In a Los Angeles home, neutral tones abound and a stunning dining room takes center stage
Although Brentwood, in Los Angeles, is known for its glamour and glitz, this jet-setting family had a different thought in mind for their home. They had purchased a classic, white-paneled, 11,000-square-foot home that a previous owner had amped up, but needed to make it more comfortable and fit their family needs. For the transformation, they turned to M. Elle Design, whose portfolio of work they’d long admired.
“They wanted us to run with that fresh, coastal, indoor-outdoor feel that’s relaxed, yet elegant,” says designer Marie Turner Carson, who owns the studio with her sister, Emily Turner Barker. “We first stripped things down to make the home more contemporary and take it to more of a restrained palette.”
The initial work entailed peeling away layers of paneling, wallpaper, and paint to create gallery-like spaces for the clients’ growing art collection. The designers made sure to elevate the staircase too, for a more modern look, with slim, clean-lined oak handrails and black, steel balusters. The oak floors in the hallway were stripped and replaced by marble to add layers to the design.
Despite the big changes in the hallway, the biggest was done in the kitchen. This space was completely gutted and reoriented with a range wall in the back, parallel double islands commanding the center, and a sink wall to the side. They also knocked down the wall between the kitchen and family room, creating a seamless flow between the two.
Finding the right balance is all in the details, Carson says. “If you have the great bones of the room and you know the shape and scale of the pieces are correct, there is kind of that magical element at the end that brings in the finishing touch that makes all the pieces sing,” she says.
The lofty family room has a coastal, casual feel with custom drapes in linen. In one of the sitting areas, a custom sectional wraps around a custom stone coffee table, both by M. Elle Design. Two vintage stools from Lief and a Le Minotaure chair by Pierre Augustin Rose surround the monumental block.
In the adjacent sun room to the kitchen, teak dining chairs from Briggs & Co. circle a Juwel dining table from Stahl & Band, their warm tones picked up by a rose gold Oscar Pendant from RW Guild.
In the dining room, a bronze, asymmetrical oak branch chandelier from Cox London pairs perfectly with the canopy depicted by American artist Charles Gaines. The molded oak chairs from Ruemmler continue the theme, their natural grain pattern repeating like tree trunks in a forest and radiantly paired with the room’s golden linen curtains.
All in all, the remodel took a little over a year. The residence is an oasis for the extended family to gather, offering sun-drenched spaces that flow outdoors to the deep yard. “It’s timeless, inviting, and livable,” Carson says. “Anyone who comes in is impressed, but can sit down immediately and not have to walk on eggshells.”
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