Robert's Art Collection in a Storybook Home

Robert's Art Collection in a Storybook Home

Marcia Prentice
Sep 20, 2011

Name: Robert Shiell
Location: Miracle Mile - Los Angeles, California
Size: 2000 square feet
Years lived in: 11 years

When I met Robert, he was so excited and proud to show me his truly amazing collection of art and decorative pieces which really shine against the original architectural details in his 1920's home. Each piece, from a new contemporary painting to a vintage Mickey figurine, has a story that he is eager to share.

Take it away, Robert:

My house was built in 1926 and is a English country style, although the roofline makes it appear like a "storybook" house. I have filled the house with a mix of furniture, accessories, and artwork from many different periods.

I have a collection of wrought iron tables with title tops from the 1920's and 1930's primarily made in Southern California. I have pottery from the 1920's - 40's made by Garden City and Bauer, contemporary pottery including pieces made by Adam Silverman and Mid-Century pottery including Barbara Willis, and Italian and West Germany pieces. I have antique furniture from the United States and France mixed with "Regency style" and contemporary pieces.

My finished attic is "Mid-Century" style with a desk by Gilbert Rhode and a planter by "architectural pottery." I have collectibles, such as a built-in bookcase containing vintage Disney collectibles from the 1920's-1940's and toys by Yoshitoro Nara.

My artwork ranges from Mexican masters such as Tamayo and Rafael Coronel to Japanese Anime artist Yosuke Ueno, young emerging artists such as Andrew Heim, Nate Frizzel, Jason Yarmosky, Aaron Smith, Joshua Peckar and Christian Schoeler, to the accomplished street artists Herakut from Germany, and several pieces by very accomplished contemporary artists such as Laurie Hogin, Charlotta Westergren, Jill Giegerich, and Robert Shultz.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My style is truly very eclectic.

Inspiration: My passion for collecting and having a place to showcase it for my friends and family. I have also been very inspired from visting many homes on organized home tours such as the annual Art and Architectural Tour sponsored by LACMA's Art Counsel and those offered by the Los Angeles AIA (The American Institute of Architects).

Favorite Element: My favorite element has been decorating every room with my collectibles such as pottery, tile tables, Disney collectibles, and artwork. Artwork that decorates every room.

Biggest Challenge: Designing a private English Garden in a small rear yard, which is my sanctuary for relaxation.

What Friends Say: "I love your house"

Biggest Embarrassment: I must warn everyone to watch their heads as they enter my Mid-Century finished attic space. The clearance to enter is very low.

Proudest DIY: Working with Luisa at Mortarless Building Supply in Atwater Village to come up with the design for "custom" made tiles used in my three bathrooms and kitchen counter/backsplash, which were consistent and authentic to the 1920's and 1930's.

Biggest Indulgence: Buying artwork and running out of wall space.

Best Advice: Create your own original sense of style. Don't be afraid to mix furniture, and art of many different styles. Avoid the appearance that you hired a decorator.

Dream Source: Individually owned vintage and antique stores throughout Los Angeles and Palm Springs, ebay, The Santa Monica Flea Market, The Rowl Bowl Flea Market, the annual Los Angeles Pottery Show, and the annual title sale held in June at the Santa Monica Heritage Museum.

Resources of Note:






  • Ray Ferra's Iron N Antique Accents (342 North La Brea, Los Angeles, CA 323-934-3953)
  • Rewire




  • Dondenhoff Hardwood Floors (310-675-6300 or 310-699-2394 ask for Ian)


  • Mortarless Building Supply Company (2707 Fletcher Drive, Altwater Village, 90039, 323-663-3291, ask for Luisa or Luisa Ranieri Perez)
  • Santa Monica Heritage Museum (Annual Title Sale held in June)
  • Vintage and reproduction tile and tile tables



  • Water's Edge Gardening, Garden and Landscape Design and Services (Los Angeles, CA
  • Contact Sabine Hoppner
  • Sunshine Glass (1556 N.Highland, Hollywood CA 323-957-0703 ask for Lori (Leaded and stained glass)
  • Hollywood Welding (1045 North Hudson Avenue, Hollywood, CA 323-465-3137)
  • Do-Glass & Iron Works (4066 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90011 323-233-3391)
  • Power Electrical, Inc. (323-851-9475)
  • American Chimney Sweep (Redondo Beach, CA, Contact Alex 800-946-5438)
  • O.k. Mfg & Supply Co. Window and door products (1316 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 213-413-6844)

Thanks Robert!

Images: Juan Enriquez

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