Veronique and Heinz purchased their Topanga home 10 years ago. They were looking for land when their realtor showed them a house that was in really bad condition — mice running around, trash everywhere, structure in horrible condition — but with a great view. Fortunately, they were able to look past the deteriorating condition of the property and saw its potential.
The original footprint of the home was 750 square feet. Looking for creative ways to add more space, Veronique and Heinz purchased pre-fab cabins to use as an office and extra guest quarters. Five years later, they added an addition to the house that increased the square footage to 1500 square feet, but still kept the cabins on the property because they loved them so much. Heinz's background in design and set construction came in handy when customizing and designing the house. He designed the walnut cabinetry accents in the kitchen, the desks in his office and the bedroom, the secret closet behind the bed in the master bedroom, and the bright orange chairs.
The decor and furniture selections are inspired by Mid-Century design, California living, and objects Veronique has found on her travels. Heinz's style lends itself toward minimalism and Veronique loves to collect things, so they try to find a balance between the two.
Their outdoor space is just as important as their indoor design. The couple planted blue grama grass to give their backyard the feel of a meadow. There are a number of seating areas to lounge and enjoy the mountain view and sunsets. Veronique also loves to relax in the pre-fab cabins and read a book.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Mid-Century/contemporary with a lot of found objects (miniatures are my obsession) from hunting expeditions at the flea market.
Inspiration: Simple and light.
Favorite Element: The inside-outside feel of the house created by the floor-to-ceiling windows in most of the rooms that open completely to the garden. The way the open plan design makes you feel like you're floating from room to room is a favorite element. I also love the way the walnut shelving and storage (designed by Heinz!) adds warmth to the rooms.
Biggest Challenge: The house was in terrible shape when we bought it, so it needed a lot of TLC. We sandblasted the whole interior. The biggest challenge was to incorporate a new addition of 700 square feet and make it blend in with the original design.
What Friends Say: My friends love the house and are always taken in by the view and the feeling of being in nature.
Biggest Embarrassment: I honestly can't think of one.
Proudest DIY: We built an outdoor seating area in the back after we realized we'd used every corner of the land except that spot. There was nothing there, so we built a retaining wall and added a covered patio area with cushioned seating and a dining table for the warm nights out.
Biggest Indulgence: We recently built a little backyard compound with prefab sheds, a guest house, bathroom, and office so guests who come to visit have their own private space. We love the simplicity and the smallness of it. Since the cabins are on the edge of the property and surrounded by oak trees, it feels like a tree house.
Best Advice: Be personal. It's a style to be simple.
Dream Sources: We find inspiration and great pieces everywhere we go. Since we travel a lot for Boutique-Homes and Verana, we're always picking up pieces that catch our eye, some of which I sell through my store Transit Space. We designed a lot of the furniture that's in our home, like the outdoor chairs and all our desks, also sold through Transit Space, but we bought some of the Mid-Century furnishings at Jules Seltzer on Beverly. I usually pick up lamps at IKEA.
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
- White Coffee - Benjamin Moore
- Walnut shelving/CD unit - designed by Heinz
- Miniature chairs - found
- Sofa - CB2
- 2 Saarinen tables - flea market
- Eames lounge - furniture store on Beverly Blvd.
- Desks designed by Heinz - Transit Space
- Eames storage unit - Modernica
- Eames swivel chair - garage sale
- Swan chair - Jules Seltzer Associates
- Painting - Esther Pearl Watson
- Framed photograph by Terri Phillips
- Lamp by Ikea
- George Nelson Saucer Bubble Pendant Lamp - Herman Miller
- Drawing - Double Vision Antiques on Abbot Kinney Blvd.
- Horizontal mirror by Ikea
- Dining chairs - Arne Jacobsen Series 7
- Walnut dining table - top designed by us, base found at garage sale
- Bookshelf for displaying books and minatures - found on Beverly Blvd. at one of the stores, but don't remember which one
- Ottoman - Crate&Barrel
- Eames rocker - Modernica
- Wood stool - Phillip Agee
- Candelabra/sculpture - Terri Phillips
- Credenza - George Nelson, found at thrift store
- Rug - given by a friend
- Desk table designed by Heinz - Transit Space
- Handmade bookshelves designed by Heinz (Artemide)
- All walnut cabinets are custom designed by Heinz
- Appliances - Gaggenau
- Metal stool - Jules Seltzer Associates
- Lamp - Artemide
- Cardboard bookshelf - garage sale
- Wall closet in walnut - designed by Heinz
- Miniature chairs used as nightstands - personal miniature collection, available through Transit Space
- Bathroom mosaic tiles - Import Tile Center
- Saarinen chair
- Desk - created by Heinz patterned on design by Pierre Chareau
Thanks, Heinz and Veronique!
(Images: Marcia Prentice)
• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE: Check out past house tours here.
• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.