One of the great things about living and working in Los Angeles is enjoying stunning architecture, close up and in a very personal way.
For the past few weeks (and through closing day this Sunday) we've had the honor of serving as a volunteer docent at Greystone Estate, for Veranda Magazine's 2008 Great House. Over 28 top designers from all over the country participated by taking over some of the estate's spaces transforming them into magic. We have been in organizing/design eye-candy heavan!
Greystone Estate and Mansion in Beverly Hills were built in 1928 for the Doheny Oil Family in the English Gothic Revival Style. The Doheny's lived in the house until 1955, when Lucy Doheny sold the home as well as over 400 acres around the estate.
The estate measures over 47,000 square feet, with 55 livable rooms. The city of Beverly Hills now owns the registered historical landmark, which serves as a stunning backdrop for cultural and educational activities, photo and commercial shoots, weddings and public events. Since 1965, when the property was leased to the American Film Institute, Greystone has had feature roles in many famous movies.
Veranda Magazine sponsored this year's design home, which is usually shown completely empty. Expect to see a full pictorial of the event in this February and March issue of the magazine. Our volunteer role was to greet visitors, work with pre-assigned scripts and answer questions not only about estate, but about the lovely furnishings. We're always looking for opportunties to better understand the design profession, and the time and talent that goes into good work. An interior designer partners very effectively with a professional organizer, so this was an excellent project to spend so much time on.
Here you'll see the Grand Entrance Hall, designed by William Eubanks and D. Mitchell Brown. This magnificent entrance is designed as a series of four plateaus, each lower than the one before. From the doorway, the house opens up the view of the L.A. Basin beyond.
The ancestral portraits are from the designer's collection. The beautiful wallpaper was specifically designed for this year's home, and was hand-painted in antiqued silver gilt on damask.
This is our favorite room-- the dining room, designed by Richard Hallberg and Barbara Wiseley. We love the symmetry in the space, the green dishes, indirect lighting and floating floor provided by Exquisite Surfaces.
Not surprising, the second floor "family" kitchen also got us going. The "Editors" at Veranda Magazine actually designed this space, choosing hand-carved cabinets (around the cooktop) from Acquisition Cabinetry. High-end appliances were by Dacor.
Tim Clarke is an Santa Monica-based interior designer who has developed a signature coastal aesthetic. Unfortunately, he did not go all out on the seaside theme here, but we understand why. His billiard's room above is the ultimate game room. His hand-painted tile floor, Moorish curtains, twin etegier are majestic. We served as docent in this room at night, so the view above is not what we saw. Instead the fabulous chandelier, and lights from the prohibition bar illuminated the space beautifully.
One night, we worked in Greystone's bowling alley. This wing of the house had been closed off since 2006 until Paramount Pictures fell in love with it for Daniel Day Lewis' There Will Be Blood. The studio lovingly restored the floors (stripped the red and black-painted floors), replaced the lighting with period-inspired globes, re-crafted the balls returns and hand-carved the wooden bowling pins. There wasn't much to organize in this space.
Carolyn Englefield, Veranda editor-at-large hand-selected 28 interior and landscape designers from the Los Angeles area and other parts of the U.S. Designers included Stephen Block, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Tim Clarke, Elizabeth Dinkel, Peter Dunham, William Eubanks, D. Michell Brown, Waldo Fernandez, Jack Phillps, Richard Hallberg, Barbara Wiseley, Burks Hamner, Ames Ingham, Kathryn Ireland, Katie Leede-McGloin, Joe Lucas, Parrish Chilcoat, James Lumsden, Michelle Nussbaumer, David Phoenix, Rose Tarlow, Nancy Goslee Power, Suzanne Rheinstein, Richard Shapiro, Windsor Smith and Andrew Virtue. Ann Getty served as Honorary Chairperson.
Pictures above courtesy Los Angeles Times and photographer Gary Friedman
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