A Modern, East Coast-Inspired Brentwood Residence


Traditional White Front Exterior Paver-Lined Lawn

Designer Adam Hunter chose a custom blue shade for the shutters adorning a Brentwood house designed by architect Steve Giannetti and built by Roy Abbott.

Traditional Front Exterior Landscape

Landscape designer Christine London marked the entrance with rectangular expanses of grass and boxwood borders.

Transitional White Living Room

Hunter created satisfying symmetry in the living room courtesy of a pair of A. Rudin sofas, upholstered with a Kelly Wearstler fabric by Groundworks, and two A. Rudin armchairs covered with subtle metallic leather from Edelman Leather. Hunter designed the sleek walnut-and-bronze cocktail table that centers the space.

Transitional White Kitchen with a Trio of Pendant Lights

A trio of pendant lights by Alison Berger for Holly Hunt illuminates the kitchen cabinetry’s dove gray hue. Hunter and Giannetti designed the custom hood, and Hunter upholstered bar chairs from David Sutherland with a textile by Innovations.

Transitional White Breakfast Nook

In the breakfast room, the designer suspended Ralph Lauren Home’s Westbury Double Tier chandelier above a Dessin Fournir table, which he encircled with chairs from David Sutherland. Loveseats by Restoration Hardware rest beneath windows crowned with Conrad shades.

Transitional White Pool House with Pitched Ceiling

Keeping to a crisp palette, Hunter appointed the pool house with a pair of custom sofas upholstered in outdoor velvet by Perennials. Bisazza tile covering the fireplace and Jean de Merry’s Lumiere chandelier lend sparkle, while a custom striped rug grounds the setting.

Transitional White Rec Room

A custom illuminated California sign—purchased through Joanna Burke Art Consultants—defines the game room, where a pair of matching pendants from the Urban Electric Co. suspend above a teak table-tennis table by James Perse.

Transitional Blue Paneled Study

Two Paris club chairs and two Beaubourg wing chairs, all by Jean de Merry, take center stage in the study. The honey onyx fireplace surround complements the walls, covered with a custom-colored selection by Edelman Leather. The Rico Espinet chandelier is by Robert Abbey.

Transitional White Master Bedroom with Custom Rug

In the master bedroom, a custom-colored Moses rug by The Rug Company anchors the Hampton bed and Portofino bench, both by Gregorius Pineo. The table lamps are by Salgado Saucier from Thomas Lavin, and the parchment-covered dresser is custom.

Transitional White Master Bath with Purple Ottoman

Hunter designed custom Thassos-and-Carrara- marble tile mosaics for the master bathroom and hung Ochre’s Arctic Pear chandelier in the space. The custom ottoman is covered in Holly Hunt velvet; the rug is by Safavieh.

If all the world’s a stage, a couple’s recently completed home in Brentwood is one of its finest sets. The residence’s East Coast-inspired design blends the casual elegance of the Hamptons with a modern flair and a sprinkling of glamour. These distinctive sensibilities come swirling together to create a look that designer Adam Hunter characterizes as “Ralph Lauren meets Shutters on the Beach hotel meets a little Manhattan luxe.”

There’s a touch of the theatrical in Hunter’s description—and in his interiors—likely born of the years he spent working as a Broadway actor. After a decade of starring in such shows as Les Misérables, The Lion King and Ragtime, Hunter switched careers, and coasts, and has since cultivated a knack for incorporating just the right dramatic touches within tailored yet inviting interiors.

That talent shines through in his clients’ home, which Hunter worked on with architect Steve Giannetti and builder Roy Abbott. The residence was approached with a stylistic blend, beginning with the architecture. “We used key elements you’d consider modern—like fewer interior walls and an indoor-outdoor cohesion—and combined them with classically correct details: the paneling, trim, columns, and cornices,” Giannetti says. “When you use those elements correctly, the whole house feels right.”

Ample light also adds to the feel-good factor. Giannetti designed the home so that sunlight shines into most of the rooms from two sides, and he bordered the structure with several East Coast-inspired porches. By adding skylights where the porch ceilings meet the structure, the architect allowed additional light to flood the spaces.

The glow illuminates interiors that make good use of sleek-but-comfy furnishings. Because the owners were on the fence between modern and traditional, Hunter “kept everything clean-lined and texture-heavy.” The designer selected “anchoring” pieces first, such as the custom cocktail table in the living room and an imposing canopy bed in the master bedroom, and built the rooms around them. Sexy textures and a few glamorous details pop against a fairly neutral palette. “The owners were shy about color,” Hunter says, “so I compensated with sparkle, texture or sheen.”

Examples of this approach surface throughout, from the dining room’s mirrored beveled-glass wainscoting to the gleaming Bisazza tiles that surround the fireplace in the pool house. In the master bedroom, Hunter wrapped the walls with Studio E’s Venetian plaster wallpaper, which is hand-painted to look like wood for a subtle shimmery effect.

Even the walnut floors gleam ever so slightly because they were stained a shade softer than black and cerused with silver. “This house changes in the light,” notes Abbott, who carried out its meticulous construction. “You notice different unique elements depending on the time of day.”

For warmth, Hunter brought in muted tones of gray, blue and green. “They’re colors people love because they see them every day in the sky and the land,” he says. In the study, the designer created a modern riff on a British clubroom by centering four leather chairs within walls sheathed with custom-dyed leather in a striking shade of blue. Similarly, he warmed up the kitchen—and avoided creating a predictable white space—by painting the cabinetry dove gray and then crowning it with a custom black hood he designed with Giannetti.

Outside, landscape designer Christine London took her cues from the home’s blended design. “As the interiors moved toward a modern feel, we brought a contemporary lean to the gardens,” explains London. “They complement the traditional architecture.” For the front entrance, for instance, London created rectangular grass “courtyards” and then softened an angular water feature with Equisetum grasses.

It’s a fitting opening act for a home that reveals itself over time, in details that are both dazzling and thoughtful—like the best performance. “I heard someone describe my work here as ‘restrained drama,’” says Hunter, adding, “The house feels warm and approachable even on its grand scale.”

—Hilary Masell Oswald