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Family Home Designed with Fun in Mind
2011 New Trad Jeff Andrews designs a home for fun's sake
If third time’s a charm, no wonder this home designed by Jeff Andrews sings. His first project was for the client when she was single; then came marriage; and now, the kids.
Because Jeff and his client knew each other well, they threw out the rule book. “There were no formal presentations,” he explains. “Each room just started with a fabulous fabric she liked. I pulled all the colors out of that and ran with it.”
The black-and-white marble floor in the entry was pre-existing. Jeff youth-enized the space with the addition of a pair of hanging retro globe lights.
Photography: Tim Street-Porter
Produced by Laura Hull
Design: Jeff Andrews, Jeff Andrews Design, 100 N. Gardner St. Los Angeles, CA 90036; 323/965-9777
“As a family home, every room had to be good for the kids,” says Jeff. “They play everywhere, with no restrictions.”
In other words, the white shag rug in the living room isn’t there just to be edgy. It’s also a perfect play surface to crawl, stretch out, and even roll around on. “Of course it had to be beautiful, but it was just as important that it be fun and interesting.”
“This is one of my favorite rooms,” says Jeff of the playroom. “It’s fun, and not just for kids.” Overscaled pendant lighting adds edginess, flanking artwork by Los Angeles artist Matthew Hall. The painting is the lyrics to Madonna’s “Little Star.” The design began with the printed linen at the window. The sofa is covered in a gold chenille. The khaki-gold feel-good rug is forgiving.
In the living room, it was the linen print fabricated into draperies that started the momentum. Yellow cotton velvet on a pair of low-slung tufted chairs came next, followed by a green velvet on the front of a ’50s-style wing chair duo pulled up to the fireplace. “Both my client and I are really into pairs. We do pairs of everything." (Note the pair of wing chairs, the pair of topiaries, and the pair of sconces above a pair of demilune tables on either side of the fireplace.)
Fireplace Sitting Area
The client has deep pockets, but even deeper is her love of pieces that are pure fun, especially art and accessories. Investment for its own sake doesn’t interest her. So instead of collecting paintings with pedigree, Jeff and his client “would hit the antiques malls in Pasadena, looking for vintage landscapes. She loves them. That’s where we found the one above the fireplace.”
Restored by previous owners, the house still sports its original fireplace. A fireside sitting area demonstrates Jeff's love of symmetry.
Living Room Sectional
“We wanted to maximize seating,” says designer Jeff Andrews, “so we started with this huge sectional. We also wanted to keep all the furniture low because the ceilings really aren’t high.” Retro lighting makes its first appearance in the corner where vintage-glass pendants cluster at varying heights.
In a playful spirit, Jeff sprinkled brass starbursts across one of the living room’s longest walls. “Nothing here takes itself too seriously,” the designer insists. “These brass wall sculptures just add a touch of glam. We didn’t overthink it.”
Even in the kitchen, symmetry rules. A pair of dark stained barstools contrast nicely with the all white cabinetry.
Jeff put funk above formality in the dining room starting with the custom chandeliers he designed using vintage German pendants. Dark burgundy walls and ethnic print fabric add drama while the fun mix of styles assures casual living.
“I went against the grain of a formal dining room to create a more casual room with a lounge feel that works as well for a chic dinner party as it does for a summer brunch,” says Jeff. The oversized banquette and two tables pushed together make the long narrow room seem more intimate and comfortable.
A mocha grasscloth adds textural interest to the master suite’s entry. Note the pair of lamps; symmetry rules.
Instead of a normal-size headboard for the master suite, Jeff thought big. He designed a tufted piece that attaches to the wall and spans not only the bed but the nightstands. At the foot of the bed, he added a bench in dusty-lavender velvet.
White nightstands pop against the purple headboard. The dusty-lavender accent color is continued on the nightstand lamp.
Master Bedroom Sitting Area
Andrews upped the color volume in the master bedroom with a pair (what else?) of chartreuse green chairs.
“I created his-and-her baths. This one is hers. We replaced tile walls with beadboard and topped the beadboard with a textured Maya Romanoff wallpaper that’s not quite a strié. The cabinets are painted a gray moiré by Benjamin Moore. Every girl has a dream bath in her head. We kept it neutral—but girlie and fun.”
“She just let me do my thing here,” says Jeff of the guest room. “I wanted it to have a little bit of drama, so I designed the headboard much taller than I typically would.” The palette started with the window’s navy-blue sheers. The headboard’s velvet paisley followed. Vintage chairs create symmetry at the window. A pair of mercury-glass pendant lights bring balance to the bed and “give a traditional room a little edge,” adds the designer. “It’s all about the unexpected.”
Designer Jeff Andrews
"To me, traditional is the foundation of all design––a starting point for all things classic. I have absorbed bits and pieces of design through the years from sources as diverse as my grandma’s house to films and TV, and of course from as many books and magazines as I could get my hands on. So while my personal design style is constantly evolving and I’m a firm believer that traditional “rules” are made to be broken, I know that traditional, in the end, is what makes a house a home."