Inside An Unapologetically Fun Midcentury Home In L.A.

Interior designer Jamie Bush and architect William Hefner reimagine a midcentury home that looks and feels like a dream!

Interior designer Jamie Bush, architect William Hefner, and landscape maestro Raymond Jungles came together to conjure a blockbuster vision of Los Angeles, creating a home that feels fun, contemporary, nostalgic and sexy. Come with us inside this incredible midcentury home in L.A. that will have us rethinking the design of our own homes!


The architect replaced the original pitched roof with a flat one and reclad the structure in reclaimed brick.

With its circular skylights, color-blocked rooms, and pink-tinged indoor-outdoor terrazzo floors, the house represents a fearless pasticcio of Hollywood Regency, Art Deco, Palm Springs camp, tropical modern, granny chic, and a dash of Morris Lapidus–style Miami Beach cha-cha. For anyone who is a fan of Midcentury and Art Deco decor, this house is a dream come true.

A 1970s Italian glass pendant hangs above a custom banquette in Keleen Leather with a Studio Van den Akker table and chairs in the breakfast nook.

The celadon-hued pantry.

When it comes to neutral colors, raw linen, oak floors or rustic farm tables,  “I didn’t want any of that,” Mary Kitchen avows, rejecting the current trends amongst celebrities and interior designers. “I wasn’t looking for a cool midcentury house in the Hollywood Hills, with exquisitely tasteful interiors,” she says, adding emphatically, “I didn’t want a house that looks like everyone else’s.”

The primary bedroom has a custom bed in Pierre Frey fabric, vintage Williams Haines lamps, an alpaca shearling rug by Marc Phillips, and artworks by John Baldessari (above bed) and Anne Truitt.

A Victoria + Albert tub and a Christophe Delcourt side table anchor the primary bath. (left) Kitchen’s home office has a Campana Brothers chair for Edra, a Luigi Caccia Dominioni table lamp, David Bonk wallpaper from Thomas Lavin, and an Anne Collier photograph. (right)

“The house is a glamorous throwback fantasy, but it’s also weirdly unfashionable. Mary pushed it in the most courageous way. Most people simply wouldn’t have the chutzpah,” Bush says of his audacious client, a television presenter, model, and philanthropist dedicated to cancer research, children’s arts education, and a host of other causes.

One of the girls’ bedrooms is wrapped in Quadrille tulip-pattern fabric and wallpaper. Vintage Stilnovo pendant from Rewire. (left) An Ugo Rondinone sculpture is reflected in a Julian Chichester mirror in a powder room. Sink and fittings by Sherle Wagner, Calico wallpaper, and Charles Hollis Jones side table. (right)
Mary Kitchen matches her couture to her kids and her curtains.

A terrace features a Morris Lapidus–inspired steel trellis. Vintage outdoor patio set by Mathieu Mategot. (left) The entry court has a Nathan Mabry sculpture, William Haines Designs chairs, and custom sconces by Paul Ferrante. (right)

The Hollywood Regency–style abode, nestled in tony Holmby Hills, was designed by architect Caspar Ehmcke and built in 1966. The residence is located just blocks from the landmark Brody House, a collaboration between architect A. Quincy Jones and decorator William Haines, which served as one of several stylish midcentury touchstones for the current renovation.

The circular entry hall is centered on a Sabine Marcelis resin table for Etage Projects. The 19th-century crystal chandelier is original to the house, transplanted from the dining room. Ceramic vessels by Magnus Maxine from The Future Perfect.
Another seating area in the capacious living room is furnished with vintage Louis XV–style bergères by Phyllis Morris, an Osvaldo Borsani cabinet from Donzella, a Charlotte Kidger corrugated side table, a silk pile rug by Marc Phillips, and an Avenue Road glass cocktail table. A Yayoi Kusama painting is mounted on the black marble fireplace.

