Home Away from HomeAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Joe Lucas and David Heikka find their own personal paradise in Solvang
Joe Lucas, principal designer at Lucas Studio and owner of the multiline, bicoastal showroom Harbinger, and his partner, David Heikka, vice president of retail at Parachute, can often be found on a plane, traveling around the country mainly for work, sometimes for pleasure. Whether opening a new showroom, visiting a job site or shopping for clients, the pair lead a busy life that requires moments of respite.
For over 25 years they have called L.A. home, living for the last seven in the Silver Lake neighborhood. However, during the pandemic they realized it was time to create a nest where they could escape hectic city life and unwind from their countless journeys. “We loved our 1920s Spanish-style house, as it was set upon a hilltop, had amazing views and was the perfect size for both of us and our two dogs,” says Heikka. “But after seven years we were ready to try something new.”
During the pandemic, Lucas was working on a project in Santa Ynez, which led to the couple spending long weekends in the region with friends, wine tasting and exploring. “Solvang is full of surprises,” says Lucas. “The area really spoke to both of us with its rolling hills, beautiful oak trees, farms and vineyards, as well as great restaurants and a sense of calm.” After a few unsuccessful bids for homes in Ojai and a handful of magical trips to Solvang, they fell in love and put an offer on the perfect property. “The house had a lot of what we liked—great layout, amazing views, beautiful pool, proximity to lots of amenities and a blank slate for us to put our stamp on,” says Heikka. “Joe’s work always features color and lots of layers, so we saw a great opportunity to make a beautiful home of our own. We called our broker that morning and made haste to Solvang to tour the house that day. A quick offer followed, and we got the house!”
The ranch-style, 2,600-square-foot home features four bedrooms on one side of the property and a living room, family room, dining room, kitchen and breakfast nook that open onto a central outdoor courtyard that is also accessible from the primary bedroom. Luckily, the previous owners took excellent care of the home, so the move-in process was fairly turnkey. “Since the bones were great and the previous owners had put so much pride into ownership, we wanted to continue that dedication to the space while making it our own,” says Lucas. “Really the biggest challenge was being patient with the process, as we had a few months after purchasing the home before we could move in, so we used that time to quickly scheme the house and decide on paint colors, furniture and fabrics and the overall vibe.”
The two worked together to decisively curate each space so that friends and family could enjoy them. “Everything came together very quickly, and David and I agreed on most if not everything—which is a triumph for us as our design aesthetics differ a bit. David is more minimal while I love color, pattern and layers,” Lucas recalls. “We partnered with Urquidez, an amazing local contractor, and had the best project manager possible–thank you DJ!” The shared goal was to create a sense of calm by utilizing a rich color palette inspired by the surrounding environment. “To us these colors feel like a cross section of all the colors in nature we see around us,” Lucas notes. “One request from David was that he needed an office space—since he mostly works at home—so we created it in one of the bedrooms and painted the walls a dark chocolatey brown to give him the moody vibe he wanted.”
Of course, the greatest advantage when designing this project was Lucas’s access to top brands carried at Harbinger, which came together seamlessly. “We love to look around and see our favorite textiles from CW Stockwell, Zak+Fox, Kelly Ventura, Kettlewell Collection, Wayne Pate and Virginia White,” says Lucas. “From the lighting by Hector Finch and The Urban Electric Co, the rugs by Stark Carpet and Marc Phillips and the art and accessories by Karyn Millet, Lawson-Fenning, Soho Home and Harbinger vintage finds, it’s great to be surrounded by so many of our friends’ work and live in this collective environment.” Lucas and his team worked with Ferguson to source faucets, fixtures and smart toilets throughout. Each room is completed with at least one Parachute item, which adds an extra layer of comfort.
When asked about their favorite moment inside the home or around the property, Heikka answers, “The pool. It’s the centerpiece of the backyard and we love its setting against the rolling hillside beyond. This is our first pool together, and we love to take our daily dips while staring out at grand oak trees and our friends, the local deer. And while we are on a main street in town, we feel completely removed from any sense of hustle and bustle and really get to relax when outside. It’s one of the reasons we love our home so much.”
SHOP THE LOOK
Joe Lucas shares what’s inside his Solvang escape
–Lucia Double Rise and Fall pendant shown in Naval Blue by HECTOR FINCH; available at Harbinger L.A.
–Ocelot Belgian linen by CW STOCKWELL; available at Harbinger L.A.
-Block Island Sofa by HARBINGER
–Rohl 8-inch Widespread Bathroom Sink Faucet (shown in polished nickel); available at FERGUSON
–Vela Plus Smart Toilet by SIGNATURE HARDWARE; available at Ferguson