Coastal Style

Travel and Art Intertwine at a California Condo

November 21, 2018

You have probably met someone who is told you in designing a room about one definite bit of furniture, object or artwork. In other words, the vision for the room was there, even though most of the furniture wasn’t. However, how about an entire apartment?

Matthew Lanphier of M.J. Lanphier Interior Design faced such a challenge when he was hired to reimagine this 1,200-square-foot West Hollywood, California, condo. “The owner is obsessed with travel and had lots of artwork and items he’d collected during his trips overseas,” says Lanphier. “He desired them all to be integrated into the design, so that I understood the furniture needed to be basic and essentially serve as a platform to get his very interesting artwork and sculpture.”

Lanphier also employed a couple of smart mirror tricks — and no, neither of them involves the “make-a-small-room-feel-larger” trope. There is much more here for you to reflect over simply that.

MJ Lanphier

The large Minotti sectional couch in the living room can be arranged into different configurations. A classic glass-topped coffee table allows the pattern of the rug (in The Rug Company) to show through. An inlaid-bone box retains remotes that control the TV and other electronic equipment. The small side table is out of Minotti. A shimmery gold barbell cushion melds with the other gold accents in the room. “I am kind of obsessed with golden right now,” says Lanphier. “I am tired of everything being silver and chrome. Gold felt more worldly and more in keeping with the operator’s global art and sculpture collection.”

Behind the couch, heavy metal window doors slide to shut off the living room in the adjoining office. They are covered in a hammered aluminum which Lanphier says goes well with the cherry floors. “It’s a sheen to it and reads quite differently in the wall covering from the dining room”

MJ Lanphier

The entry hall had a large, unattractive wall of mirrors. Lanphier asked a cabinetmaker to build frames and then painted them in a black lacquer. “They pop 3 inches and bring a lot of depth to the wall,” he says. “It almost seems like one enormous leaning mirror. I desired the frames to possess intention and feel like a comprehensive design element, not like we were just covering the seams between the existing mirrors.” A sculpture sits on a hammered-tin cabinet. The condominium’s entry door and a wooden stingray are observable in the reflection.

MJ Lanphier

Lanphier claims the dining area’s teak dining table reads well with the floors and kitchen cabinets. “It is oil-treated wood and incredibly raw. I didn’t wish to present another glistening wood surface” Solid-color chairs keep the diversity going, as does a multimedia print out of Japan. “I am a big believer that you ought to hang artwork at eye level in where you’re employing the room. You do not stand in a dining room,” says Lanphier.

A carved wooden elephant out of India sits to a storage unit that is tucked under a window and built into an existing niche. Its end was matched into the kitchen cabinets to ensure the 2 rooms could read cohesively. The Maya Romanoff snakeskin wall covering is a variegated blue and adds a textural element. The owner needed a “glam” fixture, so Lanphier delivered with this dangling chandelier from Boyd Lighting.

MJ Lanphier

The kitchen cabinets were built from the same cherry wood as the floors. Lanphier didn’t enjoy the wood-on-wood look, so that he spray painted them glossy black for a more modern feel. The counters are solid black granite. A painting from India hangs above the sink and has blue tones that fit with the wall covering from the dining room.

MJ Lanphier

Lanphier sketched out the design to the four-poster bed and had it custom built. He wanted something which was thick, could bring some structure to the room and could make the ceiling feel higher than it is. The wall covering includes an organic element. “We’re in the center of earthquake land,” Lanphier points out, “so that I really don’t like hanging pictures above a mattress. But I still wanted something picture on this wall.”

The sculpture in the corner is from India and is among the proprietor’s favorite bits. It inspired the turquoise bedspread, and Lanphier notes the blue is also a fantastic match with the cherry floors. The custom-built zebra-veneer nightstands have glass tops so the collectibles on the shelf beneath are visible from above. The hanging lamp into the right is from Morocco, and Lanphier balanced it using an overscale lamp from Boyd Lighting that looks like a mannerist column.

MJ Lanphier

The hallway resulting in the master bedroom and the office has gold-tinted mirrors which are framed in rift-cut oak. The panel on the left has been attached directly to the wall, while both right segments open to reveal a storage cupboard that had formerly been covered with entry doors.

MJ Lanphier

“One of my favorite components is that the large framed corkboards in the office,” says Lanphier. They include postcards, trinkets, bracelets and photographs in the owner’s travels. “It is a really personalized, three-dimensional approach to include memories” They are hanging onto a wall covered in a natural woven sea grass with silver threads running through it.

The office also acts as a guest room, so Lanphier outfitted the room with a low-slung sleeper couch from Design Within Reach. The casual nature of the cushions is deliberate. “I think when things are too exact, it will not look comfortable,” says Lanphier. “I needed the room to look lived in and approachable so people felt free to come in and plop down on the sofa” The bone-inlaid dining table is out of India. The clock above the doorway has arms which indicate time zones across the world.

MJ Lanphier

A mirrored cupboard in the corner of this guest room/office replaced a cupboard with bifold doors. The tall segment to the right has racks and shelves that hold off-season clothing, while the left side conceals file cabinets.

Lanphier had the shelves’ vertical supports spray white and placed them provide visual contrast.

A hand-beaded bag was mounted on linen and wrapped in a Plexiglas display box. To its left, a sliver of those window doors which split the office and the living room is observable.

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