Most people would not spend millions of dollars to buy a home that, by their own admission, is an “ugly, wrong house.” But producer, showrunner, and hitmaker Shonda Rhimes is not most people.
“I can only explain it like this: The house felt like... [a] good story,” Rhimes writes in the February issue of Architectural Digest. “And every inch of me wanted to write it.”
The Hancock Park home was the victim of a series of exterior additions from the 1950s and ’60s that hid what was actually a gorgeous “Italianate villa” designed by Elmer Grey, the architect of the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Rhimes found photos of the original interior and exterior and set to work, with architect Bill Baldwin of HartmanBaldwin and designer Michael Smith restoring the home and updating it along the way. Original elements such as the house’s library, front hall, and stairs remained. A coffered ceiling was returned to the living room, like Grey had designed it.
Changes along the way include blowing out a floor toward the back of the house to bring in more sunlight. Skylights with hand-blown glass were added to the hallway on the second floor.
If this all sounds like a lot of work, it definitely was and, as Rhimes cautions, it was not easy or fast.
“It took five years to transform this house into my family’s home,” she says, but it was worth it. “This formerly wrong and ugly house and I, we are family now. We are home.”
Read the whole story at Architectural Digest.