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Spirited Manor Home in Los Angeles

Designer Louise Voyazis warms up a Los Angeles house with spirited pattern, surprising art, and lovely color

Written by Lisa Cregan
  • Tim Street-Porter

    A glorious tornado of photos, paintings, and even a bottle opener or two swirls down walls of the entry hall stairway in this stately home, dwindling to its terminus at the bottom—a single image in a small black frame. The panorama is a perfect example of the color and style designer Louise Voyazis and her client, writer Francesca Delbanco, envisioned in decorating this Roaring Twenties mansion in Los Angeles’ Hancock Park neighborhood. They wanted to transform the home’s cold, dark, and daunting 9,000 square feet of space into something warm, lively, and approachable—a cozy family home for Francesca, her director/screenwriter husband Nicholas Stoller, and their daughters, ages 7 and 2. “We needed to shrink this place to make it feel more human,” Francesca says, “and we quickly realized the only way to do that was to completely fill it with stuff, much to my husband’s chagrin. Nick likes to joke that we did our job so well he has trouble finding a place to put down his drink!”

    Just a few years ago, it would have seemed madness to think this noble but chilly architecture could envelop such a genial and festive soul. But Voyazis was determined to imbue the house with a fresh new spirit, even though she faced many challenges. For starters, the place was constructed entirely of cement that seemed almost impenetrable. “People say it was built by the architect of the Hoover Dam; it’s his love letter to poured concrete,” says Voyazis, who adds that the solid walls made heavy work of tasks as simple as hanging a light fixture. “My electrician must have asked me 10 times if I really wanted him to install the sconces in the living room. ‘Do you really, really want them?’ he kept saying.”

    Then there was the matter of the previous residents’ decor choices, which, Voyazis says, “looked as if they wanted to take this incredibly traditional house and turn it into a loft.” Moldings had been stripped away in favor of featureless white walls; ceiling fixtures were removed and replaced with can lights, and black paint covered the floors. It was plain and more than a little bit spooky.

    Painted stripes and a salon-style arrangement of art and memorabilia lend this grand foyer a friendly vibe. 

    Photography: Tim Street-Porter
    Produced by Jenny Bradley

    Interior designer: Louise Voyazis, louisevoyazis.net

    Wall paint; trim paint: custom.
    Ceiling paint (“Wimborne White” #239): Farrow & Ball, farrow-ball.com.
    Hanging lights: original to house.
    Area rug : antique.
    Carpet on stairs (“Carmelina,” by Suzanne Sharp, in custom pink and brown colorway): The Rug Co., therugcompany.com.
    Candle sconce by console (antique): Remains Lighting, remains.com.
    Settee (antique): The Collection Los Angeles, 1st Dibs, 1stdibs.com/dealers/the-collection-los-angeles.
    Settee fabric  (“Isabelle Block Print”/Brick): Madeline Weinrib, madelineweinrib.com.  

  • Tim Street-Porter

    Pretty Living Room

    Considering the austere decor she inherited, it’s not surprising that it took this resolutely chic designer several years to return the house to a semblance of what she envisioned was its original glory, but with a lighthearted twist. In addition to installing sparkly crystal chandeliers and adding back what she imagined the living and dining rooms’ exuberant trim might have once been, Voyazis infused the entire house with a gentle palette to soothe the spirits of her two hardworking clients.

    Baker chairs covered in an amethyst fabric from Manuel Canovas animate the living room and pop against whispery gray walls.

    Ceiling paint (“Wimborne White” #239): Farrow & Ball, farrow-ball.com.
    Trim paint: custom.
    Mantel (antique French marble): Little Paris Antiques, littleparisantiques.com.
    Chandelier (antique): Adesso Imports, adessoimports.com.
    Drapery (“Chinese Paper” on Oyster Linen): Bennison, bennisonfabrics.com.
    Drapery hardware: custom.
    Wall sconces (antique): Remains Lighting, remains.com.
    Mirror over mantel (antique frame): Adesso Imports, adessoimports.com.
    Large celadon vase on mantel: JF Chen, jfchenantiques.com.
    Painting on mantel (by Peter Schroth): Sears Peyton gallery, searspeyton.com.
    Small celadon vase on mantel (“Ted Muehling Large Egg Vase,” Ted Muehling for Nymphenburg Collection); silver egg vase on mantel (“Ted Muehling Sterling Silver Egg Vase”): August, augustla.com.
    Blue-and-white garden stools: antique.
    Area rug: ABC Carpet & Home, abchome.com.
    Sofa (custom): Louise Voyazis, louisevoyazis.net.
    Sofa fabric (“Orlando/Putty #2307/04): Rose Tarlow-Melrose House, rosetarlow.com.
    Wing chairs opposite sofa: antique.
    Wing-chair fabric (“Linen Stripe”/Lilac, by GP & J Baker, discontinued): Lee Jofa, leejofa.com.
    Table between wing chairs (antique brass-and-marble): Little Paris Antiques, littleparisantiques.com.
    Coffee table (“H Cocktail Table”/Polished Nickel #H0-CT): Holly Hunt, hollyhunt.com.
    Pair of chairs facing mantel (“Ridgeback Salon Chairs”/American Walnut finish #6362, Bill Sofield Collection): Baker, bakerfurniture.com.
    Chair fabric (“Como”/Amethyst, Cream, by Manuel Canovas, discontinued): Cowtan & Tout, cowtan.com.
    Twig end table (“Ramille Occasional Table”/22L Gold Leaf finish): Mattaliano, mattaliano.com.
    Console table behind sofa (custom): Louise  Voyazis, louisevoyazis.net.
    Table lamp on console (antique brass pineapple lamp): Remains Lighting, remains.com

