In Los Angeles, unlike some of the metropolitan areas covered by our other Apartment Therapy sites, it's not usual to drive a few miles and be enclosed in nature. The ability to move easily from beach to mountains to forest is one of the draws of living here. This, along with the other draws, movies and mid-century architecture and furniture, come together in a Cliff May house, nestled in one of the canyons, owned by Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson (we can't wait to see his latest shots at the prize, Inglorious Bastards and Shutter Island). Drool over his house and take away a few pointers to incorporate into your own home...
Renovated by Marmol Radziner, the house is a compelling blend of indoor/outdoor living, full of classic mid-century furniture (a shout out to Maxwell, who's always looking for the perfect stool, to check out the leather Link bar stools by Jim Zivic design) but beyond that, what we take away and can use in our own homes is:
- the soothing colour palate: various shades of browns, greys and muted greens echo nature's work.
- how the lines of the furniture balance the lines of the house: don't just dump furniture in a room. See the room as a whole and notice whether or not your furniture balances the architecture of the house. Think of a modern chair contrasted against an ornate Victorian fireplace; one challenges the other and they both pop. When that same room is filled with traditional furniture, the fireplace gets lost; too much modern furniture makes that same fireplace feel uncomfortable, like ending up at the wrong party. Here, for example, the long solid couch is a strong counterpoint to the peaked roof of the living room and underlines its power and masculinity.
- focus on bringing nature inside: if your home has a great view, let that act as your "art."
- let small details work to highlight your home's strength : Here, stainless steel tiles for the backsplash in the kitchen bounce light from the living room; a generous skylight balances the soothing darkness but potentially stifling darkness, that comes from being nestled amongst leaf oaks and sycamores.
Bonus tip for those of you nightowls who like to sleep through the day with the room as dark as possible (not us! We've already confessed that we sleep with the light on!), there's a long note at the end of the article about where to find and how to install blackout curtains to give you 100% blackout)
[images: Metropolitan Home by Jeremy Samuelson]