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Before and After: Stunning Los Angeles Home

An architectural gem is updated with the utmost care by the design firm of Bonesteel Trout Hall

Written by Jenny Bradley Pfeffer
  • Michael Garland

    When updating a home built by one of California’s most respected architects, the best tactic just might be to tread lightly.

    Perhaps that’s why, when approached by documentary film producer Cristan Reilly to design the 1950s Gerard Colcord home she purchased in 2012, designers Heidi Bonesteel and Michele Trout opted for the “less is more” tack.

    Luckily, the country-style Colonial had been left in good hands for the past 30 years. Previous owner Harrison Ford made several additions to the original property, but wisely enlisted the expert eye of Colcord’s assistant, Liza Kent, who took over the first renovation in 1984 after Colcord’s death.

    “The house had been perfectly maintained,” says Cristan. “The respect shown to Colcord’s work was of the highest level. It’s such an honor and a privilege to live in something like this. There’s an intimacy and connectedness that everyone feels as soon as they walk through the door.”

    In the living room, French doors with a view of Los Angeles make this seating area prime real estate. An Elizabeth Eakins rug and a lantern upholstered in Fortuny fabric play beautifully off the neutral paneled walls. 

    Photography: Michael Garland
    Produced by Darra Baker

    Interior designers: Heidi Bonesteel and Michele Trout, Bonesteel Trout Hall, 640 Haverford Ave., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272; 310/454-8762,  

    Wall paint: existing.
    Area rug (custom, “Ingrid with Accents,” Hagga Collection, Weft Woven Wool): Elizabeth Eakins,
    Hanging light (“Lozenge Lantern” in “Tapa” fabric from Fortuny): Lutyens Furniture & Lighting,
    Sofa (custom): Bonesteel Trout Hall,
    Sofa fabric (“Resistance” #1547, by Great Plains): Holly Hunt,
    Reading lamp (“J Pharmacy Floor Lamp”): Casella Lighting,
    Coffee table: Paris flea market.
    Chairs: owner’s collection.

  • Foyer Before

    To honor the architect’s original scale, structural changes were kept to a minimum in favor of more cosmetic modifications. Architectural details—original paneling, myriad French doors, and fireplaces—were left intact and highlighted with a mélange of textural elements and subtle color. 

  • Michael Garland

    After: Appealing Impression

    “Cristan has three boys,” Bonesteel says. “She wanted the house to be comfortable and usable for the family, but still quiet and grown-up.”

    Subtle updates—a blue-gray wallcovering from Holland & Sherry and a jute rug from Merida—give the entry an on-trend textural appeal. “We used thick jute rugs throughout the house,” says Michele Trout, who undertook the redesign with business partner Heidi Bonesteel. “The added texture against the traditional bones makes the house feel current.”

    Wallcovering (“Abaca”/Danube #WP7049): Holland & Sherry,
    Hanging lantern (“Large Cubic Lantern” #F-CD09L): Formations,
    Jute area rug (“Pattaya”/Summer): Merida,
    Mirror; cabinet; table lamp: custom from Bonesteel Trout Hall,
    Vase on cabinet: owner’s collection.
    Sconce at top of stairs: Paul Ferrante,  

  • Michael Garland

    Light Living Room

    In the living room, that meant adding a neutral, paper-backed linen wallcovering and equally uncomplicated furnishings to play off Colcord’s classic details. The subdued palette has an added bonus, acting as a foil for the room’s decorative exclamation point—a kinetic painting by Eric Zener. 

    “Art is so important to a house,” Cristan notes. “It’s the conversation piece in any room. And Eric’s piece starts a lot of conversations.”

     The lounge chairs are from Formations.

    Wallcovering (“Madison Wall”/Stone #4333LWC/06): Rose Tarlow-Melrose House,
    Sisal rug (“Tonga”/Sea Spray, with leather binding): Merida,
    Upholstered sofa; vase on mantel: owner’s collection.
    Greek key trim on pillows: Samuel & Sons,
    Rectangular pillows on sofa (found items): Maison K,
    Art behind sofa (Splash, by Eric Zener): Travis Hansson Fine Art,
    Reading lamp (“J Pharmacy Floor Lamp”): Casella Lighting,
    Table lamp; coffee table: custom, from Bonesteel Trout Hall,
    Lounge chairs (“Bosque Chair” #F-CH25): Formations,
    Chair fabric (“Ripple”): Laura Lienhard Textiles,
    Mantel: existing.  

  • Michael Garland

    Living Room Bar

    On the other side of the large space, a built-in cabinet was removed to accommodate what has become the room’s entertaining hub—a mahogany bar with a custom island that takes advantage of the room’s breathtaking views of Los Angeles from downtown to Avalon.

    “I felt this house had that vintage Hollywood glamour,” says Cristan. “We wanted to bring that out.”

