This iconic 1960s Beverly Hills home was originally constructed by architect Rex Lotery (who also built Elvis and Priscilla Presely’s L.A. home). Hollis LaPlante and Jordyn Grohl, principal designers and co-founders of Hollis Jordyn Design, thoughtfully restored the home, elevating the layout for today’s living.
Prior to the this, the home had popcorn ceilings, closed off rooms, damaged floors, carpeting in the primary suite, and was dark, dated, and had been neglected for years. The design team added durable materials to the home by incorporating custom oak cabinetry in the kitchen, engineered wood flooring, and interior doors which were constructed in oak wood and features a beautiful geometric design.
Because the home sits on top of a hill, it is surrounded by lush greenery that makes it feel like a hilltop oasis. The designers wanted to open up the home to bring in light and reflect the color and texture of nature. They sprinkled elements throughout the home as a nod to the mid-century design aesthetic including their tile selection, hardware, lighting design, furnishings and accessories. We chatted with Hollis and Jordyn to find out more about this project.
Do you have any details on the client brief?
We wanted to stay in keeping with the original footprint of the home while adjusting the interior space to allow for a more open feel. Our goal for this project was to bring in more light, break down walls to create fluid circulation, make the space feel expansive, and to enhance the relationship between the indoor and outdoor elements.
Since the home is perched on the hills of Beverly Crest we wanted to be able to maximize the views and did so by incorporating wall to wall sliders and windows.
What mid century influences did you want to include?
We like to stay true to the design traits of mid-century design. To honor that we wanted to make sure that our color palette, materials and fixtures all paid homage to the elements of nature surrounding the home; pulling the outside into the space.
What do you think was so special about this period in American design?
The relationship between indoor and outdoor. Bringing natural elements inside is what makes this period so special. Coexisting with natural elements, large windows with expansive views can create a harmonious space to live.
What do you know about the original architect who designed the house and have you had experience with his homes before?
Rex Lotery designed this home in the 1960s, he is known for his urban design and for designing Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s home in the Trousdale Estates. We wanted to maintain the characteristics of California modernist architecture made by Lotery by giving certain design elements a refresh.
Lotery, was environmentally aware which informed many of the design elements we loved and wanted to retain, such as the butterfly ceiling, the wall to wall windows surrounding the home, and the brick two sided fireplace.
What were your challenges for this project?
Our only challenge was awaiting delivery of our sliding doors, other than that, any issues that arose we were able to solve quickly, so we were pretty fortunate.
What was the house like previously?
When we purchased the home we loved the bones and the angular pitched ceilings. We did feel that the home was very dark and had been untouched for many years, leaving a lot of room for improvement. We wanted to add an additional half bath so each bedroom would have their own and would be tucked away from the communal areas.
There were popcorn ceilings, areas that were blocked off, such as the den, and kitchen which interfered with the circulation of the home and it felt a bit drab. The original parquet floors were damaged and warping, the master bedroom had carpeting so we knew we wanted to redo the flooring throughout.
We also put in new windows, fleetwood sliders and gorgeous geometric interior oak doors and removed the drywall that once covered the beautiful brick fireplace, which we were able to restore.
What in your opinion are the best features of the home?
We love the amount of natural light that floods the spaces and illuminates the materials and textures throughout the home. The double island kitchen is a great feature for a home like this, which encourages entertainment. Having the large wall to wall slider right by the kitchen is another wonderful feature which provides a fluid indoor outdoor experience.
Last but not least, do you have any tips for people interested in buying a midcentury house or building a new home with midcentury design elements? What should they pay attention to and why?
When looking to buy a midcentury home it is helpful to know which designers you like and the neighborhood in which you’re looking. Some neighborhoods are saturated with midcentury homes by known designers of the 1960s. The key elements that make up a midcentury home are floor to ceiling expansive windows, lighting, integration with natural elements, stone, wood, and geometric clean lines.
Photos by Gavin Cater