Platinum Makes PerfectAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Bradley Bayou is an interdisciplinary designer who has been a success not only with interiors but also fashion and fine arts. He owned a couture fashion line beloved by stars including Oprah, Beyoncé and Eva Longoria as well as editors of major fashion magazines, who appreciated his effortless aesthetic and attention to detail. Like his gowns, his work with interiors, spanning from Los Angeles to New York, is widely respected for the sleek, gracious choices and impressive art selections.
A couple from Malibu, who recently built one of the largest LEED Platinum–certified homes in the world (around 14,000 square feet), needed Bayou to add his touch to the existing spaces that felt cold and incomplete. Starting with the landscaping, Bayou’s team added elements that blended in with the surrounding bluff while enhancing the home. Next, ceilings were cleared and architectural details throughout were cleaned up. “I had to soften up the interiors and create a new flow,” says Bayou. “It was like a big science project.” Bayou replaced bright white walls with Venetian plaster, lush wallpapers and warm finishes to pull in the grassy hillside and deep hues of the ocean just outside. The house, which sits on 16 acres with 180-degree views of the Pacific, is equipped with solar and turbine power systems that are so efficient, it allows the owners, who are groundbreaking scientists, to sell the energy back to the city.
Moving on to the furnishings and finishes, Bayou composed an elegant mixture of custom furniture, vintage finds and select pieces that coexist to complement the bucolic background. “I believe in having drama around every corner,” says Bayou. “As long as it’s not overdone and remains classic.” A standout piece that captures this subtle aestheric is a stunning ombré crystal chandelier from Twentieth in Los Angeles, which looks like a piece of candy hung above the dining table. Close to half of the furnishings and casegoods were designed specifically for this house by Bayou, including pillows from his own line that incorporate pops of geometry and tribal art.
Bayou spent hours visiting galleries to assemble the entire art collection, which features works by several California-based artists. “I didn’t want to select anything too decorative,” says the designer. “Buying art is like putting jewelry on a woman. It should complement her and not be overdone.” He included work from one of his favorite artists, Matthew Brandt, whose work Wai’anae 603626 (2016) hangs at the end of a long hallway on the first floor. Study for Die Hard (2015) by Gajin Fujita, an L.A.-based graffiti artist whose work has been shown in the Louvre, is showcased in the dining room. In the living room, Demarcation (2007) by Tony Berlant complements a custom sofa and pair of lounge chairs from Studio Van Den Akker. Bayou’s combination of highly curated art with the sexy, custom furniture, “Made the couple fall in love with their home,” the designer notes.