Jenn & Hunter's Historic Landmark Apartment

Jenn & Hunter's Historic Landmark Apartment

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Bethany Nauert
Feb 17, 2015
(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Name: Jennifer Laskey + Hunter Hall (and Kitty Capone + Niblet) Jennifer is the Creator/ Owner of RedLight Special Events, Weddings by Jennifer Laskey & Salvage Beauty Design Co. and Hunter is the Creator/Managing Partner of Archetype Hospitality & Development, LLC.
Location: Los Feliz; Los Angeles, California
Size: 1,300 square feet
Years lived in: 6.5 months- Rent

Jennifer had her sights set on the historical landmark building Casa Laguna (designed by architects Arthur and Nina Zwebell) for over a decade. It nearly broke her heart to leave her last beloved landmark apartment, the Los Altos. However, she knew that moving to the historic landmark Casa Laguna would allow her to find inspiration by channeling her favorite architects of all time. The Zwebels sadly are no longer with us but left their mark on Los Angeles by creating some of the most magical 1920s Spanish courtyard buildings around.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Think of classic Hollywood architecture and Los Angeles historical decor and homes like Jenn and Hunter's come to mind. Often the city we live in can deeply dictate our sense of style and aesthetic in our home; Jenn believes that the culture of Los Angeles and the preserved original architecture here has meant everything to her in terms of defining and influencing her personal style. "I wish that people wouldn’t have torn down or destroyed so many of these treasures that we can never get back. As for the ones we are still graced with, we need to do everything to save them. I am a big fan of The Conservancy, The Art Deco Society, and anyone with appreciation and love for a vintage home over a new, soulless condo or McMansion. I also try to use these influences and inspirations when creating events and weddings."

The cohesive colors, textures, and genre of every accessory in Jenn and Hunter's home work in perfect harmony. The tiles that are original to the architecture merge seamlessly with refurbished touches like painted doors and the fireplace mantel.

The most essential part of designing a home for Jenn relies on how it makes you feel as a whole. She believes this is highly influenced by everything from the direction your bed is facing, to the year the building was built, to the dishes on the table and the music you have playing. "You have to look at it all together, as one cohesive, living breathing, feeling thing. Then, the inspiration will kick in for you and make you feel alive and inspired every day!"

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My style is very vintage, as I gravitate towards original 1920’s and 1930’s architectural details, furniture, fixtures, design accents etc. I of course like to mix my antique styling with a bit of romance and glamour.

I also love the Spanish, Moroccan, and Parisian design influences, though I feel you should never buy more than a few pieces from the same store, but instead collect gems and treasures from an array of sources. It took me a long time, but I finally acquired all of my 'dream furniture' and antique accents.

Inspiration: I often think I was an architect or interior designer in my past life, most certainly in the 1920s or 1930s. I feel constantly moved and inspired by the original charm and ornate details of original architecture all across Los Angeles and it has hugely influenced my design eye and the way I decorated our home. I live for it and it has inspired so much of my life!

I would truly say Arthur and Nina Zwebell have influenced me thoroughly as well. I have researched them and every one of their buildings, I wish I could find out more about them, though they aren’t hugely documented. I love that you can see such an array of historic architecture in LA, styles ranging from Spanish Colonial revival (Miracle Mile and Carthay are two of my favorite parts of town which are rich in this architectural style), to French Normandy, Tudor, Storybook and Hacienda, Queen Anne, modern, craftsman, bungalow and Eastlake (I do love Angelino Heights!)

Then there’s Mission Revival and vintage industrial loft style. I feel this has really inspired me to create a space that transports me to another place and time. I find it’s also inspired my work as a venue event director/ location scout and wedding planner. I gravitate towards and incorporate the same stylistic elements into most of my events. So you see, it’s really a seamless integration of lifestyle and career. That’s why I am so grateful for the constant inspiration I feel from my home!

Favorite Element: This may be impossible to choose just one… The 22-foot beamed ceilings and the original Spanish tile staircase really tie for what I go crazy for. However, I am also blown away by the courtyard and I’m positively in love with the original fireplace as well. I had always wanted to live in an original Spanish townhouse. Something about the high ceilings and stairway have always been so romantic and enchanting to me.

