This Elegant Los Angeles Home Subtly Blends Different Styles


Detail Oriented in Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, a designer blends classic architectural elements with eclectic furnishings to fashion an elegant family home.

Ornate Gold Mirror Border and Antique Chest Entryway with Plant and Coral

Designer Janice Barta undertook both the interiors and the interior architectural design for a Los Angeles residence. In the entry, she kept the furnishings simple, incorporating two of the homeowners’ own finds—a chest and a mirror discovered at an estate sale—into a niche. The choice allows the paneling and moldings, installed under the direction of builder Garnik Badalyans, to take center stage.

Herringbone Wooden Floor Entryway, Chandelier with Spiral Staircase and Dog

Architect Philip Vertoch riffed on traditional center-hall-plan homes. Though the formal entry boasts a classic curving stairway, the space opens to the surrounding rooms in a nod to a more contemporary way of living. The family’s Labradoodle, Timu (short for Tiramisu), lounges on herringbone-pattern oak flooring from Masterpiece Hardwood Flooring. Above is a Paul Ferrante light.

Moody Black Fireplace Living Room with Dark Sofas and Artwork

Making up the living room’s main seating area is a custom sofa dressed in a Lee Jofa fabric, a coffee table, a bench in a Schumacher fabric and a pair of chairs, all by Bernhardt. Both the sconces, framing a painting by artist Nguyen Thanh Binh, and the lamp on the console are by Visual Comfort & Co. Grounding the room is a custom rug from Carpet Studio & Design.

Open and Airy White Family Room with Shelving, Corner Sofa and Rustic Elements

In the family room, new pieces, including a Bernhardt coffee table, a lounge chair in a Pindler fabric and a sectional, mix with a console table from Hong Kong topped with vintage lamps; the jute rug is from Carpet Studio & Design. Barta designed the beamed tongue-and-groove ceiling, while the moldings are from Saroyan Lumber.

Indoor Outdoor Family Room Opening to the Outside Covered Patio

The home’s layout emphasizes indoor/outdoor living. To that end, a LaCantina bifold, wood-clad door opens the family room directly onto a covered area perfect for alfresco living and dining. The dining portion features an RH table and chairs. Adjacent is a seating area with Sunbrella fabric on the clients’ existing sofa.

Outdoor Patio Dining Area with Surrounding Tree Border

From the patio dining area, set on concrete pavers, landscape designer Randon Garver’s tailored garden is visible. The pool is by Babylon Pools. A tall hedge maintains the family’s privacy when enjoying the home’s outdoor spaces.

Marble Backsplash Kitchen with White Cabinetry and Spherical Pendant Lighting with Island Barstools

Caesarstone countertops bracket the kitchen’s Wolf range from Kathleen Ferguson. The backsplash and island, lit by Visual Comfort & Co. pendants, are in Calacatta marble from Ollin Stone; the island faucet and pot filler are by Waterworks. Barta devised a two-tier solution for the cabinetry—the solid doors are for general storage, while X marks the spot for the more decorative items. The counter chairs are by CB2.

Lucite Dining Chair Breakfast Area with Bay Window and Window Bench

The clients’ own Lucite chairs combine with a Knoll table from Design Within Reachand a Robert Abbey hanging light to create a stylish breakfast area in the kitchen. A Thibaut outdoor fabric covers the banquette cushions, making it durable and easy to clean. Piping the cushions is linen from F&S Fabrics.

Flower Wallpaper Formal Dining Room with Burst Chandelier and Fireplace

Tempering the formality of the dining room is a Harlequin wallcovering from Egg & Dart. Vintage Chinese Chippendale-style chairs from 1stdibs surround the Liaigre table from Thomas Lavin. Above is a Jonathan Adler for Robert Abbey chandelier; the sconce is by Visual Comfort & Co. The silk Aga John Oriental Rugs carpet continues the understated palette of the space.

Zebra Pattern Rug Office with Geometric Lighting and Artwork and White Cabinets

In the wife’s office, which opens onto the back garden, a Bernhardt lacquered desk is accessorized with a Visual Comfort & Co. lamp. The Currey & Company chandelier boasts an antique gold-leaf finish, and the eye-catching zebra-pattern hide rug is from the clients’ own collection.

Hand-Painted Chinese Style Bamboo Green Screen with Modern Chairs

In the living room, the designer juxtaposed a hand-painted Chinese screen purchased in Hong Kong with tufted Bernhardt side chairs.

Light Stone Like Wallpaper Powder Room with Sconces and Mirrors

Calacatta marble from Ollin Stone tops the powder room vanity inset with a Waterworks sink and faucet. The walls are adorned with Harlequin wallpaper, and the sconces are from Visual Comfort & Co. Barta designed the crisp cabinetry here as she did throughout the home.

