How A California Home Masters Casual Elegance For Family Living
It’s not easy to pull off a design that’s formal yet comfortable. Interior designer Janice Barta of L.A-based Barta Interiors balances these opposites brilliantly in this new-build home. After being abroad in Hong Kong, her clients — a family of five — moved back to Los Angeles, where they built a 10,000-square-foot house on a tree-lined street in Little Holmby. Janice was tapped to execute a classic Georgian aesthetic that felt authentic. “Balancing modern transitional elements with traditional detailing played a huge factor,” says Janice of the home awash in greys and creams, including in the must-see kitchen. Open to it is a living area, where the whole brood can comfortably hang out: “It was important that in the end it still felt like a family home that is comfortable and livable.” Click through to see how Janice masters casual elegance.
Riveting herringbone floors greet guests in the foyer of the seven-bedroom house. Originally white oak, the floors were custom-stained on-site in a dark hue to suit the Georgian interior. Panelled walls are a classic detail in the grand two-storey space accentuated with a custom chandelier made by Paul Ferrante.
An antique chest and mirror sets the home’s gracious tone when you walk through the door. “These pieces were one of the few things they asked me to incorporate,” says Janice, noting they suit the foyer’s simplicity.
A rich color palette of greys, creams and gold is the picture of refinement in the living room. The custom velvet sofa is classic but not visually heavy for a modern feel; brass and black metalwork accents are luxe flourishes. “The nero marquina surround on the fireplace is honed, which feels less formal than polished stone,” says Janice.
Furniture pieces with cleaner lines such as the round bistro table and armless Bernhardt chairs help make the room feel open and inviting. Pincushion flowers inject a dose of zesty orange and yellow into the room.
A colorful Chinoserie screen in the formal living room is a pleasant reminder of travel — the clients brought it home with them as a keepsake.
“The tongue-and-groove ceiling and beams work because they make the interior feel more substantial,” says Janice. “It’s important to feel like the house architecturally can stand on its own without furnishings.” The pendants are by Thomas O’Brien for Visual Comfort and the striking backsplash is Calcutta marble.
The adjoining butler’s pantry between the dining room and kitchen features the same stunning marble as the kitchen. Grey paint, embellished with brass hardware, creates a more intimate space.
This home is for real life, so Janice didn’t hide the media. A cozy move! “They have a huge extended family that visits often,” she says. “Having an elegant yet comfortable room where they could entertain and watch TV was important.”
“One of my favorite elements of this room is the pair of vintage lamps,” says Janice. They balance the old with the new. The gorgeous pillows feature Schumacher fabric for a punch of color.
To save on space in the powder room, Janice mounted the sconces right on the mirror, which still allowed for a large-scale mirror. Swirly Makrana Smoke wallpaper, made by Harlequin, is quietly mesmerizing against the marble sink.
A taupe linen tufted headboard and soft blue accents are suitably restful in the principal bedroom. The client wanted an elegant, feminine room that didn’t feel too overdone or formal.
Bathed in light, the generously-sized elegant principal bathroom boasts a marble mosaic floor and nickel accents that bring the bling. Linen roman shades add softness against the hard materials.
Painted stripes are fun in the daughter’s bedroom — and less of a commitment than wallpaper, says Janice. “Her daughter loves bold colors, which is why we chose the deep blue and accented it with the yellow and pink bedding.
The stripe motif continues in the girl’s bathroom, where wide light grey stripes tie the rooms together. Luxurious marble mosaic floors are a recurring motif.