Alexis Johnson's Polished California Condo

Alexis Johnson's Polished California Condo

Bethany Nauert
May 31, 2011


Name: Alexis Johnson and her dog Rhys
Location: Brentwood — Los Angeles, CA
Size: 2,000 Square Feet (3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bathrooms)
Years lived in: 5 years — Own

Alexis Johnson has created an extremely stylish and chic home. Throughout her home, each detail,down to the place mats in the dining room, are perfectly in place. Curating artwork, lighting and vintage furniture; decorating comes naturally to Alexis.



She sought to create a formal home layout inside the 2000 square feet of her West Side condo. She really uses every bit of space to allow for a traditional formal dining room, a powder room, an office and a den. I love that she keeps each room true to it's original intent. She didn't want to entertain with guests in her living room with the distraction of a tv, which is why she turned her guest room into a casual den.

Mixing hand me down furniture from her grandparents with modern contemporary designers Alexis was able to create a full luxurious but spacious vibe. The patios off her bedroom and living room that welcome in the beautiful natural light have beautifully manicured plants. Not an interior designer professionally, she certainly has an eye for a distinctive style. Additionally, she notes that decorating is one of her favorite hobbies&mdashwhich shows!


Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Polished California eclectic

Inspiration: I'm obsessed with Kelly Wearstler, in all her iterations. I also love Tony Duquette. Needless to say, I'm very much a "go big or go home" kind of person when it comes to design and aesthetics. So when I started decorating several years ago (I did most of the condo in 6 months so I'm ready for a makeover, especially in the living and dining rooms), I was still coming down from Hollywood Regency, which is most apparent in the living room. I'm happy to be over that phase now, and I think the rest of the place reflects a bit of that slow style evolution. When I began picking out the big pieces of furniture (bed, couches, tables, etc.) I wanted to buy investment pieces that I felt could easily transition to other styles and contexts, which I guess is why I went mostly with black and white and put the color in the accents. This strategy has worked out well so far because many of the chairs have moved from room to room over the years.

I also struggled with doing anything drastic to the walls, like wallpapering whole rooms because I guess I didn't want the commitment. Ditto for paint color. Because the main part of the house doesn't have any doors, there aren't defined edges between rooms, which made choosing a paint color a challenge. I decided on a warm white to make everything feel cohesive, like each room just flowed into the next (which architecturally it does). I was able to get away with other paint colors (and wallpaper) in the smaller rooms, making each one feel like its own space, which in turned helped define their purposes for me (work stays in the office, TV stays in the den, etc.). With the addition of my grandparents' furniture and some art (which I can't seem to get enough of), I finally feel like my home feels more personal and lived in. The balcony gardens help too. Regardless, it's cozy and the layout and large kitchen are perfect for my living--and most importantly, entertaining!--needs. However, it's still a work in progress.

Favorite Element: I entertain a lot and from the get-go I wanted to have a formal living room (i.e. no TV), which meant that the den--which used to be a guest room--needed to be extra cozy.

Biggest Challenge: Deciding on a color for my office. It had to be something soothing enough to be conducive to working while still not feeling boring.

What Friends Say: "It looks like a girl lives here."

Proudest DIY: I've stopped doing this. I've finally learned my lesson--the amount of money I spent on all my home craft projects was better spent on art or vintage.

Biggest Indulgence: Price-wise, the living room (especially the Jonathan Adler pieces and the custom buffet and console), but emotionally speaking, art.

Best Advice: Always be looking--at magazines, at images, at stores, wherever. Inspiration comes from exposure, so constantly immersing yourself in design, art, color, fashion, pop culture, books, etc. can only expand your taste range and personal aesthetic sensibility. I'm all about evolving.

Dream Sources: Orange on Beverly Blvd. for lighting, Kelly Wearstler for furniture and Christie's for art


Resources of Note:


    • All of the walls are painted in Dunn Edwards Tintable White except for the office, which is Benjamin Moore Spring Lilac (I think!), and the den, which is Restoration Hardware Sycamore Green.
    • All ceilings are in low-sheen Dunn Edwards Swiss Coffee.
    • All moldings are in a glossier Dunn Edwards Swiss Coffee.