  • Tim Street-Porter

    Lovely Sunroom

    “Francesca isn’t afraid of pretty. And she’s not afraid of doing something lovely just for lovely’s sake,” Voyazis says, explaining choices like the romantic pink botanicals that cascade down the sunroom walls, the overblown blooms dotting living room armchairs, and the silk wallcovering that graces the dining room.

    “I go directly for anything with flowers on it,” Francesca says with a laugh. “And I love pink. I dress my girls in pink, and if I ever have a boy, he’ll wear pink too. It’s not gender-specific for me; it’s just the warmest, happiest color.” A rose-hued settee just inside the front door sets the palette for the rest of the house, where pink finds its way into every room, unequivocally taking the “manor” out of this manor house.

    The ethereal feel of the Farrow & Ball wallpaper mixes with loveseats covered in a very modern botanical from Manuel Canovas.

    Wallpaper (“Lotus,” colorway discontinued): Farrow & Ball, farrow-ball.com.
    Trim paint: custom.
    Area rug; hanging lights; pair of sofas; ottoman; console tables behind sofa: custom.
    Sofa fabric (“Bastide”/Taupe #4679-01, by Manuel Canovas): Cowtan & Tout, cowtan.com.
    Throw on sofa: Loro Piana, loropiana.com.
    Ottoman fabric (“Union Linen”/Aqua #2097): Pindler & Pindler, pindler.com.

  • Tim Street-Porter

    Stylish Library

    Voyazis, a stylish Australian expat who began her career in interior design more than 10 years ago, says that rather than being known for a signature “look,” she’d prefer a reputation for “excellent execution and a good time while doing it.” She was recommended to Francesca by the costume designer who works on all of Nicholas’s movies—hits like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Neighbors—and there was an immediate connection. “I totally got her, and she totally got me,” Voyazis says. “I knew right away that for Francesca the house had to be happy and exciting.”

    The floor of the vestibule is faux-painted to match the pattern of Farrow & Ball’s “Silvergate” wallpaper. The graphic library rug is from Madeline Weinrib.

    Wallpaper in hallway (“Silvergate” #BP804): Farrow & Ball, farrow-ball.com.
    Flooring at entrance to library; walls in library  (custom painted): Louise Voyazis, louisevoyazis.net.
    Ceiling paint (“Wimborne White” #230): Farrow & Ball, farrow-ball.com.
    Trim paint: custom.
    Sisal carpet: Melrose Carpet, melrosecarpet.com.
    Area rug in library (‘Gemma,” Tibetan wool): Madeline Weinrib, madelineweinrib.com.
    Pair of chairs (discontinued): Baker, bakerfurniture.com.
    Chair fabric (discontinued); pillows in chairs (“Madras”/India); window shades (“Ming”/India): Raoul for George Smith, georgesmith.com.
    Coffee table (antique): Habité, habitela.com.
    Mirrored cabinet (antique): John Salibello, johnsalibello.com.
    Sconce above cabinet (antique, by E.F. Caldwell): Remains Lighting, remains.com.
    Art above cabinet (Other, by Ed Ruscha, color lithograph, 2004): Stephen Cohen Gallery, stephencohengallery.com.

  • Tim Street-Porter

    Cheerful Kitchen

    No room fits that bill more perfectly than the fantasy kitchen where, in a repeat of the entry’s salon-style tour de force, a plethora of blue, white, and green plates on the walls provides a visual feast. “More. More. More.” was the motto, the designer says. The collection took two-and-a-half years to accumulate and includes everything from an Hermès charger to what Voyazis describes as “some weird little saucer.” 

    The spirited walls fit the daily bustle the room attracts. “This is where backpacks are unpacked, newspapers get dropped, where the kids’ artwork ends up,” Francesca says. “It’s cluttered and we like it that way.”

