Name: Stacy Rukeyser
Location: West Hollywood, CA
Size: 1,500 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years
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What to do when you've inherited several meaningful family furniture pieces but don't yet have the experience or know how to make it all work in a new home? It can be quite daunting to try to make antique and traditional pieces work in a modern setting, and such was the case with our house tour participant this week who wanted to share the results of their collaboration with a professional who helped shine new light on some old family items. Stacy's townhouse is a glamorous marriage between modern and traditional, east coast and west coast, simple and ornate...take a peek inside.
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My/Our style: Old Meets New /Glittery Glamorous
Inspiration: The desire to create something new and beautiful out of a sad loss. My dad passed away, and my mom sold the family house in Connecticut. I received a lot of beautiful antique furniture, but it didn’t exactly go with the modern lines of my newly-purchased townhouse. I hired designer Michelle Workman of La Maison Rouge – and with many coats of shiny white paint and some fabulous fabric, it all came together. And now, every piece means something. Even the artwork. There are no random purchases. Consequently, there’s a lot of love in the house.
Favorite Element: I can’t pick just one! The daring plum walls which make the white furniture really pop. Anything that glimmers: the master bedroom wallpaper, master bathroom tile, all the lighting fixtures. And all the animal details: elephant tables, hoof table, peacock urn, monkey plant holders. My nephew says that gives the place a safari theme.
Biggest Challenge: I was a total neophyte – had never even read a design magazine – but I became obsessed. I thought I would just gut the upstairs bathrooms, replace the upstairs carpet, and get rid of the cottage cheese ceilings and walls. Didn’t realize that even just that would have been huge. The bathrooms took much longer, and cost much more, than what was estimated. I went through four tile guys, but things finally got back on track when Michelle took over. (I originally had a different designer for just the bathrooms). Other than that, it was just about sucking it up and spending the money. I sold a LOT of furniture from my old place on ebay and craigslist – even down to the plates, curtains, lamps, an old stereo – just to get the money together. Oh, and I realized there is a huge shortage of finish carpenters in this city.
What Friends Say: That it looks like a dress I would wear. It’s so “me.”
Biggest Embarrassment: Bird poop on the front patio, and fallen leaves on the back. Otherwise, it’s pretty much done. Like I said, I got obsessed. Oh, and the white couch is now a bit blue –fourth date with my boyfriend, both of us in dark blue jeans.
Proudest DIY: The day bed on the back patio is from Home Depot, who said I would need three people to put it together. As a single woman (at the time), that rubbed me the wrong way. So I took four hours one night and did it myself. Big metal pieces propped up on chairs while I tightened screws. It wasn’t easy, but I got it done.
Biggest Indulgence: I feel like the whole home was an indulgence! The fabrics are luxe – the peacock fabric on the master bedroom headboard, the flocked dining chairs, even the pure white velvet for the sofa. The dining table was also custom made, because it’s impossible to find a big, white table that will seat 10 (and that’s how many chairs I had from Connecticut).
Best advice: Spend the money on good fabric and pieces that will last forever.
Dream source: Michelle Workman’s new store, The Red House, which is opening on La Cienega. I loved her work so much, I recommended her to my mom. She just finished HER new condo, which is out here in L.A. And yes, it also has a bunch of antiques that are now painted white.
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Appliances: The kitchen was already done when I moved in. All I added was the stainless penny round backsplash.
Furniture: Living Room:
Sofa – Michelle had it custom made. It’s modeled after a piece from Jonathan Adler, but with added length.
Fabric -- white velvet by Kravet
Deco Console (under TV) -- Wilton Cordrey (LA Mart)
Coffee Table -- West Elm.com
White Ceramic Elephant Side Tables – Vellum
Hoof Table: Woodson and Rummerfeld
Wing Chair – antique. Fabric – zebra stripe by F. Schumacher & Co
Two Bergere Chairs – antique. Fabric – multi colored squares by Fabricut
Black Leather Chair – antique
Standing Lamp – antique
Bookcase – designed by Michelle, made by one of those elusive finish carpenters.
Dining Table -- designed by Michelle, will be available through her store Dining Chairs – antique. Fabric – flocked damask by Lee Jofa
Headboard – designed by Michelle, made by LA Upholstery Art. Fabric -- peacock feather by Kravet
Bureau – Brocade Home.com
Setee – antique. Fabric -- deep blue damask, Quadrille
Bedside Tables – bought a long time ago at Ethan Allen. Painted white.
Day Bed, table and chairs -- Home Depot. Fabric: Sunbrella.
Bar – designed by Michelle, made by Joe Ball (Precision Woodworks)
L-shaped bench and table – custom made by Marcus, a finish carpenter
Guest Bedroom/Home Office:
Sofa: Jennifer Convertibles from almost 15 years ago. The cushions have been restuffed. Fabric -- chinoiserie silhouette by Duralee.
Desk: West Elm.com
Desk Chair: antique. Fabric: Black and white diamond by Duralee
Accessories: Vases on Elephant Tables – William Sonoma Home
Peacock Vase - Shine
Asian ladies statues - Zodax
White Ceramic Bust of Venus – Vellum
Urn and birds on bookcase – Vagabond Vintage
Round Pedestal Vases on bookcase – Rosanna
Plates, black candlesticks – Rosanna
Monkey Plant Holders – Two’s Company (LA Mart)
Mirror over Fireplace, in Master Bath, and Guest Bath – antique, painted white.
Lighting: Branch Sconces – Fantasy Lites on Melrose
Living room chandelier – Trebor Nevets (LA Mart)
Dining room “branchelier” – Michelle Workman original design
Bedroom chandelier – antique
Master bedside lamps - ebay.com
Guest bed lamp – Shine
Master Bath Sconces – Lamps Plus
Guest Bath Sconces - Lamps Plus
Rugs and Carpets: Upstairs white shag – Melrose Carpets Downstairs – white shag – fake, WASHABLE fur – the best! Michelle found the fabric downtown and just cut it to size.
Tiles and Stone: Kitchen metal penny rounds -- Ann Sacks
Master Bath mosaic – Ann Sacks
Window Treatments: All custom designed by Michelle.
Fabric: Body…La Maison Rouge White Taffeta
Stripe/banding F. Schumacher & Co. Taffeta
Beds: Bedding to match curtains by Michelle
Artwork: Everything is antique.
Paint: Benjamin Moore
Flooring: The wood floors were already installed when I moved in. They’re from Bruce. I know that because when I had the fireplace fixed, one of the guys put a round saw down on the wood floor, which kicked off a horrible saga of trying to patch, and eventually refinishing the whole thing.
Other: Wallpaper: Master bedroom – F. Schumacher & Co
Powder Room (an homage to my NYC roots) – F. Schumacher and Co.
(Thanks, Stacy and Michelle!)
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Photos by Gregory Han