“Honestly, the house wasn’t that great, but it had generous rooms with 14-foot ceilings and a few details that were worth preserving. Mary didn’t want to lose the original character entirely, so we tried to imagine what the house might have been if it had really exceptional period architecture,” Hefner recalls.

William Haines Designs stools in Pavoni leather pull up to the bar in a corner of the expansive living room. The piano is a Walter Dorwin Teague design for Steinway & Sons, and the painting is by Frank Stella. (left) In a corner of the primary bedroom, a vintage settee and a Karl Springer cocktail table from John Salibello are joined by a 1971 Vladimir Kagan chrome floor lamp from Lobel Modern. (right)


The lanai dining area has a custom table and chairs by William Haines Designs. Roger Coll ceramic sculpture from The Future Perfect. (left) A dramatic black powder room. (right)

Working within the original footprint, the architect completely recast the structure by flattening its pitched roof, adding spruce modern eaves and corner windows, and cladding the formerly stucco exterior in white-painted reclaimed brick, the same material he used for outdoor screens, planters, and brise-soleils, as well as a few strategic walls of the interior. “It’s not a slavish re-creation of one particular style, but it has the right spirit and it feels familiar,” the architect says.

Another child’s bedroom is swathed in the same Quadrille tulip-pattern fabric in a yellow colorway. Artworks by Alex Katz (above bed) and Carroll Dunham (left).
The den is furnished with a Baxter sofa from Diva Group, a vintage biomorphic cocktail table of curly maple, and a Haas Brothers Beast bench. The painting is by Ed Ruscha.

“Zoning the house by color allowed us to control the incredible variety of pieces and themes that Mary was drawn to, all these great things from far-flung periods and places. Once we established the rules, we were free to play within those boundaries,” Bush explains.

The pool cabana is outfitted with a suite of India Mahdavi rattan furniture for Ralph Pucci and a vintage games table and chairs.

A Waterford crystal chandelier, original to the house, crowns the living room. Sofas by Coup Studio; cocktail table by Armand Jonckers; Charles De Lisle lamps atop Facture Studio pink resin tables; French 1950s armchairs and Gio Ponti stools in DimoreStudio fabrics. Artworks by Cindy Sherman (left) and John Baldessari.

Even though you will find an exterior in crisp white, inside is a different story: a medley of colors in furniture, lighting, walls, flooring, rugs and even accessories.  The monumental living room, which measures 30 by 36 feet, is bathed in shades of pink and peach, the kitchen in celadon and forest green, the dining room in lavender, the primary bedroom in ice blue, and the extensively renovated poolhouse in bright yellow.

Vintage Carlo Scarpa for Venini chandeliers hang above a Leighton Hall Furniture Regency-style mahogany dining table with 19th-century Gustavian chairs in Rogers & Goffigon mohair velvet. Sideboard by Paolo Buffa, painting by Alex Katz, and sculpture by Anat Shiftan from Hostler Burrows.
Mary Kitchen, in an Oscar de la Renta gown and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry, sits in front of a Walter Dorwin Teague piano for Steinway & Sons and a Frank Stella painting. Fashion styling by Dena Giannini. Hair by Renato Campora; makeup by Fiona Stiles; manicure by Masako Leone at MCNail Atelier.

“Call it anti-establishment taste. These are things that most people wouldn’t want or would tear out of an old house,” Kitchen says of the more outré decorative effects sure to set the teeth of persnickety aesthetes on edge. “I just love that it feels fun to me,” she concludes. “At the end of the day, if you don’t have a sense of humor, what’s the point?”

The lanai is outfitted with Gio Ponti and Franco Albini rattan chairs for Bonacina 1889 covered in Dedar fabric, an India Mahdavi cocktail table for Ralph Pucci, custom sofas in Perennials fabric, and Marc Phillips abaca rugs. (left) Mary Kitchen’s three daughters, wearing Minnow swimsuits, Celine sunglasses, and vintage swim caps, by the pool of their L.A. home. (right)