Mark's Home Tour

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mark's home blew us away - plain and simple. It's an architectural home, which is exciting in and of itself, but it really is a wonderful reflection of Mark's impeccable style and personality. Every piece in Mark's home serves a purpose or has a story behind it, and it all comes together to create a beautiful, liveable space.

You have an amazing home. Can you tell us more about the architecture and history of it?
Thanks! The home, which is called "Hearn House" after the original owner who commissioned it, was designed by Lloyd Wright (Frank Lloyd Wright's son)in 1952. Hearn wanted a home that opened up to the outdoors and lent itself to entertaining. Lloyd Wright's design succeeds on both counts. I'm told that a yacht served as the inspiration for the design. If you stand down the street looking up, the structure of the living room cantilevered over the carport does indeed resemble the prow of a ship. It's definitely unique.

Photo via WWDIS

We heard that the search for your home was a long one. What were the main things you were looking for in a home?
Yes,at six-and-a-half years, it was embarrassingly long. I was picky and really wanted an architectural home, though not one that required tremendous amounts of work (which I could neither do myself nor afford). Over those years, my budget grew and the housing market tanked. A good combination for me.


What is your favorite thing about your home?
It's dramatic yet comfortable -- lots of glass, light, angles, and interesting vistas. At night, it changes completely, glowing with cove lighting and other soft, indirect illumination. I love it most at night. It's sexy at night.

Can you describe your thinking and the process of how you furnished and decorated your home? It looks perfect!
Thank you -- it remains a work in progress. I wanted furnishings that respected the architecture and era of the home...but I didn't want it to be formulaic. It's something with which I'm still struggling. Mid-century modern design is ubiquitous in L.A., and I'd like my home to be unequivocally mid-century modern, but also unique.I'm not yet there on the unique part!

Did you have any help?
My dear friend and realtor, Ani Benglian, was a great help. She has an incredible eye and participated with me in nearly all aspects of furnishing the house. While I'd love to bring in a professional designer for fine-tuning, I don't currently have that line item in my budget!

Your style is very mid century modern but we love that your have bold pops of color and fun quirky items around the home. How would you describe your style in your own words?
My preferred style has always been aggressively modern -- much more so than what I have in this home. What I've done here represents a compromise between what excites me (stark modernism -- very minimalist) and what works in this house. It kills me when people make interior design choices that show no respect for the structure as a whole.


Tell us about the print in your dining area?
This is a graphic of the Chuo (rail) Line platform designations in one of the stations; I was attracted to the print because I used to ride that line when I lived in the Tokyo area. It's not real art! High-impact art is what's missing from this home.

Where do you like shopping for home goods?
My go-to places are Room & Board and CB2. Room & Board has high-quality, timeless pieces (shout-out to my R&B buddy Jade Smith who spent many hours helping me!); CB2 (ask for Corrie Gregory at the Sunset store) has innovative design at ridiculously low prices. If I had more patience, I'd seek out cool vintage stuff, but I just don't. The Wassily chairs in the living room are an exception -- they are original, older than I am, and were given to me by friends of my parents.


Whats next on your to do list or shopping list?
The exterior landscaping needs...everything. I'm overwhelmed at the mere notion of conquering the wild hillside at the back of the home. I think Bigfoot may reside in it. Also, I hope to commission custom bookshelves to replace the (awful) current bookcase; I've been trying for years to get rid of it, but haven't found a suitable replacement.


Tell us about your self.
My career has been in information technology -- program/project management and product development. After having studied Japanese and comparative religion, I didn't expect to wind up in this space, but there you go. I'm a voracious reader, and much of my free time is spent with my nose in a book. I love eating out -- everything from fine dining to dive bars -- but I'm otherwise a bit of a homebody.

You have quite an extensive book collection. What are some of your favorite books, and what's next on your reading list?
Yes, if there's one area in which I'm a hoarder, it's with respect to books. It's hard to name favorites, though I love anything by Wallace Stegner or Joan Didion. A neighbor with whom I exchange reading notes recently dropped off five I'm about to dive into those.

You also seem to be quite the traveler. Can you tell us about some of your favorite places to visit?
I'm actually hoping to do more travel. The past six months, I was in Dubai, Beijing, and Tibet; however, that's not normal for me! Going forward, I want to make travel more of a priority; topping my travel wishlist are Oman, Jordan, and Morocco. I love London and would like to get back there as well.


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