Curbed’s weekly original tours series takes you inside homes with eye-catching style and big personality—from modern tiny homes to pedigreed midcentury gems and everything in between.
Not many architecture firms are bonafide one-stop shops. You’re more likely to find outfits that focus instead on a single aspect of a home’s design or construction, its interiors, or its landscaping.
But in the case of Marmol Radziner, a design-build practice with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, that’s exactly the 360-degree experience they offer their clients. And Marmol Radziner COO Todd Jerry and his family would know—their home in Mar Vista, a Los Angeles neighborhood a stone’s throw from the Pacific, embodies the firm’s ethos.
Conventional wisdom cautions against working with relatives—let alone someone you are dating. But for Erik Allen and Leanne Ford conventional wisdom doesn’t seem to apply.
Allen is the co-founder and co-CEO of Buck Mason, a menswear company that produces modern takes on classic clothes. Ford is the founder and creative force behind Leanne Ford Interiors. When Allen asked her to work interior magic in his Echo Park rental, Ford created a place so appealing, she says: “If I didn’t know him and I walked into that place, I’d have a crush on him.”
Anyone who knows the Golden State understands that the 381 miles (give or take) between Berkeley and Los Angeles offers a vastly different design outlook and popular aesthetic. Singer sought out a fellow transplant to make his new house feel like his home.
Singer was ready for a change, and he got one. The tech entrepreneur had spent 10 years in the Bay Area, first attending University of California, Berkeley, and then working for a string of start ups. When one of those businesses was acquired by Twitter, he decided it was time to move on from the region.
The native Canadian was weighing a move to either New York City or Los Angeles, and when the scales tipped toward SoCal, he found a modern home in the Hollywood Hills that was built in 1949.
“Ten years ago, when I was 21 years old, I was just starting my career working in visual services at Fred Segal. I used to drive by this building every day and wish I could live here,” says homeowner Marcus Austin-Paglialonga. “I thought that if you could do that, you would have made it.”
The turreted building of his dreams was designed by architect Leland A. Bryant. In the 1920s, Bryant was a prolific architect who built a wealth of apartments and homes in Los Angeles, most in the distinctive, romantic chateau style that’s still associated with the city.
A little more than ten years ago, Mariah O’Brien was at a creative crossroads, and the direction she chose would determine her career path. In a single day, she read for a role on Dawson’s Creek and pitched a proposal for a $300,000 interior design project.
The chance to join Dawson and Pacey floated away, but the interior design job came through. And thus O’Brien, who had worked as a model and actress since she was a teenager, became a full-time interior designer in 2005.
Since then, she’s worked on many houses. But the most colorful and eclectic projects she’s completed have been her personal homes, and she shares the latest with her family in Los Feliz.
Though 1984 is oft considered an important year for Los Angeles, it was also a significant year for the city’s biggest public art advocate, Merry Norris.
LA’s brand-new Museum of Contemporary Art, which she was helping build from scratch, was taking shape in its permanent space on Downtown’s Bunker Hill. The colorful exuberance of the Summer Olympics put LA in the global spotlight right as she was appointed to lead the city’s Cultural Affairs Commission. And 1984 was also the year that Norris found her remarkable home.
High ceilings and total privacy were what Norris initially had in mind when she started looking for a house, envisioning herself in one of the famous modern residences in the Hollywood Hills.
Watch this space for more peeks inside gorgeous homes in LA, across the U.S., and around the world.