“My architect and contractor tend to shake their heads and laugh at me a lot during the design and construction process,” says Shelby Wood. The interior and architectural designer loves to get an overall feeling for a site, lay out the plan for the house and landscape in one cohesive approach, then tweak and add quirky touches as the home comes together.
While this home appears contemporary and minimalist at first glance, a closer look reveals eclectic moves that bring character to the home.
Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: A couple and their baby
Location: Los Angeles
Size: 3,800 square feet (353 square meters); four bedrooms, six bathrooms and a pool house
Designer: Shelby Wood
Designer Shelby Wood created the house with a family in mind. The eventual buyers loved the special touches and bright feel and snapped it up before it officially hit the market.
The facade provides privacy from the street but also connects to the outdoors via the balcony and large windows and doors. The fence to the left creates a private courtyard; a frosted-glass garage door is on the right. The landscape is drought-tolerant to conserve water in parched Southern California.
The front walk leads past the fenced private courtyard and through a glass door. From the entry you can see through to the backyard. The space through the large window on the left is the home office.
An atrium-like stairwell space was a big part of the concept. It lets in the light and maintains an airy feel. Oak floors and a walnut accent wall warm the space. To the left of the dining area, outside the photo, is the living room space.
A favorite home of Woods’ that was built in the 1950s inspired the design of this custom walnut wall by craftsman Scott Pezzini.
A large Moroccan rug cozies up and defines the living room space. The mix of textiles and textures includes the woven stools and handmade wood coffee table base. The armchairs are vintage — Wood had them re-covered in a gray and cream fabric.
Because the kitchen is open to the living room, the designer kept it simple. The stools have a vintage industrial look that adds age and character to the modern space.
The pendant lights were inspired by a 1960s design and introduce an unexpected honeycomb-textured glass element to the kitchen. Solid walnut shelves float over push-out windows and create a warm contrast to the dramatic marble backsplash.
The home office is a quiet space on the first floor, over which singer Deborah Harry watches from the wall. Pezzini built the custom door, which is walnut-outfitted with a chicken wire glass panel that lets in the light. This is another element that offers subtle industrial style. The office is open to the atrium on one side.
Wood designed the house and yard together to create an easy flow between them. The yard is terraced, with the pool and pool house sited on the lower level. The porch steps down to the patio, and several steps lead down to the pool.
On the second story, the balcony shaded by the overhang on the left is off the master bedroom; the one on the right belongs to another bedroom. An organic kitchen garden off the patio includes berries, herbs, salad greens and a lemon tree.
The pool house has an industrial glass door that rolls up to open the eclectic space to the yard. A patch of drought-tolerant grass provides a place for kids to play. The hallway area at the top of the staircase serves double duty as a library-reading area. A print of David Hockney’s “Pearblossom Highway” introduces an iconic California touch.
In the master bedroom, a global mix — including a Moroccan rug, a Scottish blanket and an Acapulco chair — makes the room inviting and comfortable. Gonzalez, Wood’s good-natured, head-shaking contractor, made the bench, which has copper pipes for legs.