Interior designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent enjoy a lot of quality time, whether at home while raising two small kids or at work, producing product lines and a never-ending stream of entertainment projects. But when it comes to private commissions, the duo tends to stick to their independent design studios. Luckily, Brian Robbins, the CEO and president of Kids & Family Entertainment at ViacomCBS, and his wife, Tracy James, a wardrobe stylist and clothing designer, were able to snatch the two pros. The two couples met when Berkus and Brent designed a Los Angeles home in Hancock Park for the young family.
Heeding the siren call of the L.A. real estate market, Robbins and James eventually traded their Hancock Park abode for a spruce modern home designed by architect Paul McClean in the fashionable Trousdale Estates neighbourhood of Beverly Hills. A sleek, planar composition of travertine-clad walls, oak ceilings, and steel columns and eaves, the structure is accessed through a massive door set between screens of rusting steel that nod to the grillwork of the many historic midcentury homes in the area.
Huge pocketing glass sliders erase the boundary between inside and out in dramatic style, giving the Los Angeles home the feeling of an alfresco modernist pavilion. McClean buoyed the pavilion effect by overlapping the primary bedroom and the pool so that the bedroom appears to float.
Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent orchestrated an unpretentious, decades-spanning symphony of chic, eminently comfortable furnishings, many reused from the homeowners’ previous residence.
Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent’s biggest moves involved the transformation of the kitchen with new bronze cabinetry and floating shelves and the replacement of a reflecting pool on the subterranean level with a verdant Japanese garden.
More subtle gestures throughout the home were calculated to lend intimacy and texture to specific rooms without overshadowing the integrity of the architecture. The designers cloaked the four walls of the dining room in suede curtains, for instance, and sheathed a powder room in a coat of paint resembling mottled Venetian plaster. They also converted the lower-level lounge into a seriously alluring grown-up playroom awash in black plaster, Nero Marquina marble, and bronze details.
Stella’s bedroom, wrapped in wallpaper with a pattern of pinkish-purple palm fronds, definitely falls on the yang side of the equation. Brent designed the bunk bed as a cheerful folly, swathed in pink cotton velvet and detailed with a Lucite handrail for a dash of Hollywood glam. The same joyous vibe extends to Stella’s expansive playroom, which includes a rope swing and padded pink wall panels that soften potential collisions.
The final piece of the pleasure puzzle is a luxurious, marble-lined home spa and wellness centre, replete with a hot tub, a cedar sauna, and other amenities conducive to blissful repose and rejuvenation.
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