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2018 New Trad Edel Legaspi reinvigorates a Storybook Tudor tucked into a Los Angeles hillside
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Sometimes a classic calls for a fresh interpretation. Or, in the case of this storybook Tudor in Southern California, a color refresh.
“When I first walked into the space, the home was true to Tudor style—classical, dark and heavy, and very formal,” designer Edel Legaspi says. “The homeowners wanted something updated and modern for the way they live.” Legaspi, one of our 2018 class of New Trads, was the perfect person to direct the transformation. Now a partner in Legaspi Courts Design, she packs years of experience honing her craft under the tutelage of luminaries Kelly Wearstler and Jamie Bush.
Tasked with creating brighter, more relaxed interiors that engage the home’s outdoor spaces, Legaspi juxtaposed sophisticated new furnishings and fabrics with traditional architecture throughout the sprawling 6,700-square-foot abode, built in 1963.
Illustrative of the home’s Tudor style, a vaulted, wood-slat ceiling defines the great room. “We kept the original beams as-is and painted the natural-wood panels to lighten it up,” Legaspi says. Meshing with the creamy tones of the wood, a rolled-arm sofa, expansive ottoman, and a wing chair updated in jute upholstery amplify the rich texture of a sitting area next to the home’s original brick fireplace, notable for its grand hearth. “You could walk in it,” Legaspi says.
In a second sitting area—a cozy spot for curling up with a book—tufted armchairs and coordinating ottomans flank a stone-top table. A combination of semi-sheer Roman shades and textured linen draperies on windows also plays to the tactile vibe.
Next to the living areas, the refined dining room mixes periods as easily as an adept host mingles among guests. Shapely contemporary chairs, covered in taupe leather with nailhead detail, gather around a substantial walnut table—part of the homeowners’ existing furniture collection. An antique carved console, discovered locally, injects age and character. Vintage candlesticks continue the collected feel.
Throughout the public spaces, black paint on window casings and muntins draws eyes to the glass and beyond, showcasing outdoor views. “Repainting the trim punched up the lines,” Legaspi says. It brings a modern graphic element to the classic home.
Another feature original to the Tudor, masonry walls in the entry from the back courtyard, got an update with warm white paint that visually softens the plaster’s gritty texture. This color refresh also counteracts the weight of original French limestone floors in the space, which serves as a vestibule to the great room, family room, and courtyard. Gilded mirrors and ginger jars from the homeowners’ collection crown a shapely wood sideboard. “The modern credenza communicates style,” Legaspi says.
Brass “bird” hooks found on a shopping trip in the La Cienega Design Quarter create an unexpected art installation that speaks to the aesthetic of the young family who lives here—“stylish yet super relaxed,” the designer says. Stools upholstered in different colors of velvet can be easily moved, providing on-point function. “The girls hang here all the time, reading books and dancing around,” Legaspi says.
Meanwhile, the entry’s dark turned-wood banister and arched doors were kept as-is to maintain the home’s traditional roots. “We really wanted to celebrate and be respectful of the architecture,” Legaspi says.
Just down the hall, the library nook beckons with moody -Moroccan tones. “We made the opening a bit wider and reconfigured the built-in shelving to become bookcases,” Legaspi says. Formerly a wine room, the new library nook is kid-friendly and versatile. Dark blue grass cloth wraps the walls while vintage swivel chairs in gray chenille perch atop a patterned purple rug. Art, objects, and stacked books are displayed on edited shelves.
In the family room, Legaspi ousted red paint on the ceiling and brought in a sculptural Sputnik-style chandelier that contrasts original wood beams. The ornate surround of the original fireplace was coated in dark paint for graphic appeal. Outdoor fabrics on custom sofas and chaises look like bouclé and velvet but outlast climbing kids. Bold, saturated color pops on pillows and accessories. “The indigos, purples—it’s a fun gradient mix,” Legaspi says.
Upstairs, the master bedroom is bathed in pale yellows and blues. “It’s a sanctuary palette,” Legaspi says. A four-poster matches the scale of the vaulted ceiling while tables introduce polished materials and contemporary forms. “It brings sculpture in with the plush,” the designer explains. The bedroom’s French doors open to an expansive terrace that takes in views of the courtyard.
In the courtyard, entertaining is easy with multiple soft-landing spots around the pool and under the shelter of the covered porch. It’s the perfect place for family fun—with a sunny attitude that’s the hallmark of this newly lightened Tudor home.