Navy and White Striped Master Bedroom with Fluffy Rug and Eclectic Bedding

In one of the bedrooms, the navy-and-white-striped walls provide a classic backdrop for the upholstered Bernhardt bed decorated with custom pillows and a colorful quilt. Topping a Bernhardt table is a midcentury candlestick the designer had converted into a lamp. The West Elm carpet is a plush counterpoint to the room’s tailored aura.

Designer Janice Barta is a double threat. Not only is she a skilled designer effective at crafting chic, comfortable spaces for her clients, she is also a dab hand at interior architecture and detailing. For her clients, Todd and Kairavi Daum, Barta’s combination of skills proved to be the perfect match. Before settling in Los Angeles, the Daums had traveled and lived around the world, including a sojourn in Hong Kong. Knowing they were going to put down roots in Southern California, the couple began a lengthy search for the perfect neighborhood in which to make a home large enough to accommodate their three children, a Labradoodle and extended families for the holidays. Their hunt led them to a Westside locale with tree-lined streets and gracious older homes, and so they began building. Through friends, the Daums connected with Barta, whom they tasked with facilitating the interior architectural details and furnishings. “It was only natural to work on the decorative elements and furniture as well,” Barta says. 

Arriving at the house-in-progress, the designer found a Regency-style dwelling of painted brick that fit seamlessly amid the older homes in the area. “It reminds us of the East Coast homes we both grew up loving,” says Todd of the residence designed by architect Philip Vertoch. Inside, though, “it’s a traditional center-hall plan with more of a contemporary feel,” Vertoch says. To create the modern vibe, the architect tweaked the traditional layout to allow for open spaces instead of closed-off rooms while maintaining certain vintage elements such as the grand entry hall with a gently curving staircase. In this elegant classic-meets-contemporary mash-up, Barta worked her magic. 

To create dynamic spaces within the home, the designer began by specifying and drawing all the interior metalwork and woodwork, including the paneling, the cabinetry and the replace. She turned to rich materials—dark oak flooring, marble and Caesarstone—to add layers of detail and interest. This well-balanced aesthetic is exemplified in the kitchen, where she painted the cabinetry white and gray and used Calacatta marble with bold veining for the backsplash and on the island, yielding a more modern direction. 

Barta made other subtle variations to the architecture, such as laying the entryway wood in a herringbone pattern for a dramatic effect; elsewhere it’s placed end-to-end. Another intervention included coffered ceilings. “Within 10 minutes she had drawn two of her favorite styles—one of which worked perfectly for us,” Todd says. The designer integrated moldings too, taking pains to match the details with the furnishings that would grace the spaces. For example, in the entry, instead of using what she terms a “super bubbly” raised molding, Barta chose a thinner style that nearly disappears. “It made the architecture look clean,” she says, and acted as the ideal foil for more contemporary furniture choices. 

To execute the intricate architectural elements, the designer turned to builder Garnik Badalyans, who extended the utmost care and attention required for the project. A case in point: the skylight in the entry. “Because it had to be structurally stable to support the chandelier, electrical engineering was involved,” Badalyans says. “Luckily, we had good shop drawings from the interior design team to turn image into reality.” 

Just like the architectural detailing, Barta knew the interiors needed to deftly blend old with new. “Kairavi has a modern, fresh style,” says the designer, adding that the wife had a few pieces from Asia she wanted to mix into the home. Existing pieces from the Daums that made it into the design range from the ornately carved mirror and bow-front chest in the entry to the breakfast room’s mod Lucite chairs to a painted Chinese screen in the living room and a console table in the family room. Barta also incorporated new pieces with both traditional and modern profiles, such as the living room’s comfy, classic sofa that plays off a pair of armless lounge chairs perched on bases with a brass finish. 

Landscape designer Randon Garver achieved a similarly compelling mix of classic and contemporary elements in his concept for the grounds. Terracing, a time-honored technique, broke up the slope in the front of the house. In the back, “the homeowners wanted a certain amount of hard surface space for entertaining,” says Garver, so he chose modern concrete pavers to fulfill that wish. A spacious lawn runs outward from the patio, providing a rich green carpet, and flowers bloom throughout the year. 

The end result is a sophisticated and charming residence that seamlessly harmonizes within the existing community. “I really appreciate how some neighbors feel this home could have been a part of their neighborhood for years,” Barta says, “but I’m most pleased that my clients feel I was able to work collaboratively, understanding their voice and design sensibilities, and translate that through my work and my own design direction.” 

–Joanne Furio