    The English Country attitude of the black-and-white checkerboard floor, white-painted cabinets, and blue-and-white tile backsplash brings warmth to this expansive kitchen.

    Wall paint (“Antique Paper” #DE6218): Dunn-Edwards paints, dunnedwards.com.
    Cabinet paint: custom.
    Cabinetry (custom): Louise Voyazis, louisevoyazis.net.
    Cabinetry hardware: Restoration Hardware, rh.com.
    Countertops: Italian marble.
    Backsplash (#MON07 4x4 Deco#7, with #MON 46BL 4x6 Border/Blue, White, Chez Monet Collection): Country Floors, countryfloors.com.
    Hanging light over island (“Orson Pendant”/Polished Stainless #HL1779): Remains Lighting, remains. com.
    Dining table: Baker, bakerfurniture.com.
    Dining chairs (custom): Louise Voyazis, louisevoyazis.net.
    Chair fabric (“Erevan”/Rouge #F2592003): Pierre Frey, pierrefrey.com.
    Wall sconces (antique, by E.F. Caldwell): Remains Lighting, remains.com.
    Refrigerator; wine cooler: Sub-Zero, subzero-wolf.com.
    Range; oven hood: Wolf, subzero-wolf.com.

  • Tim Street-Porter

    Butler's Pantry

    A sundry arrangement of dishes is as free-spirited as the family who live here. The cowhide rug from The Rug Company softens the space.

    Wall paint: custom.
    Ceiling paint (“Wimborne White” #239): Farrow & Ball, farrow-ball.com.
    Cabinetry hardware: Restoration Hardware, rh.com.
    Countertop: Italian marble.
    Backsplash (#MON07 4x4 Deco#7, with #MON 46BL 4x6 Border/Blue, White, Chez Monet Collection): Country Floors, countryfloors.com.
    Area rug (“Cowhide Flower White Rug”): The Rug Company, therugcompany.com.
    Ceiling light (“Billie Flush Mount” #HL1497): Remains Lighting, remains.com.
    Espresso machine: QuickMill Vetrano, quickmill.com. Available through Clive Coffee, clivecoffee.com.

  • Tim Street-Porter

    Dining Patio

    Feeding a crowd by the pool or convening an alfresco business meeting is no problem with durable Janus et Cie chairs and a custom table.

    Table (custom); hanging lantern (custom): Louise Voyazis, louisevoyazis.net.
    Rattan chairs (“Cannes II Armchairs”); Janus et Cie, janusetcie.com.
    Chair-seat cushionschair-back cushions (“Coral Reef”/Blossom, by Old World Weavers, colorway discontinued): Stark, starkcarpet.com.
    Wall heaters (39-inch Dual Element Heater Units,” WD-Series): Infratech, infratech-usa.com.
    Floor tiles (12-inch hexagonal pavers in Cotto Dark): Arto Brick & Tile, artobrick.com.
    X-back chairs (“Venetian Lounge Chair with Loose Cushions” #2250-6000): Brown Jordan, brownjordan.com.
    Cocktail table (“Arbor Grande Cocktail Table Rectangle”): Janus et Cie, janusetcie.com.
    Chair cushions (“Montage Grey” #4642): Giati, giatielements.com.  

  • Tim Street-Porter

    Charming Dining Room

    Thanks to Fromental’s charming “Floribunda Chinoiserie” wallpaper, the dining room has the lush feel of a summer garden.

    Wallpaper (“Floribunda Chinoiserie”/Delft): Fromental, fromental.co.uk.
    Area rug: ABC Carpet & Home, abchome.com.
    Dining table: owner’s collection.
    Chandelier (custom); dining chairs (custom); settee (custom): Louise Voyazis, louisevoyazis.net.
    Dining-chair fabric (“Herbert’s Carnation Weave”/Ecru, Thomas O’Brien for  Groundworks, discontinued): Lee Jofa, leejofa.com.
    Candelabra (antique): Adesso Imports, adessoimports.com.
    Gilded fauteuils (antique): Habité, habitela.com.
    Console table by window: discontinued.
    Lamp on console (antique): Carl’s Lamps & Custom Shades, 323/651-5825.
    Art above console (by Thomas Hager, cyanotype): Sears-Peyton Gallery, searspeyton.com.
    Sconce (antique): JF Chen, jfchen.com.
    Cabinet to left of window (“Rebecca Demilune” #408): Jan Showers, janshowers.com.

  • Tim Street-Porter

    Home Office

    Both Francesca and Nicholas work from home—currently, he on the sequel to Neighbors, she on a TV project. “Our house had to have a certain amount of square footage so Nick can get out of the chaos,” Francesca says. “But the last thing I wanted was something that says ‘Look at my big fancy house.’ ” Thanks to Voyazis, what they have instead is a home that is smart, cheeky, and sublimely livable.