    To amp up the glam, the bar is upholstered with gray wool flannel and lined with glass shelves held up by brass brackets. Vintage door knockers are reincarnated as exotic drawer pulls.

    The island was custom-made by Big Daddy’s Antiques from bridge parts topped with a zinc counter. 

    Bar cabinet (custom, from Bonesteel Trout Hall,
    Bar countertop (“Grigio Carnico Marble”): Empire Marble & Granite Inc.,
    Drawer pulls: vintage door knockers.
    Bar island (custom): Big Daddy’s Antiques,
    Sink: Elkay,
    Faucet: Waterworks,
    Shelves in bar unit (“Plaza 27-inch Glass Shelf” # UA2017 BA, with “Galley Rail” #UA2109 BA): Urban Archaeology,
    Ice bucket: found piece.
    Sconces flanking cabinet (“Hudson 1019A Sconce”): Fuse Lighting, Available through Thomas Lavin,
    Bar stools (“Polished Steel Nicolle Stools”): Bourgeois Bohème,  

  • Michael Garland

    Moody Dining Room

    Yin to the living room’s yang, the dining room features walls stained a deep gray—a photographic negative of the living room’s pale scheme. Illuminated by a sculptural light fixture of rubbed bronze and polished brass and teardrop sconces with a feminine edge, the room becomes a showcase after dark.

    The dining chairs are from Rose Tarlow. Teardrop sconces are from Bourgeois Bohème Atelier. 

    Wall paint: gray stain on existing wood paneling.
    Dining table; server: custom, from Bonesteel Trout Hall,
    Host chair (“Custom Danish Arm Chair”/Walnut); side chairs (“Custom Danish Side Chair”/Walnut); chair fabric (“Glacis” #2361): Rose Tarlow-Melrose House,
    Chandelier (“Sofia 5050”): Fuse Lighting, Available through Thomas Lavin,
    Sisal area rug (“Mandacaru,” bound with leather): Merida,
    Wooden bowl on table; wooden bowl on server: found pieces.
    Mirror behind server: Paris flea market.
    Sconces flanking mirror (“Vendôme Wall Sconce” #ALS59): Bourgeois Bohème,
    Vases on server (found pieces): Retro Gallery, 323/936-5261.

  • Michael Garland

    Crisp Kitchen

    Open kitchens have become a trend, but Cristan opted to leave that room enclosed. “Heidi and Michele did a spectacular job on the living and dining rooms,” she says. “I wanted to make sure that we lived and entertained in those spaces. This is our private family space. Plus, I can just close the door and worry about the mess later.”

    That’s not to say that the room wasn’t given a bit of a facelift to match the rest of the home. A showstopping Calacatta marble backsplash and countertops are illuminated by custom light fixtures. Existing cabinets were updated with brass hardware that coordinates with brackets used on the island and a floating shelf on the marble backsplash. And while the initial paint color was to be blue-gray, the trio decided they preferred the primer color—creating an all-white backdrop for the graphic space.

    The textural stools are from Hollywood at Home. 

    Cabinetry: existing, plus custom to match.
    Cabinetry finish (“Borrowed Light” #235): Farrow & Ball,
    Cabinet hardware: Liz’s Antique Hardware,
    Countertop and backsplash (“Calacata Arabescato,” polished): Empire Marble & Granite Inc.,
    Sink (“Allia”); faucets: Rohl,
    Hanging lights over island (custom): Bonesteel Trout Hall,
    Bar stools (“How To Marry A Millionaire Barstool,” Made-To-Order Collection): Hollywood at Home,
    Range: Wolf,

  • Breakfast Nook Before

    Cabinets occupied the wall surrounding one of the windows.

  • Michael Garland

    After: Sunny Space

    To accommodate three boys at mealtime, cabinets were removed in favor of a banquette in the sunlit breakfast room. Waxed linen upholstery and welcoming patterns—in the form of window shades and throw pillows—emphasize the room’s casual grace and infuse a playfulness in the space.  

    Wall paint (“Super White” #PM-1): BenjaminMoore,
    Window shades (“Amun Stripe”): Katie Leed & Co., Available through Holland & Sherry,
    Hanging pendant (“Goodman Hanging Lamp” #TOB5014, by Thomas O’Brien for Visual Comfort): Circa Lighting,
    Dining table: custom, from Bonesteel Trout Hall,
    Dining chairs (“How to Marry a Millionaire Upholstered Side Chair,” Made-To-Order Collection): Hollywood At Home,
    Chair fabric (“French Press”/Nighthawk #3400/04): Holly Hunt,
    Banquette cushion (“Kinsale”/Blue #JW 1601, by Jasper): Michael S Smith Inc.,
    Banquette pillows, center and far right (“Brier”/Dove Gray #FM 1711): Ferrick Mason, Available through Thomas Lavin,
    Banquette pillows (“Kimono”): Katie Leede & Co., Available through Holland & Sherry,
    Flooring: existing.
    Vases; bowls on table: owner’s collection. 

