Name: Regina O'Brien: Set Decorator and Production Designer and
Hardy Wronske: Principal Heyday Partnership
Location: Happy Valley, Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, California
Size: 1700 square feet
Years lived in: 6 years
Regina and Hardy live in this fun place called Happy Valley. It is just past downtown Los Angeles and is perched up on a small hill. Since Hardy's firm, Heyday Partnership, specializes in affordable architecture, his own home is an example of his work. Both lots were purchased for an incredibly low price and he was very frugal with the cost of building the two homes. Regina and Hardy live in the "Jill" of the Jack + Jill and another design enthusiast lives in the "Jack."
Regina and Hardy's style is pretty minimal, but there is an abundance of character throughout the home, which is carried on through the exterior design as well. You don't need much furniture when you have statement pieces such as original Danish chairs, a B&B Italia sofa, and a classic Gaetano Pesce chair. The exterior garden is so full of color and beautiful pottery that I could spend hours outside taking it all in while enjoying the view. Thank you Regina and Hardy for sharing your beautiful home with me this last weekend!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: I love Modernism (and am the Chair of the Modern Committee of the Los Angeles Conservancy), so the style is a mix of good modern pieces, family heirlooms, and some former set dressing, from all eras, keying around features of the house.
Inspiration: Hardy and I have a mutual love of architecture — I studied it and he builds it. Our house was built by his design/build firm Heyday Partnership. My brother-in-law Kevin Wronske, AIA, is his partner and the architect, so I have him to thank for the great design.
Favorite Element: I love that the house was conceived to connect with the hill it is built on, giving it an open feeling, like being in the country although we are only 8 minutes from Downtown LA.
Biggest Challenge: Since my work involves instant development of a look, in which you have total control over every element, I have tried to let the house be a little more casual, with pieces collected over a lifetime, and get them to happily co-exist. Additionally, there was the question of how to shade our windows while not covering up the great wood trimmed detail, so I fabricated matching wood valances to cover the roller blinds for a clean integrated look.
What Friends Say: My mother thinks it feels like a treehouse — a calming getaway
Biggest Embarrassment: A Gaetano Pesce Up chair bought at auction which is so oversized it had to be hauled over the balcony railing! Now faded and in need of re-upholstery, it is primarily beloved by our dog Cutler.
Proudest DIY: I had a dream where I painted a "stripe" pattern with diluted paint using what we in the Art Dept biz call a Hudson. I tried it in my office and it looked even better than I thought! Also, since the house was brand new when we moved in, there was no garden to speak of, and learning which plants will grow in our soil, and look good, not all be succulents, and not be eaten by gophers, was a real challenge. After some guidance from some landscape architect friends, the garden is getting close to the wild, rambling and random feeling I was hoping for. Partially inspired by the lovely, thoughtful gardens in England. The succulent roof garden over our bedroom keeps it nice and cool and cuts down on the air conditioning costs.
Biggest Indulgence: I love to collect art and always try to score a good deal, but sometimes for pieces I really believe it — like my Tony Duquette starburst candle holder — I break down and splurge. Some pieces I have left over from my art school days, including the large Tony Mendoza hanging over the stairs, which was originally painted for an underground club I ran in the 80's called Plastic Passion. There are so many great little galleries in town and so many great artists coming out of LA art schools. Good work is hard not to find.
Best Advice: Your environment is so important to how you live. Surround yourself with what you like and you will be happier, and know yourself better
Any sort of auction, Clark Cierlak's or LAMA for example, provides great opportunities to get things that happen to pop up — like kismet! I love eBay, but can't tell you the number of times something has shown up as a shrunken version of what I thought I was buying. Now, if I don't know the item, or if it isn't relatively inexpensive I let someone else "win" it.
Resources of Note:
- Door Knocker vintage Don Drumm
RUGS & CARPETS
TILES & STONE
- Ikea cabinets
- Ceasarstone counter
- Ceramics: Gainey (factory outlet) in Sante Fe Springs
- Raymor Ceramics
- 1968 Charmglow Barbecue: parents
Thanks, Regina & Hardy!
(Images: Marcia Prentice)
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