    • Painting by Bert Miripolsky: French '50s '60s
    • Black and white photo: "Mesmerina" by Chris Anthony
    • Beach photos: "Praia Piquinia 04/08/07 16h04" and "Praia Piquinia 02/08/07 15h16" by Christian Chaize:
    • Blue Oona vases: Grace Home Furnishings
    • Mirrored cabinet: custom


    • Couch (Jonathan Adler "Woodhouse"); chaise (Jonathan Adler "Morrow"); coffee table (Vanguard Furniture "Alexander"); white buffet ("Ophelia"--Grace Home exclusive); black console table ("Montauk"--Grace Home exclusive); sunburst mirror in nickel, black poof ottomans and round mirrored/nickel side table (all three by Global Views); silver lamp; slipper chair (Lee Industries) all from Grace Home Furnishings
    • Pillows: all custom, Grace Home Furnishings. Fabrics are: Lee Jofa GWF 2607-7 in Petal (all pink); Barbara Barry (black and white--I think it's Kravet 27514-816); *I think* Barclay Butera Gemstone Swirl (Pucci-looking fabric); Osborne & Little F1255-05 (purple kidney pillow on slipper chair); and Osborne & Little F5302-01 (stripe on chaise)
    • Side chairs, custom from Grace Home Furnishings in same Barclay Butera(?) fabric
    • Accessories on buffet: black vase and silver bowl from Z Gallerie; ceramic pears from artisan in San Diego; tray and frosted green bottles from Grace Home Furnishings
    • Candles (on coffee table), silver vases (near fireplace) and black vases (near chaise) all Z Gallerie
    • Yellow painting: grandparents'
    • Large black and white drawing: "White Flag," Daniel Ingroff
    • Black and white shag rug, custom, from Discover Flooring
    • Bookcase: Ikea
    • Plexi lamps (on black console): grandparents'
    • Purple chairs: grandparents'
    • White geometric side table, capice lamp and black frames (on wall): West Elm
    • Elvis print by Mr. Brainwash
    • Patio: copper pots from Rolling Greens, commissioned redwood planter box designed and built by Ming-Son Dang


    • Table and chairs: Crate and Barrel
    • Zebra rug: some chain-fence rug dealer on some L.A. street corner...
    • Kidney pillows: custom
    • Tableware: all plates, napkins and capice placemats are from my grandparents; silver chargers are from Z Gallerie
    • Console: grandparents', Monteverdi Young
    • Bert Miripolsky painting: French '50s '60s
    • Gold antelope: vintage store in Little Ethiopia on Fairfax
    • Nickel and glass hurricane sconces: Z Gallerie
    • Chandelier (hate it) came with the condo and I have yet to replace it
    • Wine cart: "Roaring '20s," Bailey Street and geode crystal table lamp both from Grace Home Furnishings
    • Vintage bar set, Fairfax Flea Market
    • Lip photo by Mike Rosenthal


    • Table and chairs came with the condo
    • Artwork (Campbell's Soup Can) by Mr. Brainwash


    • Bed (Lee Industries in Arctic D'oro Suede), lamps (Estrella taper orbs), side tables (Oly "Elisabeth" in dark brown), chair (Vanguard Furniture "Wellington" in Taipan Ebony and Nicknack Ivory fabrics with nickel nail heads) are all from Grace Home Furnishings
    • Bedding: bedspread and matching pillows (three in back) are Restoration Hardware; the two blue-and-white patterned ones are custom made with I think something from Osborne & Little; the striped neck roll in front is custom using fabric from Kravet.
    • Artwork over fireplace is by Katie Ryan, from Workspace
    • Raised planter box built by my boyfriend using a modified version of these plans: //


    • Wallpaper: "Kabloom" by Flavor Paper in silver, Walnut Wallpaper
    • Art (poodle hologram): Fairfax Flea Market


    • Sofa: Lee Industries sleeper sofa, fabric is Rayina Chocolate with nickel nail heads; ottoman: Lee Industries, fabric is Cat's Meow Café; slipper chair: Jonathan Adler "Morrow" in black houndstooth, all from Grace Home Furnishings
    • Gold 1960s Italian coffee table, side tables, tall lamp (on left), green leather chair, tusks: grandparents'
    • Gold coral lamp (on right): Z Gallerie
    • Sisal rug: Ikea
    • Artwork: various locations (Rose Bowl Flea Market, friends,, me!, etc.)
    • Floor lamp: Lamps Plus
    • Artwork by Jemima Wyman


    • 1960s desk, Monteverdi Young in-and-out letterboxes, blue chair: grandparents'
    • Bookcases: Ikea
    • Gold elephant phone: vintage store in Little Ethiopia on Fairfax
    • Silver floor lamp: Lamps Plus
    • Drawings: Markus Hegedus
    • Other artwork (red frame): "3D Ladies" by Jim Drain,
    • Office chair: Blueprint

•**All framing throughout the house by Earl's of Brentwood


Thanks, Alexis!

Images: Bethany Nauert

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