Biggest Challenge: I wanted to hang a really cool antique light fixture in the living room. I didn’t want to take out the ceiling fan and wasn’t allowed to drill any new holes so for a second I was perplexd, but I had a solution in mind. Eventually, three electricians using a straight ladder from the stairs resting on the top beam had the get into the ceilings fan electrical to run it over to add the light fixture. I admit, it was pretty nerve wracking. Luckily no one broke their neck during the installation but I was pretty nervous! Thankfully it looks beautiful and take the look back to the original period style.

What Friends Say: I haven’t officially had my housewarming yet, but the few close friends I have invited over have been quite complimentary, and wondered aloud why I don’t do interior design full time, which was very flattering.

I have posted a few photos on social media and the response from friends and strangers alike really moves and touches me as I very much love inspiring people with architecture and design. I will never forget my friend Amanda who turned me on to the most beautiful 1920s architectural about 15 years ago. Ever since I have found joy in inspiring others similarly.

Biggest Embarrassment: You know, Hunter may never let me live this down, but let’s just say I failed to do some research and didn’t measure the dimensions precisely enough when building my Elfa closet in the what was an ugly basement, but is now a gorgeous dreamy walk-in closet!

It also really sucked to uninstall all the closet parts from the Los Altos and then later have the installer show up to my house to do the job and refuse to touch the walls in the basement for fear of damaging electrical or gas lines. Annoyingly, when I showed the Container Store the photos they said the parts I had would work just fine, but alas they did not.

Lets just say I had to take several more trips to theContainer Store and have the re-design the entire closet to use freestanding units, which of course come in different sizes than what I had previously used.

I was beyond frustrated, especially trying to assemble the freestanding units myself since I had to spend a huge and unforeseen amount of money on them and I was under the impression they were much easier to install. This couldn’t have been further from the truth. Naturally, Hunter saved the day and helped me put them together. Moral of the story is this: I have a masterful design eye and am an incredible organizer. I should not be trusted to do precise measurements or surface material investigation.

Proudest DIY: Well, we did get that damn closet together! I truly turned an ugly old basement into a dream walk in closet, which feels amazing. Also, after my amazing array of rolling greens plants died in one week due to not getting enough direct sunlight coupled with my cat eating them for breakfast, I decided I would make amazing faux plant arrangements, and on a budget. I have made florals for events before but never silk plants but they turned out pretty amazing and they definitely look real!

Biggest Indulgence: I knew I wanted a very particular faux painted look and had found tear sheets of exactly what I wanted. To boot, finding someone to replicate that wasn’t exactly easy but after asking many designer friends I was referred to “The Master” by my amazingly talented friends at Studio Collective and it turned out better than I ever imagined.

The incredible Guerin Swing of Faux Finishes helped me accomplish my olive green meets turquoise fade for the bedroom, which I saw and fell in love with from a Bottega Veneta ad. He also did my vintage looking duel color red dining room, the gold leaf fireplace and turned the ugly ‘new’ interior doors to a vintage European art piece! Whilst they weren’t exactly cheap, it was well worth it! That and my ever growing antique light fixture collection, which I like to look at as ‘an investment’ rather than ‘an expense’. Wink wink.

Best Advice: My best advice is never settle. Search, wait, save, scour, research, etc until you can find exactly what you want. I feel this goes not only for finding your apartment or home, but every piece you put inside it as well. I recommend you get exactly what you want, what your heart desires, and what inspires you even if it takes some time.

You can also find it at a reasonable price if you do some digging and ground work! I wouldn't get 'for now' furniture. Buy your dream items, even if only one piece at a time. Craigslist, eBay, Etsy, flea markets, etc are great resources for amazing vintage items. Just type in the exact words of what you want and eventually it will find you.

Dream Sources: Horchow, Frontgate, One Kings Lane, Anthropologie, Malabar Coast, Designer Views, HD Buttercup, Olde Good things, Rolling Greens, Mi Alma, and a lot of antique stores in Pasadena or on La Brea in Miracle Mile.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Resources of Note:

PAINT & COLORS

  • All custom paint colors, by Guerin Design and Development/ Faux Finishes Inc.

