Golden YearsAuthor:Abigail Stone
Designer Jaqui Seerman helps an East Coast transplant add color to her new West Coast abode
Brooke Hammerling, a New York-based communications strategist, was eager for a change of scenery. “She wanted more space and a garden where Potato, her white French bulldog, could frolic,” recalls interior designer Jaqui Seerman. So Hammerling rented a classic Spanish-style home in West Hollywood, sight unseen, and, on the recommendation of a friend, hired Seerman to transform its somber interiors into something fun and frivolous. The two women connected over Zoom; from their first meeting, Seerman understood what Hammerling was going for.
“She wanted happy. She wanted bright,” Seerman recalls. “She wanted Golden Girls glam.” That meant vivid colors, bold patterns and strong, inviting shapes. “We really leaned into that,” says Seerman, who had three months to carry out her vision before Hammerling arrived in Los Angeles. “She wanted it to be move-in ready,” says Seerman. “That meant wine, snacks for the dog and a fully-made bed for her to climb into at the end of the night.”
To accommodate the truncated timeline, Seerman relied on vintage finds and local resources. Unable to do any renovations, furniture, accessories and wall treatments would need to do the work of playing to the home’s strong points. Witness the removable wallpaper, which brightens the downstairs powder room. “To make this work, we were going to have to amp up its volume, especially since it’s the only bathroom downstairs and the one that all of her guests are going to use,” Seerman explains. “It’s an ‘Instagrammable,’ fun conversation moment that excites everyone.” With palm fronds that nod to the Beverly Hills Hotel’s iconic lobby, “it’s so emblematic of Los Angeles,” Seerman notes.
The pattern also serves as a touchstone for the rest of the home’s design. The caning seen in its background ties it to the rattan dining set outdoors, the club chairs in the family room and the playful arrangement of wicker frames in the dining room. Its exuberant greenery is echoed in the tropical floral pattern that covers the family room’s modern sectional and the foliage that blooms in the backyard. Its soothing green-and-tan color scheme arcs throughout the home, grounding the interior and linking it to the garden. “As you move through the spaces you see that the colors, the shapes and the patterns are there in all the rooms, so that really helps to make the whole house feel cohesive,” Seerman says.
Confirming the pairing of inside and out is a rust daybed, which floats in the middle of the formal living room. “That room was a little bit challenging,” Seerman admits. “I wanted to bring an injection of color into the room without overpowering the one piece—an upholstered armchair from Zak+Fox—that she’d brought with her from New York.” Fortuitously, Seerman discovered the daybed’s vivid hue in the pomegranates that dotted the design of the beloved piece’s weathered fabric. “Because it backs up to the French doors that lead to the backyard, it needed to be a transition point,” Seerman points out. “The fact that it’s open on both sides helps connect the backyard with the home’s other spaces. So you can be sitting on it yet talk to people wherever they happen to be.” Plus, Seerman laughs, “Potato happens to particularly like that spot.” A piano, topped with a dramatic floral arrangement, underlines the home’s brash, welcoming spirit. “It’s an amazing home for entertaining—which she does a lot.”
In fact, Hammerling has been so happy in Los Angeles that she’s since purchased the house. “I don’t think she’s ever going back to New York,” says Seerman. “She couldn’t imagine leaving this place now. It feels like home.”