Karen and John's Home Tour

Friday, May 30, 2014

As Creative VP for HauteLook and NordstromRack.com, it's no surprise that Karen’s great style extended to her home in Hollywood, CA where she lives with her husband, John and daughter, Sophie.  Their home was beautiful and the neighborhood was absolutely charming.  We especially loved the home's arched pathways, French style windows and the winding staircase.  It was complimented perfectly with John and Karen's very stylish aesthetic. 

We had a blast getting to know Karen's family and having girl time with little Sophie!  They recently decided to move into a larger home so we're happy to have been able to capture their lovely home before the move.

You have an beautiful home.  Can you tell us more about the history of it?
Our home was built in 1928 and features Spanish architecture which is a popular architecture style in Los Angeles, as well as Beachwood Canyon. It is one of the older homes on our street and we fell in love with it for the arches, textured walls, views and charm. We also love the neighborhood because it has a very small town feel while really being in the center of the city. We find ourselves very inspired here and I think that is a common theme of those who live here.

What attracted you and John most to this home when you purchased it a few years ago?
No one could argue that this house is unique, even quirky in many ways. We really loved that it’s layout and levels allowed for us to use the spaces in so many different ways and really customize the rooms to our lifestyle.

The view of the canyon is beautiful and we heard you have great neighbors.  We were unfamiliar with this area of Los Angeles.  Can you describe it for our readers?
Beachwood Canyon is the neighborhood that used to be known as “Hollywoodland”. This was the neighborhood that was identified by the “HOLLYWOODLAND” sign, which today is known as the “HOLLYWOOD” sign. It is known for it’s storied history as well as it’s excellent planning and variety of architectural styles. I think ultimately it’s the sense of community and inspiring energy that will always keep this canyon a very special place to live and attract the artists and musicians that it does today. There is a great neighborhood market and restaurant and shops a bit further up the hill and great hiking at the top of Beachwood with a horse stable and dog park. It’s like country living in the middle of Hollywood!

Can you describe your style and what you wanted wanted to achieve while decorating the home?

I love modern design and modern conveniences. At the same time I love natural textures, textiles and appreciate the beauty and authenticity that comes with age and imperfection. I think the décor of the home and the choice of home itself are a pretty good representation of that. A mix of new and old, smooth and rough. I love color but sometimes get afraid of it in my home. I get sick of things quickly so I’ve discovered that what works best for me are neutral palettes with pops of color in accessories that can easily shift with season. 

Did you have any help? 
Not any professional help, no. I think my husband’s input and aesthetic is definitely represented here – mostly in the Den :)

How has your design aesthetic and sensibility changed since having Sophie?
I don’t think my aesthetic has changed so much as it is more an exercise in re-prioritization. When you have children, you need to consider the function of your home in layout and furniture choices more than ever before. We’ve definitely had to make some changes since our daughter began walking, but I also didn’t want to overdo it and change the entire look/feel of the home and lose the original character. We are planning on moving very soon just to get more square footage which is very bittersweet as we have amazing memories of this home. 

I know many people will love your dining table as well as the upstairs coffee table.  Can you share where you purchased your key pieces as well as your favorite stores for home shopping?
Our dining table was custom made for our dining area by Riley Rea at Croft House. This is a great shop on La Brea where you can find reclaimed wood furniture and decorative items very much in line with the vibe of our home. The coffee table upstairs was a purchase from CB2 about 4 years ago. 

What is your favorite thing about your home and what will you miss most about it when you move?
The canyon setting and the views. We often call our house “The Tree House” as when you’re upstairs, you’re surrounded by trees and nature. It’s very quiet in our home and all you really hear are the sounds of birds and sometimes the coyotes. 

What are you looking for in your next home?
Definitely an additional bedroom and more square footage over all. I’d love to find a home that has mature trees and a good size yard as well.

About Karen and John...
Please tell us about you guys?  
 I am a Creative Director who works in fashion e-commerce, John is a Film Executive working for a Studio. John and I grew up about 20 minutes from one another in the north suburbs of Chicago, but only met in Los Angeles 7 years ago. We also both attended the University of Illinois, which was the common denominator that led to us meeting when our groups of friends collided at a Daft Punk concert! We love music, going to watch music, movies, and we’re design enthusiasts!

You have a great sense of personal style.  Where you like shopping for yourself as well as Sophie? 
Thank you! I do quite a bit of online shopping as I’m a busy Mom. That usually happens at HauteLook and Nordstrom as I work for them! A local guilty pleasure is a store called Lost and Found in Hollywood. I love the kids’ toys and clothing. They have beautiful home goods as well that all really speak to my aesthetic. It also helps that they are right down the street. 

What are some of your favorite designed spaces in LA (e.g. restaurants, shops, etc.)?
I love Axe restaurant on Abbot Kinney in Venice. Lovely, healthy food and very calming, organic décor. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, I really like the restaurant Providence for it’s minimalist, muted, futuristic qualities. It almost feels like you’re in a padded, windowless, beige spaceship in there and there are lovely paper butterflies on the walls which is really unexpected. I’ve never seen a restaurant like it.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time and do you have any personal projects you're working on?
I spend nearly all my spare time with my daughter, Sophie. We love going to LACMA to check out the art on display and then having pizza at Ray Stark’s. My personal project these days is finding a new home which has been all consuming. Once we’re there I’m dreaming of planting a big garden! 


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