A Transitional Brentwood Abode with a Fluid Outdoor Connection


Transitional Neutral Front Elevation with White Brick Facade

Architect Ken Ungar gave the facade, clad in brick and stone, an asymmetrical appearance with a two-story gable offset by three gable dormers.

Transitional Neutral Dining Room with Motif Accent Wall

To make sure of that, Joannides used a palette of light neutrals punctuated with textures and pattern to play up the home’s sense of openness. “It was critical that we didn’t hinder that feeling with dark furnishings and fabrics,” explains Joannides, who designed the living and dining rooms—on either side of the foyer—to “coexist harmoniously.”

Transitional Neutral Hall Detail with Wainscoting

In the entry, high-gloss white wainscoting contrasts with a textured Thibaut grass-cloth wallcovering, which warms the voluminous space and lends character. A gilded mirror from Formations hangs above a custom console table from Dennis & Leen.

Transitional Neutral Powder Room with Printed Wallcovering

A powder room features an onyx countertop and a printed grass-cloth wallcovering by Phillip Jeffries.

Transitional Cream Living Room with Twin Wing Chairs

Designer Meg Joannides paired sofas from The Mews House with a chinoiserie coffee table from Dennis & Leen in the living room of a Brentwood house

Transitional Cream Sitting Area with Wing Chair

A wing chair from Dennis & Leen stands near a Baker chest.

Transitional White Breakfast Nook with Patterned Pendant

A pendant by Ironies hangs above a Gregorius Pineo table, which anchors the sunny breakfast nook. The armchairs are from Formations.

Transitional Cream Den with Colorful Accents

Roman shades made with a whimsical Alan Campbell fabric crown the wife’s retreat, where nesting tables by Ironies stand in front of a custom sofa.

Transitional Cream Sitting Area with Pink Chairs

Dressed with a bright coral-pink fabric, Saarinen chairs pull up to a marble-topped Saarinen table, both by Knoll and purchased from Jules Seltzer Associates, to provide a spot for projects. The artwork is from Hollyhock

Transitional White Kitchen with Marble Backsplash

The kitchen’s white cabinetry, from Cooper- Pacific Kitchens, frames a marble backsplash, Gaggenau ovens and a Wolf cooktop. The custom bar chairs, featuring rush seats and backs, are from The Mews House, and handblown glass lanterns from Alison Berger Glassworks suspend from overhead.

Transitional White Bedroom with Blue Accents

The guest bedroom, sporting a palette perched halfway between masculine and feminine, features a canopy bed by Ironies and custom white-lacquer bedside tables from The Mews House. The views are framed by ripple-fold draperies made with a Home Couture textile from Quadrille.

Transitional White Bathroom with Window Seat

The light-filled master bath was designed to be an elegant spa-like sanctuary. Gary Hutton Furniture custom mirrors, featuring brushed stainless steel and Swarovski crystals, hang above his-and-her vanities on opposite walls. The large Zuma tub is fitted with Waterworks fixtures, and the light fixture is by Jehs + Laub.

Transitional Loggia with Outdoor Dining Area

A loggia overlooking the lush backyard is comfortably appointed with furnishings from Janus et Cie. Landscape designer Andrea Scharff adorned the brick columns with climbing Zephirine Drouhin roses, and a swimming pool by Chris Doman Pools sits opposite an expansive lawn.

When Paul Jennings and Adrienne Grant were looking for a house in Brentwood, they knew just what they wanted. “An indoor-outdoor lifestyle was our priority,” says Grant, who notes they also hoped for traditional architectural details and cozy textures within a sensibility that conveyed “the cheerfulness and playfulness of West Coast living.” The house they found was ideally situated to meet those goals, with its west-facing backyard and expansive views, but the structure itself was not ideal. The couple decided to have it razed, and they called on architect Ken Ungar and designer Meg Joannides to start from scratch in creating the warm, welcoming house they envisioned.

“They grew up on the East Coast and were fascinated with the idea of indoor-outdoor living,” Joannides says of her clients. “They craved that openness and light.” To create a structure that would begin to embrace those values, Ungar devised a layout in which the main rooms—the kitchen, breakfast area and family room—open to the rear yard. “We wanted to make the house feel like it was connected to the outdoors,” explains the architect.

Within that flowing plan, Ungar designed rooms that would meet the family’s needs in terms of aesthetics and function. “I really wanted to emphasize proportion—all four walls and ceiling—to get the right feel,” says Jennings, a real estate developer. Ungar skillfully kept spaces feeling intimate by avoiding abnormally high ceilings that might make the rooms seem baronial, yet sized them to be spacious enough to accommodate the family’s many gatherings. “We wanted our house to be both a peaceful refuge and a welcoming, cheerful place to entertain,” Grant says. “We wanted every space to be inviting.”

To make sure of that, Joannides used a palette of light neutrals punctuated with textures and pattern to play up the home’s sense of openness. “It was critical that we didn’t hinder that feeling with dark furnishings and fabrics,” explains Joannides, who designed the living and dining rooms—on either side of the foyer—to “coexist harmoniously.” A custom chinoiserie coffee table standing between linen-covered sofas in the living room speaks to the hand-painted wallcovering in the dining room. “That wall is quite important, as it’s seen from the foyer,” says Joannides. “It needed to make a statement.”

In those spaces and throughout, the designer selected furnishings with strong profiles but kept the embellishments to a minimum. “The shapes might be traditional, but we didn’t goop up the forms with a lot of trimmings and welting,” Joannides says. “Everything has a fresh and clean but still luxurious feel to it.” Even the kitchen, which features the same marble on the countertops and backsplash, keeps things understated. “We didn’t want it to be overly ornate,” explains the designer, who worked with Cooper-Pacific Kitchens to create cabinets that would stretch up to the ceiling, drawing the eye to the ceiling’s tongue-and-groove detail.

In addition to the kitchen’s tongue-and-groove ceiling, the home, which was constructed by builder Roy Abbott, also features coffered ceilings, wainscoting, crown moldings and other elegant millwork. The architecture’s traditional sensibility belies the state-of-the-art technology that lies underneath. “We incorporated a Savant audio-video system,” says Abbott. “It’s an advanced automated system, and it runs the whole house—the lighting, the pool and the spa.”

The property’s landscape, which was originally designed and installed by landscape contractor Ronald M. Hamamoto, adds an enveloping last layer. Recently, the couple brought in landscape designer Andrea Scharff to enhance the grounds with more than 600 new plants. “We tried to provide some sculptural aspects to the beds and give them more fullness,” says Scharff. “We also added an extra dimension of aroma with scented flowers like Zephirine Drouhin roses as well as Eden roses.”

Just as the couple had hoped, the house offers tailored yet comfortable interiors and an easy connection with the outdoors. “It makes a cohesive statement,” says Joannides. “There is a great flow between spaces, and all of the rooms are inviting. None of them give the impression that you aren’t welcome to come in, relax and enjoy.”

—Kimberly Olson