie Putsure showcases the treasures of the past in a contemporary home in Pacific Palisades

On the other side of the living room, a custom sectional sofa, in seafoam shade of the teal that winds its ways through the house, is joined by a painting by Nikolina Kovalenko. 
Photography by Dominique Vorillon (interior styling by Liz Strong)

How do you incorporate antiques and art into a contemporary home while still creating a space that feels modern and livable? That was the dilemma that confronted interior designer Seyie Putsure when she was asked to work on this Pacific Palisades house. “I try to enhance people’s lives through places,” says Putsure who worked in fashion and branding before founding Seyie Design in 2007. “Whether it’s a home they enjoy spending time in or a store where shopping becomes a memorable experience.”

The owner of this home, who is the Co-Chair of the Southern California Asia Society, had vibrated between the US, Hong Kong and Beijing for many years, amassing a vast collection of Chinese antiquities. Putsure would need to highlight their beauty without making the space feel like a museum. “How do I showcase these pieces yet still ensure that the space feels warm and inviting?,” Putsure says. “I wanted his home to be imbued with respect for Asian design concepts in their most authentic form.” That was especially important to Putsure, who is of South Asian descent. 

“The client is drawn to maximalist interiors which mix funky furniture, playful prints and colors so we took that as our inspiration,” Putsure explains. “The idea was to weave the pieces into a seamless, inviting whole using the home’s contemporary architecture as the framework against which the look would really stand out.” 

“This is a modern project based on midcentury ideas with every corner of the house inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright,” Pusture stresses. “The house is what’s known in geometry calls a right trapezoid and the architect, Doug Dworsky, worked tirelessly to channel the light through every corner of the house.”

The kitchen’s dark lacquer cabinets, simple hardware and wooden floors merge it with the rest of home.

White walls, modern shapes and a strong sense of restraint keep the home from feeling overpowering. In the kitchen, the woodwork was refinished in a dark brown lacquer that nods to the dark lacquer of many of the home’s Asian pieces. It elides into the dining area, where a bold floral fabric used for the bench and a sleek architectural pendant illustrates how Putsure deftly melds East and West, past and present. 

A custom dining table and bench with a bold, floral fabric by Pierre Frey, leather dining chairs from DWR, and the sleek architectural pendant from Roll & Hill creates an intimate dining area off the kitchen.

The powder room’s bold, chinoiserie wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries is heightened by a custom lacquered bath vanity.  The plumbing fixtures and sconces are by Waterworks.   

“The owner requested that I put my own strong statement in the powder room,” says Putsure of the bold room. “It reflects the home’s concepts but with more dramatic expression. The rich color deepens the teal of the home to greater depths. Paired with chinoiserie wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries the result is a “POW!”

In the bedroom, a bench, reupholstered in emerald green silk by Manual Canovas, an antique Chinese lacquer screen and and table lamps from Arteriors. 
Caption: Facing the bed in the primary suite, a vintage black lacquer cabinet, found on 1st Dibs is joined by a Syrian mother of pearl side table

In the primary bedroom, white bedding and a pale rug join the white walls and a profusion to light to balance an antique bench upholstered in a bright emerald silk, pillows with an exuberant floral print, voluptuous table lamps from Anteriors and a compelling antique Chinese lacquer screen 

“The client’s direction for the great room was to be ‘fabulous, impressive and welcoming,’” Putsure shares. On one side, the furniture revolves around a steel and glass Paul Evans coffee table, commissioned in 1965 by the owner’s father. On the other, a sectional, customized to fit the room’s intriguing trapezoid shape, is an inviting spot on which to relax and watch tv.  

“The house is more than a living space,” says Seyie. “It’s a setting for art, both owned and to be created. We took an exceptional base of art and decoration put together over decades and created a space that worked for the whimsical, generous and magnanimous side of someone who loves his work and the experiences that he has been able to enjoy and wants to share that with others.” 

Bistro seating on the small balcony off the primary bedroom