Before the introduction of the California modernist movement in the early twentieth century, many homes in Southern California were constructed to gaze inward, with unexpectedly gloomy chambers shielded from the unrelenting light. That was the case of designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent. The darkness and the stiff interior were the biggest difficulties for the duo in their new project.
The priority of business for the designers was to combine smaller, separate rooms to create more expansive, airy areas for the kitchen and breakfast rooms and the main bedroom suite.
To bring in more natural light, they also opened the entry foyer and mezzanine gallery and installed new iron and glass doors and windows throughout the house. “We just left the entrance door as the only original door or window.” “Every layer we removed freed up the home and gave it a whole new presence,” says Berkus.
NATE BERKUS AND JEREMIAH BRENT-DESIGNED 1925 TUDOR
Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent remodeled the Tudor house built in 1925 in L.A.’s Hancock Park neighborhood. The clients were Brian Robbins, president of the Nickelodeon network; his wife, stylist Tracy James; their young daughter, Stella; and Robbins’s sons from a previous marriage, Justin, and Miles.
This Family asked for a friendly and warm house appropriate for a modern family.
The duo furnished the living room with a combination of pedigreed, centuries-spanning furniture and accessories. Perhaps best reflects the airy and brilliant spirit of the designers.
Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent kept a white,off-whites, and neutral tone palette when designing the house. Thanks to the white paint, this particular room was really dark, and now it’s bright.
Spruce modernist furniture, such as a pair of Pierre Guariche lounge chairs and a massive; articulated Stilnovo sconce from 1954, soften the space’s formality. “Juxtaposing modern and contemporary objects with Tudor architecture creates tension. Berkus comments that the gentle, curving forms of the furniture give a sense of fluidity.
The designers adopted a similar method to change the dining room look, which had previously been painted blue and had a dark brown floor. Berkus and Brent put classic Mario Bellini Cab chairs around the customers’ existing dining table. The duo put it beneath a graphic grid of overhead lights. After repainting the floors in a much lighter tone and painting the space white. “It’s complex, yet it’s still youthful.” Brent describes the renovation as “making it a joyful environment.”
NATE BERKUS AND JEREMIAH BRENT PROJECT
Happy is the word to characterize the designers ‘ emendations from the expansive main bedroom to Stella’s pink palace to the bright breakfast room that now leads to a new kitchen focused on a 17th-century limestone fireplace expertly turned into a stove hood throughout the property. Brent’s redesigned landscaping, created in collaboration with Rolling Greens, gives the house a fresh new look while also providing several outdoor entertaining and relaxation possibilities.
The designers state that they really fell in love with this client. They describe them as kind and engaging people. Therefore, the duo wanted to give them a home that reflects the beauty of the family.
Credits: Architectural Digest