Grant & Mark Transform a Neglected House

Grant & Mark Transform a Neglected House

Marcia Prentice
Sep 21, 2012

Name: Grant Rickard, Freelance TV Producer, and Mark Valen, Film Programmer for Landmark Theatres
Location: Faircrest Heights, Los Angeles, California
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years

Grant had a vision for this neglected house. Even though the realtor showed the house with fugly curtains, one sofa and a copier in the living room, and a run down yard, Grant and Mark were sold and immediately got to work. Re-do the kitchen, make the breakfast nook a reading nook, call in a landscape expert, and paint, paint, paint — check!

Grant and Mark aren't shy about making their decor fun. You can't miss the disco ball in the dining room that creates quite a light show in the late afternoon (every house has to have a disco ball — right?). The collection of globes definitely creates a focal point in the living room. And to be honest, the Valley of the Dolls poster above the fireplace kinda sold me on the place.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: It's a mix of no-name Mid-Century, designer (Eames, Saarinen, George Nelson), rustic, industrial and 1920's office.

Inspiration: I love the work of LA based designers like Commune and Nickey Kehoe. They have such a smart mix of styles, color, and texture, and the resulting spaces feel lived in, as though they evolved over time. I hate when it feels like everything in a room was bought at the same time or the same place.

Favorite Element: What really drew us to the house was the amazing warm light that comes in through the original wood casement windows. That and the barrel vault ceiling in the living room. Both of us had been living in small dark apartments with low ceilings prior to buying the house, so the idea of height and light was very enticing.

Biggest Challenge: Combining my furniture and my boyfriend's furniture in a way that does not feel like a hodgepodge. Before moving in together when we bought this house, his apartment definitely had more a Mid-Century slant, whereas mine was more traditional. Fortunately his pieces and my pieces get along well.

What Friends Say: They seem to like it. I think friends like how comfortable it is. I actually have a lot of them come to me for opinions on things like wallpaper, paint, lighting, and furniture before they commit to anything. I should be charging them.

Biggest Embarrassment: The bathroom. It's the one room in the house that we have done absolutely nothing with since we moved in. The lighting is bad. The mirror is ugly. The floor tile doesn't match the walls. It's kind of a mess.

Proudest DIY: Hand painting the custom made kitchen cabinets using a very tedious multi-step, wet-sanding technique that my father strongly encouraged.

Biggest Indulgence: The Viking stove and refrigerator. After toiling away for years in a kitchen only slightly larger than a phone booth, my gift to myself when we bought this house was a dream kitchen.

Best Advice: I would advise people to be patient. Don't rush it. A warm, comfortable home is constantly evolving. Nothing is ever "finished." It's about the journey, not the destination.

Dream Sources:

Resources of Note:



  • Dining table: Empiric (Saarinen Tulip table)
  • Dining chairs: Design Within Reach (Tolix garden chairs)
  • Yellow chair in corner: Vintage Eames Bucket Chair with Eiffel Tower base
  • Stool: Holler & Squall (Brooklyn)
  • Sideboard: Family heirloom
  • Mirror: Domain Home
  • Chandelier: Patrick Townsend Orbit Chandelier
  • Sconces: Circa Lighting (Flemish single are wall sconce)
  • Window coverings: Budget Blinds
  • Paint: Dunn-Edwards - "Battleship Gray"
  • Framing: Weidman Gallery
  • Vintage seltzer bottles: Etsy, Long Beach Flea Market
  • Small cake stand: Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's




  • Sofa (custom): Landon Cole (based the Keaton by Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams)
  • Library table: Stickley
  • Credenza: George Nelson - found on street beside a dumpster (yes, really)
  • Coffee table: Show (now closed)
  • Metal chairs: Design Within Reach (Tolix garden chairs)
  • Side table: Family heirloom
  • Lamps: Family heirlooms
  • Lamp shades: Fantasy Lighting
  • Rug: Room & Board
  • Throw pillows: Nicky Kehoe
  • Antique grape lug (magazine holder under coffee table): Terrain
  • Clock: Zipper (now closed)
  • Feather platter: Target
  • Buddha statue: Family heirloom
  • Large fern and planter: Rolling Greens Nursery


  • Bed: Upstairs Downstairs Furniture (Bachelor Bed)
  • Dresser: TINI
  • Vintage typewriter cart night tables: Found on street
  • Vintage wooden office chair: Thrift shop
  • Striped ceramic lamp: eBay
  • Silver lamp: Flea market, New York City (Chelsea)
  • Lamp shades: Fantasy Lighting
  • Paint: Dunn-Edwards (color match of a Restoration Hardware paint color called Flax)
  • Duvet cover and green quilt: Pottery Barn
  • Sheets: West Elm
  • Painted portrait: Rosebowl Flea Market
  • Pencil portrait: Don Bachardy
  • Vintage group photos: Etsy, eBay, Paula Rubenstein LTD - 65 Prince St., New York, NY 10012, 212-966-8954
  • Framing: Weidman Gallery
  • Metal final on night table: Holler & Squall (Brooklyn)
  • Small orange vase on night table: Holmegaard - Ebay
  • Vintage bed knobs on dresser: Flea market, New York City (Hell's Kitchen)
  • Glass cloche:


Thanks, Grant & Mark!

(Images: Marcia Prentice)

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