“At just three years old, I loved puzzles because I could always see the solutions,” Jenn Feldman recalls of her early knack for understanding spatial relationships. That nascent skill bode well for her eventual trajectory as an interior designer. And a recent project posed some of the most challenging, yet personally rewarding, puzzles she’s faced so far: the revamp of her family’s new home, a 1935 Colonial Revival-style house where her varied inspirations and passions could finally meet and mix with aplomb.
After years of searching, the four-bedroom property in West Los Angeles’ Cheviot Hills neighborhood promised plenty of potential. “We wanted a home that had charm and soul, and this was a unicorn,” Feldman explains. Here, the designer felt she could create the vibe she’d long desired: “a British town house on a street that feels like Ohio,” she describes in reference to her Midwestern roots and passion for English decor. Stints in New York and London during a previous career as a beauty and fashion industry publicist play into the abode’s rich narrative, too.
In advance of what became a year-long gut renovation (“my night job,” Feldman quips), she worked closely with architect Scott Alan Joyce on enhancing the floor plan to support the needs of her husband and teenage sons while still honoring the house’s historic features. “Instead of making the original moldings and millwork background elements or removing them completely, she amplified them with color and texture,” Joyce reflects about Feldman’s approach. “The rooms flow together nicely, but each one is extremely considered and has its own character.” Among the more notable changes, an enclosed entry vestibule with elegant checkered marble flooring was crafted from the former front porch, the height of multiple arched doorways was raised to better accommodate her growing 13- and 15-year-old sons, and upstairs closets and bedrooms were reconfigured so that each bedroom could contain an en suite bathroom. In the primary suite, Joyce added an office and closet space for Feldman (who calls it “the cloffice”) that now holds her grandmother’s writing desk. This new area also created space for a covered patio below it, which the designer refers to as “the most beautiful outdoor sitting room.” Meanwhile, her husband, Todd, can retreat to his own off-the-kitchen office to work or watch sports.
Throughout the process, general contractor Mike Khudir helped Feldman make her vision a reality. “I love working with her because she knows exactly what she wants and can give you the full details,” he shares. “You can almost see the result before you start.” Landscape architect Hadyn Lazarow of Garden by Design rounded out the team, installing olive trees in the front yard and a rose garden and box hedges in the backyard and pool area.
Inside, the designer’s well-honed skill of mixing contemporary and antique pieces is on full display. The goal was to create what she calls a “modern aged” aesthetic. “I wanted our interiors to feel like they had a kind of Midwestern charm mixed with California cool,” she explains. “With my firm, I follow the rules. For my own house, I tried to break them all.”
A penchant for moody, atmospheric greens, blues and blacks sets the tone. It’s an agenda most notably expressed via the living room walls and their extensive custom millwork, all coated in a smoky, British-inspired sage. “I love the feel you get from wrapping a darker hue around a room,” Feldman explains. “And green is my color.” Foliage-themed black-and-white wallpaper in the dining room strikes a playful, graphic note that freshens up the original moldings and wainscoting. And spaces such as the powder room offered more opportunities to go bold: There, the designer paired wallpaper in a daring, painterly scrawl with a matching fabric on sconce shades and window treatments for an immersive effect.
Feldman’s beloved art collections and prized antiques are also showcased throughout the abode. An inveterate antique hunter who loves a modern-meets-Old-World mix, she sources regularly from Round Top Antiques Fair, Portobello Market, Rose Bowl Flea Market and select dealers. Certain prized pieces were given the spotlight, like the living room’s gaming table and chair set—a family heirloom—or a Richard Serra print above the fireplace.
In the end, when she stepped back, all the pieces fit just so. “At this point in my career, I felt I had the sophistication, objectivity and patience to take on a project like this for my forever home,” Feldman says with satisfaction. “And this house was ready for me to do my thing too. I finally got to figure that out.”