LA’s Great Rooms

The five most inspiring living rooms in Los Angeles

By The Editors
March 13, 2015 9:00 am

Call it what you will — living room, great room, family room — it’s the room that expresses your vibe.

So consider the following before you outfit it:

Decor is like clothing — shoot for layers and a variety of textures.

Focus on the architecture. Find furniture that fits the geometry of the room. 

Consider hanging art on one wall; books on the other.

Decorate your windows. Hang plants. Get a sculpture.

Lastly, if you’re working with a designer, trust them. They’re like your tailor.

They’ve done this once or twice before.

Elton John’s Trousdale Estate Home

Designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard
Photo credit: Tim Street-Porter, courtesy of Rizzoli

How do you keep art with toddlers roaming about? When working on Sir Elton John’s 1966 Trousdale Estates home, designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard added soft corners and stain-proofing for the youngsters while keeping the couple’s proclivity for pop-art modernism intact.

1. The Italian Bust that kids can’t reach

2. Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chairs: art you sit on

3. This Damien Hirst sterling silver skull is tough to beat — or break

Japanese Farmhouse in Silverlake

Designed by Steven Johanknecht, founding partner of Commune

Photo credit: Amy Neusinger

This 1930s Japanese farmhouse in Silverlake was renovated into a streamlined modern residence by adding Shoji sliders with American walnut to the doors. The room opens to the courtyard and backyard, lending the space a natural, open ambience. All of the furnishings are vintage or made in California. The side table by the couch was actually made from leftover wood from the closets.

1. Sculptural leather chairs are ideal for reading

2. Moroccan rugs and throw pillows for color and texture

3. The stark, minimal coffee table contrasts the boho softness of the rest of the room

4. The Charlotte Perriand Prouve Nuage bibliotheque shelf can be rearranged to its owner’s liking

The Bird Streets

Designers Mary Ta and Lars Hypko, Minotti & MASS Beverly Designs

This home in the Bird Streets, just above Sunset, is for sale as is. And as is will blow your mind. The home is entirely open air, from the hallways to the bedrooms. There are two living rooms, upstairs and downstairs.

Upstairs: Minotti and MASS design very elegant spaces while keeping everything very comfortable. Silky smooth finishes with dark colors illuminated by gold and silver light. It’ll impress anyone who walks in, but you’ll still feel totally at home catching 40 winks on the couch.

1. Powell sofa

2. Riley cocktail tables

3. Dibbets rug

4. Cesar side table

Downstairs: pretty much the swankiest man cave ever built. The left side wall opens to a reflecting pool with a water wall. There is a bar on the opposite wall.

1. White sofa

2. Sullivan cocktail table

3. Davis ottoman

4. Denny lounge chairs

Point Dume House

Designed by Reath Design
Photo Credit: Andre Vippolis

Why live in Malibu if you can’t enjoy a flood of natural light? This post and beam on Point Dume achieves that with a skylight and a giant mirror. Notice how Reath Design put all of the art on one wall, and the mirror opposite the glass door. Lots of vibrant colors. Lots of wood. It’s all very breezy and comfy, right down to that rattan hanging chair.

1. Harvey Probber Shelter Style sofa

2. A little folk art with an African feather headdress (think of it as the pocket square of the living room)

3. Rare two-seat rattan hanging egg chair

Hammer And Spear – Personal home

Designers Kristan Cunningham and Scott Jarrell of Hammer And Spear
Photo credit: Bethany Nauert

Those 1920s warehouse apartments downtown are cool. But as Scott Jarrell — partner of Hammer And Spear, with his wife, Kristan Cunningham — notes, “The challenge was in defining the space to create cozy environments while keeping the open-air quality of the loft.” They made modular walls out of a gondola shelving until. “The free-standing bases of the shelving units allowed us to create walls that do not require permanent installation. We then trimmed them out with 2x4s from Home Depot and painted everything black.”

Hammer And Spear’s newly expanded store reopens 3/20/15. 

1. Restored vintage sofa from Orange is hard to pull yourself from

2. Koch and Lowy chrome floor lamp

3. Paul Kingma coffee table: gives a contrasting shape to the squareness of the room

4. Mid-century Danish leather chairs