Whimsical Design Wakes Up A Classic Tudor In Los Angeles

Details

brick exterior facade covered with...

Clipped boxwood and climbing jasmine, part of a layered landscape design by Stephen Block, play up this Pacific Palisades home’s Tudor Revival architecture and frame the dining room. French doors usher in light and air.

exterior of home with curved...

Pathways meander the home’s garden, offering shady places to sit and enjoy the view. The statuesque French planter in the form of a chicken is from Inner Gardens, as is the curved bench.

contemporary living room with curved...

The living room’s sofas and coffee table are Pierre Augustin Rose, sourced from Garde along with the leather armchairs. The Carlo Mollino vintage floor lamp is from Galerie Half. On the wall hangs a piece from Mika Tajima’s Art d’Ameublement series, purchased via Pace Gallery.

moody study with orange couch,...

In the husband’s study, an orange Claude Home sofa rests behind a curvy coffee table from Fair and Galerie Glustin stools. Farrow & Ball’s Tanner’s Brown lines the walls as well as built-ins by Charles Gemeiner Cabinets.

kitchen with checkerboard marble flooring,...

Gray-and-white checkerboard marble flooring from Exquisite Surfaces adds personality to the kitchen’s original cabinetry and countertops. The range is Lacanche and the barstools are from Cuff Studio.

dining room with neutral colored...

Interior designer Brooke Giannetti drew together a De La Espada table, Roman and Williams Guild chairs and a Jeff Zimmerman chandelier from R & Company in the sunlit dining room. Grounding the space is a cream-colored Marc Phillips rug.

garden vignette with antique stone...

Tucked among a lush array of greenery, an antique stone fountain from Inner Gardens adds to the birdsong in the home’s garden. It’s positioned on axis with the dining room, creating a peaceful ambience inside and out.

contemporary family room with a...

B&B Italia’s Camaleonda sofa anchors the playroom. Its ruddy hue nods to art by André Butzer flanked by Lindsey Adelman Studio sconces above the brass fireplace surround. Andorra pendants by Palecek top the room. The rug is from Forsyth.

stairwell with oversize yellow contemporary...

Lust, Lotus, 11:11 by Jennifer Guidi, sourced via Gagosian, brightens the stairwell, aided by Apparatus’ Tassel 57 pendant overhead. The sconce is from The Urban Electric Co.

lounge area with two pink...

Painted Farrow & Ball’s Wimborne White, a guest seating area features shearling armchairs and pink velvet sofas from West Coast Modern LA. A Jenni Kayne coffee table and marble-top Soho Home side table nod to the curvaceous furnishings.

dressing room with pink center...

Pastel hues and delightful furnishings fill the wife’s dressing room. A custom ottoman from Ralph’s Interiors stands in front of pink-glass closets designed by Charles Gemeiner Cabinets. The Murano-glass chandelier is a 1stdibs find. Oak floors from Exquisite Surfaces provide a warm base.

This is no traditional Tudor; they wanted something fresh,” declares designer Brooke Giannetti of the historic 1920s home on a large estate in Pacific Palisades that was purchased by her longtime clients. Their plan? To enliven it with contemporary interiors. The house had been extensively remodeled by its previous owners, “but in a traditional way, and we kept certain aspects,” explains architect Steve Giannetti, Brooke’s husband and design partner. As their clients are a young couple with children, the Giannettis leaned into finding a balance, inside and out, that would work with the home’s traditional backdrop yet feel modern and “formal without being formal,” notes Brooke. “There’s softness, lightness, fun,” she adds. “We wanted this home to encompass all the things we love to do: allow connections between the indoors and out; utilize beautiful natural materials; and be filled with rooms designed to create emotion.”

Steve largely opted to preserve the home’s architectural integrity, but it did require some strategic interventions to fit the lifestyle of its new owners. “Steve can imagine things that are contemporary, how a vignette will look or where to place a door,” says the husband of the architect’s methodology. To wit, widening the entrance between the entry hall and dining room helped the dining area seem less formal and more like an inviting destination. And the French doors on three sides of the sunlit space “make it feel like a garden pavilion,” notes the architect.

The Giannettis left the kitchen nearly untouched, swapping in checkerboard flooring (“It adds a nice character,” Steve observes) and a new sage-green range and hood. They also, with the help of general contractor Brian Valle, spent time reconfiguring the private upstairs spaces to better fit the family’s lifestyle. Together, they shifted the layout of the primary suite’s bathrooms, increased closet space for the wife and created a study for the husband. “We don’t always do things in a ‘normal’ way,” shares Brooke of how she and Steve collaborate, “but Brian has a massive amount of technical skill and can always achieve what we design.”

For the interiors, Brooke and project designer Laura Putnam worked closely with the wife to create rooms with a modern aesthetic. And Brooke and Steve’s son, Nick Giannetti, also contributed by sourcing accessories throughout the home. “There’s a joy and levity to these homeowners, and you can see that in our selections,” Brooke continues. Working in pinks, oranges and greens (“They’re unexpected, energized!” she enthuses), the designer focused on creating a sense of lightness through curves and textures. “We wanted different feelings in different areas, but there’s a balanced mix of things, not just pieces that would have matched the English exterior,” she explains. The living room’s swoopy French sofas and vintage Italian floor light are a case in point. There are clever tricks too, like the way the couple’s cashmere-wrapped headboard references wainscotting. “There needs to be a connection to history of place, but also to a client’s story, past and future,” muses Brooke.

But it’s the vaulted playroom that truly expresses this family’s cheerful togetherness. While the coffee table is perfect for Legos, the onyx tequila bar is ideal for adults. “I love this room,” says the wife. “It’s warm and comfortable, and everything is so bold: the red sofa, the checkered rug, the oversize lighting fixtures.” It also has one of the couple’s favorite artworks, a painting by André Butzer. “We began collecting years ago, but a friend recently introduced us to art adviser Cardiff Dugan Loy, who has helped build our collection. She showed us Butzer’s work and we couldn’t stop thinking about that piece,” the wife continues. “It completes the room in the most whimsical and memorable way.”

The home’s buoyant spirit continues outside, in the landscape designed by Stephen Block. “The garden had great bones—100-year-old cedars—but sometimes my inspiration comes from objects,” explains Block, pointing to an antique French fountain that drove the design. He brought in tidy clipped boxwood, fragrant jasmine, oakleaf hydrangeas, redbuds, citrus and vegetable gardens, alongside birdbaths. “The end result is a really pretty green-on-green-on-green,” says Block. Special, personalized moments are peppered in too. For instance, when the wife mentioned her love of chickens, the landscape designer replied, “I have one!” That is, he brought in a large French planter in the form of her favorite fowl. “It’s now perched where I can see it through the kitchen window as I cook,” says the wife.

“We all understood that this family wanted moments of surprise and charm—a happy home,” Brooke reflects. To which Steve adds, “And we respected the dignity of this great old house, while still filling it with personal style and making it their house.”