Located in Los Angeles’ Hollywood Hills, this impressive midcentury home is a modern take on Edward Fickett’s original design. Its owners, music executive Caron Veazey and her husband Lou Robinson, purchased the 2000 square foot house expecting minimal renovations. However, further inspection revealed that the structural damage required a more comprehensive reconstruction. “Happy” singer Pharrell Williams, who is managed by Veasey, connected the couple to New York architect Alexander Gorlin to help with the delicate renovation.
Gorlin collaborated with Los Angeles-based architect Dan Brunn to update the house while preserving the essence of Fickett’s original design. Noticing the neglect undergone by the 1950s home, Brunn was intent on carefully and thoughtfully remodeling it to its prime.
Walls were demolished to open up the floor plan, converting the space to a place conducive to contemporary entertaining. Rooms were combined to cater to the couple’s needs, creating an expansive master’s suite that projects out to the backyard pool. The renovation architects managed to maintain some of Fickett’s original features, such as the fireplace and cement walls that define the kitchen space.
The exterior underwent an equally substantial transformation. The facade is overwhelmingly white but sits beautifully in contrast to the stark green of its backdrop. Driven by a desire to keep the house “light and bright,” Gorlin restructured the roof and enveloped the property in windows “to introduce natural light and a sense of spaciousness into the house”. Clerestory windows light up the kitchen while a skylight illuminates the master’s bedroom.
The living room opens up to the pool and patio through a floor-to-ceiling sliding door, seamlessly connecting the interior to the Los Angeles sun and breeze. The effect, a visually and spatially bright sanctuary, is a much-needed departure from the clients’ dark New York apartment.
The white palette was juxtaposed with warm tones to prevent a clinical and austere atmosphere. Accents of maple wood and grey granite offset the immaculate white walls. Contrast is introduced throughout the interior spaces through a mix of varied materials and textures. The clients also curated the house with custom and vintage furnishings, departing from a purist mid-century decor in preference of a more eclectic vibe. Tribal fabrics, as can be seen in the master bedroom rug and living room throws, playfully inject the otherwise unadorned home with color and textures.
The resulting home is a contemporary yet comforting spin on Fickett’s design. It is modest yet modern, intimate yet inviting. It honors its heritage but catapults the architecture into the requirements of present-day lifestyles. Gorlin and Brunn achieve a balance that is strategic yet delicate, mixing modern and mid-century into mystic harmony. It has indeed become a homey refuge for the jet-setting couple, a hybrid of the duplicity of their fast-paced lifestyle and relaxed vibe.