By Jess McBride | Houzz
The architecture of this 1927 Spanish Colonial residence was in pretty good shape when the homeowners found it, but the interiors were heavy and dark. Designer Rodrigo Vargas, an architect by training, decided right away that the key to restoring the historic Los Angeles home to its former glory was to allow its architectural details to stand out against crisp white walls and to add a lighter, softer touch through fabrics.
Houzz at a Glance
- Who lives here: A family that includes one daughter and a dog
- Location: Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles
- Size: 4,000 square feet
- Designer: Rodrigo Vargas Design
When the homeowners approached Vargas, their one request was that the resulting decor be “easy,” not fussy. They wanted a beautiful home that wouldn’t require constant vigilance and care of overly precious items.
In the living room, Vargas removed the heavy tasseled draperies to lighten the mood. As beautiful as lush textiles can be, the designer felt that creating an easy and comfortable interior for his clients meant honoring the Spanish architecture with lighter colors appropriate to the Southern California climate.
Vargas selected furniture with classic lines that would reflect the architecture. For example, the living room sofa frames echo the lines of the archways between rooms. Make Your Sofa Match Your Architecture.
All the draperies in the home are 100 percent cotton. The home came with much of the original hardware — and even some of the original light fixtures — intact. The sconces and iron curtain hardware in the living room are all original, as are all of the knobs and doors in the home. The interior doors were stripped of about 12 coats of paint to reveal the original wood, which was then stained and varnished in a high gloss.
Vargas and his team used vintage-inspired Spanish Colonial pieces whenever possible, and since this look can often be visually weighty and dark, they enforced an airy palette through their selection of fabrics. The custom white wool area rug in the living room features an expanded Moorish pattern, scaled up for a more contemporary look. Outfit Your Floors with Wool Carpet.
Painting the walls white allowed the designer to keep the focus on the home’s traditional ironwork, original carved wood beams and Spanish tile on the stairs.
The dining room features a custom table made with hardwood parquet floor panels left over from another of the designer’s projects. Surrounding it are chic accent chairs from one of the homeowners’ childhood homes.
In the breakfast room, a wrought-iron light fixture has a span of nearly 5 feet and holds 16 candles. The monolithic, precast-stone table beneath it is actually a patio table that complements the luxuriousness of the Ebanista chairs around it. The artwork in this space is a testament to the power of cleverly arranging affordable art. The Parisian maps hung in a grid are humble reproductions, purchased at the Louvre museum gift shop for a total of $100. Pick Up Some Antique Wall Scones for Your Home.
The master bedroom is anchored by a beautiful vintage screen purchased at a Pasadena flea market. The screen was hidden in a dusty corner of the vendor’s booth when Vargas happened upon it, and he knew that once it was cleaned up and restored, it would be perfect for his clients’ home. When Vargas says, “If you have one great piece, you don’t need a thousand things in the space,” this is the type of piece he’s referring to.
All the bedrooms in the home are outfitted with stock wool carpet cut to fit and then bound with felt.
For the clients’ daughter, Vargas designed a magical little-girl’s room. The Restoration Hardware bed is a hybrid model that converts from a crib to a twin-size. In keeping with the window treatments in the rest of the house, the canopy is a lightweight cotton. The window treatments are true blackout draperies; eliminating light leakage helps the little one sleep through the night.
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