Fresh and serene is what homeowner Rika Broccoli had in mind for the renovation and design of the Hollywood Hills home she shares with her husband, Tony, and a new baby. “This house was all about a new beginning and starting fresh,” says Rika, who liked the hotel projects done by Smith Firestone Associates and felt they would be a fitting choice for creating a transformational new environment. Indeed, the firm, led by founder Sue Firestone and president Kara Smith, has garnered a reputation for designing hotels from the Four Seasons Los Angeles to The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal. However, despite tackling such large-scale projects, Smith, working with senior designer Georgie Keller, approached this residence with a personal touch. “Their willingness to listen to my opinion and try to understand my taste was key,” says Rika. “With just a few key words, they could literally materialize my ideas and make them all come to life.”
Breathtaking views overlooking the city, as well as a tennis court on the property, sold the Broccolis on the 1960s house. But careless past renovations had left little of architectural interest worth salvaging. Smith took on the challenge by redesigning the fac¸ade and gutting the interior to allow for an expanded kitchen and a reconfiguration of the master suite. Contractor Charles A. Winans IV carried out the extensive renovation. “We basically stripped it down to the bones,” notes Smith, who then created interiors to honor the house’s fresh new direction. “It’s our vision of modern luxury. Our client wanted to mix classic architectural features with elegant California furnishings in an eclectic, cool way. So we took inspiration from Parisian interiors for details such as moldings, paneling and chandeliers.”
This approach is evident in the living room, where the house’s serene color palette—white with accents of gray, lavender and mink brown—is established. “The high ceilings of the room reminded me of a Paris apartment,” says Smith, who added floor-to-ceiling wall paneling in the space and then appointed it with custom sofas, velvet- covered chairs and a mirror-topped table. “We wanted the furnishings to be somewhat eclectic yet remain elegant.” Tony, a member of the legendary Hollywood family responsible for producing the James Bond movie franchise, had one specific request for the living room—a television. “We had to find a compromise,” says Smith, who arrived at a solution that seems to wink at the gadgetry of the Bond films by hiding one behind an ingenious motorized mirror above the fireplace.
Dark wood flooring runs throughout the house, from the living room, to the dining room and then into the kitchen, where customized traditional- style cabinetry is paired with slabs of white marble for the counters. “We wanted to create a beautiful place where you’d want to spend time,” says Smith, who designed a built-in banquette to devise a breakfast nook and appointed it with a bold striped indoor/outdoor fabric and a chandelier with glass drop beads for “a touch of glitz.”
When it came to the master bedroom, “Rika wanted a toned-down Hollywood Regency style,” says Keller. The room remains predominantly white, save for a striking black damask wallpaper that was incorporated into the design after Rika fell in love with the pattern on a shopping trip with the designers. Materials such as velvets and pearl-finished leather along with a soft shag rug and delicate linens were chosen to produce a look Smith describes as “luxurious with an edge.”
“The benefit of working with a designer is that they find the right solution for areas you don’t have any particular idea for,” says Rika of the his-and-hers mezzanine study. “Tony leans toward contemporary, so we brought in touches of Lucite and black lacquer,” Keller says of a custom desk and built-in shelving. A stroke of luck gave the room its pie`ce de re´sistance when Keller happened upon vintage Italian James Bond posters while in the Hamptons. As she says, they add “the perfect finishing touch!”