OFFICE/ LOFT

  • Sconces: J F Pegan Company via eBay
  • Replica of the Ralph Lauren sawhorse desk, built by a film set designer
  • Louis VIX style chair: Brocade Home in NY, reupholstered by Felipe's Custom Upholstery, Fabric: Deco Home
  • Vintage green velvet chair: My grandparents got it in the 1950s
  • Rug: Overstock.com
  • Faux plants; International silk in the downtown floral district
  • Live plants: Rolling Greens
  • Pots: Collected over time, but recent additions from: Anthropologie
  • Trash can: Rejuvenation

LIVING ROOM

  • Frames: vintage, Anthropologie
  • Persian Rug: Vintage
  • Velvet couch: Camerich at HD Buttercup
  • Silver end table: Mortise & Tenon
  • Light Fixture: Vintage from Mi Alma
  • Dresser: 18th century Italian antique tunnel of Dreams Antiques (out of business)
  • Steamer trunks/coffee table: antique via Craigslist
  • TV stand: I found an antique Singer sewing machine base on Craigslist, and restored/painted it, topping it with a custom glass top table cut from Kim’s Glass
  • Royal and Underwood vintage typewriter via Craiglist
  • National Cash Register: Craigslist find
  • Vintage replica fan: restoration hardware
  • Drapes: Etsy (seller: https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftfabric030)
  • Art: Frank Worth original Marilyn Monroe and Sammy Davis Jr photo print (from Art & Artifact Gallery). I reframed it in a vintage frame.
  • Pots: Anthropologie and Rolling Greens
  • Grammaphone: Restoration Hardware
  • Vintage Table: antique store on 3rd st in miracle mile (out of business)

DINING ROOM

  • • Spanish Colonial Dining Table: Pasadena Antiques and Design (vendor: Filippo Laveneziana)
  • Antique French Chairs: One Kings Lane
  • Antique candelabras: Olde Good Things and Antique store on La Brea

  • Vintage restored wedding cake chandelier: eBay/ east coast find
  • National Cash Register: Craigslist find
  • Table: Maison Midi
  • Bookshelf: HD Buttercup
  • Vintage candle sticks: East Coast find off Etsy
  • Orchid Arrangement: Empty Vase Florist
  • Vintage stove heater: Olde Good Things
  • Vintage scales: Olde Good Things, Rolling Greens

KITCHEN

  • Halle Jute Rug: One Kings Lane
  • Shelf: Brackets- Anthroplogie, Reclaimed Wood: Architectural Waste
  • Cabinet knobs and hardware: Anthropologie
  • BEDROOM
    • Black Sheepskin Rug: One Kings Lane
    • Vintage lamp: Swag in Tujunga Village
    • Chandelier: Fortuny
    • Bed: Z Gallerie
    • Comforter set/pillow: Brocade Home in New York
    • Mirrored furniture: Z GallerieFloor mirror: Horchow
    • Silk taffeta curtains: Overstock.comTieBacks: Fashion district, downtown LA
    • Various antique finds


    BATHROOM

  • Medicine Cabinet Mirror: Ebay (seller)
  • Shower Curtain: Overstock.com
  • Knobs: Anthropologie
  • Chandelier: Ebay (seller)
  • HALLWAY/ VANITY AREA
    • Chandelier: Antique Tole French Empire Brass Crystal Chandelier via eBay
    • Shelf: made with wood from Architectural Waste, brackets from Anthropologie

    WALK IN CLOSET

    • Light Fixture: Ebay (seller)
    • Mirror: Horchow
    • Closets: Elfa at the Container Store
    • Chest of Drawers: Z Gallerie
    • Shoe Rack/ Plant stand: Ross
    • Rug: Overstock.com
    • Clothes, shoes, purses, etc. YES I have a problem, I namely blame Free People, and Rebecca Minkoff for it

    PATIO

  • Day Bed and Ottoman: Frontgate
  • Umbrella: Pier One Imports
  • Rug: Frontgate
  • Mirror: Designer Views
  • Table: Malabar Coast
  • Chairs: Maison Midi
  • Antique Garden Chaise Lounge: One Kings Lane
  • Plants & pots: Rolling Greens and Home Depot
  • Floor Lanterns: Moskatels
  • Hanging Lantern Lights and brackets: Malabar Coast
  • For more Jenn & Hunter:
    (Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

    Thanks, Jenn and Hunter!

    (Photographs by Bethany Nauert)

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