Bright Hues Enliven & Connect An L.A. Retreat


traditional exterior red door

Inside a Monterey-style Los Angeles abode, bright hues enliven and connect its airy spaces.

traditional landscape

A flagstone path leads from a bright blue gate to a Los Angeles home created by designer Timothy Corrigan, architect Ken Ungar, general contractor Wayne Moss and landscape architect Pamela Burton. The gate's vivid hue hints at the playful colors found within the residence. Beneath a mature Chinese elm is a garden bench with a cushion in a Summit fabric.

traditional living room blue accents

Flanking a coffee table by Gracie are custom living room sofas fabricated by Ty-Teck and upholstered with Opuzen velvet from Thomas Lavin. Zimmer + Rohde trim accents the shades, which are in a Beacon Hill fabric from Robert Allen. The window seat cushion fabric is by Scalamandre. Grounding the arrangement is a carpet from Mansour.

traditional white kitchen green island...

The sun-filled kitchen was designed with cooking in mind including a handy overhead pot rack. Corrigan chose pendant lights from Ann-Morris in New York City and paired them with the couple's existing counter chairs. The range is Wolf.

exterior sitting area fountain

>Scattered throughout the property are small, artful seating areas, such as one in the front yard centered around a fountain. "The ranges of colors and textures available to us through various plant materials creates endless possibilities," Burton points out.

traditional living room neutral with...

Wampa, a Labradoodle, sits on the family room sofa, a custom sectional fabricated by Monte Allen and upholstered in velvet by The Flemming Group. The coffee table, inset with fabric from Summit, and recliner, upholstered in Schumacher velvet, are also by Monte Allen. Corrigan used a Le Gracieux fabric from Mimi London for the draperies and a wallcovering from Donghia.

traditional multi-color staircase

"We decided to have fun with the rear staircase," says Corrigan, who united the home's palette into a singular design with a colorful carpet from Stark for the back stair. "The result is whimsical and brings a smile to everyone's face." The floor runner is also from Stark.

traditional hallway gold console and...

"The upstairs hallway is immediately visible from the moment one walks in the front door," says Corrigan. So, he decided to mix in a console and mirror from Bonhams, along with artwork to lend a touch of glamour to a frequently overlooked space.

traditional exterior pool green accents

"We had a lot of fun selecting chartreuse pots to match the fabrics," says Burton of the poolside lounging and dining areas. "Along the edge of the lawn we planted heliotrope to add a pop of color that complements a nearby blue fountain."

traditional outdoor patio sitting area...

Corrigan designed the rear patio, an extension of the family room, with the couple's existing outdoor furniture, adding a custom rug from S&J Biren Floor Coverings and draperies in Perennials fabric and made by Ty-Teck.

traditional bedroom blue palette

The master bedroom features a custom bed by Erez Talmor with a headboard upholstered in Christopher Hyland fabric from Janet Yonaty. Corrigan selected Circa Lighting swing-arm fixtures and lamps from Harbinger. Scalamandre lampshades top the Formations chandelier. The rug is Stark.

traditional white bathroom with island

The master bathroom was designed to have a spa-like feeling with statuary marble countertops emphasizing the ambience. Corrigan chose a mix of hardware designs from RH and E.R. Butler & Co. Valley Drapery and Upholstery fabricated the Calvin Fabrics window treatments.

It’s not uncommon to find guest speakers, politicians and philanthropists comfortably mingling in homeowners Leslie and Cliff Gilbert-Lurie’s residence. While they maintain active social and professional schedules, the couple was looking to downsize but still needed a space for entertaining yet cozy and agreeable for their family. So, when a Los Angeles house captured their imagination, they turned to designer Timothy Corrigan to bring their vision to life. “The house has a very open plan, so the biggest challenge was to create distinctive spaces that allowed you to look from one area to another with an even flow,” says Corrigan, adding that he devised defined yet highly functional rooms to accommodate various activities–from hosting charitable events to more everyday pastimes like reading and watching movies.

Before Corrigan began work on the interior decoration, Ungar and general contractor Wayne Moss worked together to create an open-plan home with a seamless flow. While the design is Monterey-inspired, the pair contemporized it with features such as a central skylight and a sweeping vista from the entry. “I like to be able to open the front door and have your eye drawn through the house,” says Ungar. “It makes it feel larger.” That connection continues to the exterior where outdoor rooms–such as a covered patio in the rear–become
an extension of the interiors.

With the structure in place, Corrigan unified the spaces–both inside and out–by incorporating bright, bold colors, beginning with the crimson front door and ending with the rainbow-hued stair runner in the rear of the house. “Red, blue and green are predominant but there’s just about every color used throughout,” he says, noting that with an open floor plan, it took careful thinking to “integrate the tones in a harmonious way.” Take, for example, the Kelly green shade used on the kitchen island and overhead pendants that complement the various greens picked up in accent pieces in the nearby family room. It works because the generous proportions of the interior spaces give each shade breathing room while the white-painted moldings create continuity, explains Corrigan. And the homeowners fully endorsed the designer’s vivid palette. “We love it,” says Leslie. “Color done well is fantastic, especially where you want to inspire animated conversation.” Upstairs, bold hues are replaced by their softer selves, like the beiges and blues of the master bedroom–a mellowed interpretation of the living room’s rich scheme.

For the furnishings, Corrigan carefully melded new pieces with the couple’s existing items, which included collections of antiques, artworks and books. “We didn’t take an ‘out with the old, in with the new’ approach,” Leslie says, pointing out that they loved the furniture from their former home and wanted to keep as much of it as possible. However, the couple did welcome the addition of a plush, Art Deco-style screening room replete with a candy counter and sconces from a historic downtown theater. “Our family is a good mix of playful and classic,” says Leslie.

The surrounding greenery, designed by landscape architect Pamela Burton, also telegraphs at the home’s welcoming ambience. The greeting begins at the front gate, where visitors enter what feels like a secret garden. “Leslie loved the idea of a woodland walk with a fountain and a sitting area under the Chinese elm,” says Burton, who had worked with the couple on their previous house. She carried flora through the home via a light well filled with succulents, a Kentia palm and staghorn ferns, and in the backyard, she helped the family create an alfresco kitchen and dining area, a raised terrace with a fire pit, and a large lawn next to the pool.

Today, the home can easily transition from a casual family get-together during the day to a formal event at night thanks to Corrigan’s clever use of space and color. “Tim is fun and extremely collaborative,” says Leslie. “He was willing to dive in and help us make the best decisions possible.” And for his part, Corrigan thoroughly enjoyed creating user-friendly spaces for the family. “This is a house that’s designed to be lived in and used fully,” he says. “It’s anything but a showplace that says, ‘Look but don’t touch.’ It’s a house that shouts, ‘I’m here for you
to enjoy!’ “