When Leura Fine and her husband, Paige Craig, were on the hunt for their first home, they had one rule: Avoid properties that are total teardowns.
“We would be completely nuts to take a project on like that,” says Fine, CEO of online interior design company Laurel & Wolf, who often travels for her job.
But when it came to deciding on a style, the consensus wasn’t as easy.
Fine, who grew up in Alabama, is attracted to more traditional styles — think: Cape Cods and Colonials — while Craig likes modern, clean lines.
So when they happened upon the neutral interiors of their current abode — a 4,420-square-foot contemporary Spanish house in the Cheviot Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles — Fine was convinced it was the perfect blank canvas to make their own. After all, it had unique architecture and great light — both big wins.
“I see every home as a designer,” she says. “If I can check these boxes, on the inside, I can make it whatever I want.”
That customization happened over the course of three months this spring. The process involved adding a fresh coat of paint to the kitchen to give it a richer, more elegant vibe and sourcing pieces like drapery, wallpaper and furniture from Laurel & Wolf’s online shopping service.
Of course, the couple wasted no time incorporating personal touches, like a collection of African masks they brought back from their honeymoon and a saddle that belonged to Fine’s equestrian-loving great-great-grandmother, Leurania. The dining room, too, houses a variety of cherished china that Fine uses for formal gatherings or simply when hosting girlfriends for takeout on a Wednesday.
After all, making a house a home involves surrounding yourself with pieces that speak to your personal style.
“I walk though the front door every day, and I sigh a huge sigh of relief,” Fine says. “It reminds me of all the things I love. … It creates a space that’s a sanctuary.”
We asked Fine to get personal about what she stocks in her fridge, her latest Netflix binge and her guests of honor at her dream dinner party. Read the Q+A, below, and tour the couple’s home in the gallery.
My morning routine consists of…
Early wakeup, hit the gym or get some quiet work time in, and then coffee! Once I’ve showered and beautified, it’s time to head to the office.
After I get home, I unwind by…
After dinner, my favorite thing is to change into a robe and slippers. My master bedroom is my own personal 5-star hotel. Beautiful design, great bedding and the perfect lighting. Add robe and slippers and you have instant vacation at home every night.
What was your last ridiculous Google search for?
What temperature should I slow cook a brisket on my Big Green Egg. I love to cook and recently bought a Big Green Egg and am obsessed with learning how to grill and smoke everything.
What’s the story behind the best gift you’ve ever received?
The best gift I’ve ever received is my engagement ring which was hidden as a present under our Christmas tree. Imagine my surprise when I opened a large box and found a much smaller jewelry box hidden inside.
Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to your dream dinner party and why?
There are many people I’d love to meet who are no longer with us, but I’ll keep it to people I have a shot at ending up at dinner with. Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Clinton. I would love hearing the stories of powerful women. These three ladies are all women who have built empires. They are brilliant, tough, hardworking and have fought for what they believe in and what they’ve built.
The one household chore I’d rather not have to do is ____, because…
Clean toilets…. because they are toilets?
The most interesting book or article I’ve read in the past month was probably…
Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock
If you open up my fridge on any given day, chances are you’ll always find…
Cured meats, cheeses, and great wine. Instant cocktail party!
Which show are you currently binge-watching? What do you love most about it?
I just binge-watched “Bloodline.” Fascinating story of a family in Florida. Lots of mystery and intrigue. It starts off a bit slow, but the storyline has some fascinating twists and turns.
One trend I hope never goes out of style is…
Animal print! As a Southern girl, I love anything animal print. I consider leopard to be a neutral.