    The soft palette, pretty Fromental wallpaper, and an elegant desk from Jan Showers make the long hours Francesca spends writing a little less grueling.  

    Wallpaper (“Nonsuch Chinoiserie”/Platinum): Fromental, fromental.co.uk.
    Ceiling paint (“Wimborne White” #239): Farrow & Ball, farrow-ball.com.
    Trim paint: custom.
    Desk (“Plaza Desk” #401): Jan Showers, janshowers.com.
    Desk chair (“Eames Soft Pad Management Chair”): Herman Miller, hermanmiller.com.
    Chairs at desk: owner’s collection.
    Chair fabric (“Hopwood”/Rose #BF10350.2, by GP & J Baker): Lee Jofa, leejofa.com.
    Cabinet behind desk (custom); table beside sofa (custom): Louise Voyazis, louisevoyazis.net.
    Lamp on cabinet (vintage): Dana John, danajohn.com.
    Painting above cabinet (by Clay Wagstaff): Sears-Peyton Gallery, searspeyton.com.
    Sofa: owner’s collection.
    Sofa fabric (“Romeo Velvet”/Clover #2007193, colorway discontinued): Lee Jofa, leejofa.com.
    Lamp on table beside sofa (“Dauphine Table Lamp”/Gilded Iron #S3400): Circa Lighting, circalighting.com

  • Tim Street-Porter

    Bedroom Retreat

    The subtle sheen of the silk patterned rug from Nepal is a glamorous touch. Curtains from Colefax and Fowler and a bench dressed in a Lee Jofa fabric add sublimely serene shades of sage green and ivory. 

    Wall paint (“Belize Green” #DEC782, by Dunn-Edwards and “Simply White” #OC-117, by Benjamin Moore): custom blend.
    Ceiling paint (“Wimborne White” #239): Farrow & Ball, farrow-ball.com.
    Trim paint: custom.
    Carpet (custom, from Nepal); bed (custom); bedside tables (custom); bench (custom): Louise Voyazis, louisevoyazis.net.
    Chandelier (antique, from Little Paris Antiques, refurbished with rock crystals): Louise Voyazis, louisevoyazis.net.
    Blanket  (“Avalon”): Hermès, usa.hermes.com.
    Toile bed pillows (Wisteria”/Baltic Sea, Mist #3007L/04); striped bed pillow (“Avignon”/Alpine on Natural #4103W/02): Rose Tarlow-Melrose House, rosetarlow.com.
    Wall sconces (“Veronique Swing Arm Sconce” #IS0967.S): Remains Lighting, remains.com.
    Bench fabric (“Kingsley”/Aqua, Ivory #LB50132, colorway discontinued): Lee Jofa, leejofa.com.
    Dresser: owner’s collection.
    Lamp on dresser: discontinued.
    Drapery (“Lamerton”/Aqua #F3505-03,by Colefax and Fowler): Cowtan & Tout, cowtan.com.

  • Tim Street-Porter

    Bedroom Sitting Area

    The walls are painted a custom mix of Dunn Edwards’ “Belize Green” and Benjamin Moore’s “Simply White” in a flat finish while moldings are glossy for sparkle. The sofa and ottoman are from George Smith. 

    Sofa; ottoman: George Smith, georgesmith.com.
    Sofa and ottoman fabric (velvet, by Jane Churchill): Cowtan & Tout, cowtan.com.
    Pillows on sofa (“Beautiran”/Pink/Green on Oyster): Bennison, bennisonfabrics.com.
    Floor lamp (“Veronique Swing Floor Lamp” #FL0967.S): Remains Lighting, remains.com.
    Drapery (“Lamerton”/Aqua #F3505-03, by Colefax and Fowler): Cowtan & Tout, cowtan.com.
    Carpet (custom): Louise Voyazis, louisevoyazis.net.

  • Tim Street-Porter

    Master Bath

    Two creamy shades of Moroccan tile sheathe the tub surround.

    Wall paint (“What’s Left” #DEW304): Dunn-Edwards Paints, dunnedwards.com.
    Floor tile (“Champagne Honed Straight Cut Limestone”); tile on bathtub surround (“Arabesque” in Pure Glossy and LG-61 Glossy): Country Floors, countryfloors.com.
    Window shades (“Jefferson”/Ivory #8946): Pindler & Pindler, pindler.com.
    Faucets (“Lugarno 8-inch Widespread Faucet Set”); sconce (“Lugarno”): Restoration Hardware, rh.com.
    Shaving mirror: Waterworks, waterworks.com

  • Tim Street-Porter

    Exterior

    The 1920s facade gives the manor house formal curb appeal.

  • Tim Street-Porter

    Portrait

    Homeowners Nicholas Stoller and Francesca Delbanco in their entry.