  • Michael Garland


    A plaid fabric from Rogers & Goffigon plays off the blue-gray hue of the built-in bookshelves. The wing chairs were custom- made by Bonesteel Trout Hall and upholstered in a houndstooth fabric from Holland & Sherry. 

    Bookcase unit: existing.
    Bookcase paint (“Down Pipe” #26): Farrow & Ball,
    Plaid wallcovering at back of bookcase (“Vista”/Verglas #890012-04): Rogers & Goffigon,
    Bookcase lights (“Dean 12-inch Picture Light” #AH2701, by Alexa Hampton for Visual Comfort): Circa Lighting,
    Area rug (vintage Moroccan): Silk Road Oriental Rug,
    Wing chair; pillow on wing chair: custom, from Bonesteel Trout Hall,
    Wing-chair fabric (“Westminster Houndstooth”): Holland & Sherry,
    Table between wing chairs (from Marrakesh); throw on wing chair: found piece.

  • Michael Garland

    Family Room

    Colors were kept subdued in the sunny family room. The boys can watch TV from the nubby sectional sofa, or enjoy the backyard views. 

    Wall paint: existing.
    Sectional sofa ; table lamp: custom, Bonesteel Trout Hall,
    Sofa fabric: Laura Lienhard Textiles.
    Bookcase in foreground (custom): Big Daddy’s Antiques,
    Jugs on bookcase (vintage): Paris flea market.
    End table by sofa: owner’s collection. 
    Wing chair and fabric: Nathan Turner,
    Floor lamp (“Lampe Gras”): Design Within Reach,
    Ceramic garden stool (“Circle of Life”/Gunmetal): Tonic Home,
    Dining table and chairs (vintage): Lucca Antiques,
    Cabinetry; hardware: existing.
    Rattan planter (“Round Rush Basket”): William Laman,

  • Bedroom Before

    No structural changes were needed in the master bedroom, just an update to better suit Cristan's style.

  • Michael Garland

    After: Feminine Retreat

    In Cristan’s master retreat, the designers created a space that accentuates the home’s peace and quiet, a room in which dramatic proportions and a steeply pitched ceiling don’t overpower its serenity.

    Femininity is offered in small nods in the form of a lavender fabric by Idarica Gazzoni used as a bedskirt and a curvaceous wing chair from Formations. 

    Wallcovering (“Metallic Paper Weaves”/Sulfer #3532): Phillip Jeffries,
    Ceiling and trim paint: existing.
    Bed (custom): Bonesteel Trout Hall,
    Headboard fabric (by Loro Piana Interiors); bed-skirt fabric (“Gauhara Begum Neutral,” Arjumand’s World by Idarica Gazzoni): Harbinger,
    Striped bedspread (“Rowayton”/Pierre #7098/04): Castel, Striped pillows (“Tennis”): C&C Milano,
    Gray pillow on bed (“Alpaca Plush”): Rosemary Hallgarten, Available through Thomas Lavin,
    Blue pillow on bed; Fortuny,
    Wall sconces (“Travis Swing Arm Sconce” #SC-241E, by Palmer Hargrave): Dessin Fournir,
    Bedside table; fire screen: custom, from Bonesteel Trout Hall,
    Bench at end of bed; photographs by mantel: owner’s collection.
    Area rug (Ivory hemp): Silk Road Oriental Rug,
    Mantel: existing.
    Wing chair (“Wooden Barrel Chair” #F-CH02): Formations,
    Cushion and pillow fabric: Fortuny,

  • Master Bath Before

    The master bath had dark wood floors and red marble countertops.

  • Michael Garland

    After: Lightened Look

    To lighten up the space, red marble countertops and dark wood floors were removed in favor of white marble mosaic floors, a Waterworks tub, and antique mirrored panels.

    Floor tilesbathtub (“Margaux Freestanding Oval Cast Iron Bathtub”); bath fixtures: Waterworks,
    Mirrored panels behind tub (custom): Bonesteel Trout Hall,
    Sconces: owner’s collection.
    Wall paint (“Pointing” #2003): Farrow & Ball,  

  • Michael Garland


    “This is a large house, overall,” Trout says, “but every room feels comfortable and welcoming. It’s the perfect scale to live and be happy in. That’s the case with all of Colcord’s homes. He knew how to build beautiful, human-scale houses.”

    The 1950s Colonial was designed by architect Gerard Colcord. 

  • Michael Garland

    Secluded Pool

    A relaxing pool area, shrouded in greenery, offers multiple places to lounge in the shade or sunshine.

    Furniture: owner’s collection.
    Umbrella: Summit Furniture,
    Cushions on outdoor ofurniture: Perennials,

  • Michael Garland

    Family Portrait

    Homeowner Cristan Reilly and her three sons, Emmet and Aidan, both 17, and Owen, 12. 

  • Tim Street-Porter