Home Tour: The Fresh and Airy Space of a Lifelong Collector
Tucked into a quiet neighbourhood just off of Los Angeles’ famed Sunset Strip lies a quaint and pristinely maintained Craftsman home with an impressive pedigree. Prior to being renovated by current owners Mike and Brenda Antin, the quaint 1919 home belonged to actor George Peppard of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and A-Team fame.
Brenda Antin, designer and owner of the design and antique shop bearing her own name, and her husband purchased the home 12 years ago, and then underwent a year-long renovation adding new floors and a saltwater lap pool, and modernising the kitchen and bathrooms. The resulting space, currently on the market, became the perfect foundation for the couple’s collection of vintage and antique finds, acquired over years of European shopping trips.
Keep scrolling to take a full tour of the home and enviable collection of antiques.
Having travelled for her business to markets in London, Paris, Milan, Florence, Copenhagen and more, Antin was able to simultaneously build her personal collection. “Are you kidding?” she jokes of shopping for herself while “on the job.” “If I find something that’s really, really special, I have to keep it.”
A centrepiece in the cosy, layered living room is a clock picked up years ago in Parma, Italy. “It’s a Tiffany mantle clock from a World War II troop ship,” Antin tells us. “I would never part with it—my kids would never forgive me. Years ago we sent a photo to Sotheby’s and every few years they contact us to ask if we’d want to sell it. It’s a treasure, a serious treasure.”
The home’s larger seating pieces were custom designed by Antin. “We design the upholstery ourselves and cover it all in vintage linen,” she says.
The pair of leather chairs with bullion fringe in the living room were—like many other pieces—discovered in a Paris market decades ago. “We fixed the springs and had the leather treated—which you have to do extremely carefully. You need to treat it like you would a Birkin bag,” Antin says. “We were so lucky to get them—aren’t they lovely?”
Due to the home’s open floor plan, Antin decided to convert the dining room into a multipurpose space. “Because the kitchen is so open to the dining room, I didn’t want to have two tables in a row—it would look like a restaurant,” the designer says. “So I thought, how am I going to handle this? I decided to make it into both a dining area and a library so it functions as both.”
Stacks and stacks of inspiration can be found on the library’s dining table and surrounding shelves. “I have literally hundreds of design books and I read them constantly,” Antin says.
When hosting during the holidays, the open concept allows for an additional table to be added at the end of the main dining table to accommodate a larger gathering of children and grandchildren.
“I bought this zebra chair 25 years ago,” says Antin. “The Chinese vase, Turkish ottoman, the French leather chairs—I’ve had these pieces for years.”
In the kitchen, a mix of seating including a leather club chair lends a family-room vibe so that guests can hang out and relax in the space.
Long before it was popular, the Antins installed open shelving in place of upper cabinets in their kitchens. “We never do overhead cabinets in our kitchens,” Antin says. “Our first place had a very small, narrow galley kitchen and the cabinets made it feel claustrophobic. It was so much better with shelves and we haven't looked back. It just gives you a wonderful open look.”
A pristine palette of soft creams and ivories allows the home’s many treasures to shine, and amplifies the flood of natural light. “We always use an eggshell paint finish and then a high-gloss on all the trim, cabinets, and ceilings,” Antin says. “It really reflects the light.”
In one of the bedrooms, a vintage bench is paired with a whimsical piece of art. “My son bought this black dog for me in the Hamptons years ago,” says Antin.
The home's sunny guest house is decorated in a slightly more contemporary vein. “I think you only get a feeling of warmth in a set-up when you mix in various styles,” says the designer. “In England and France everything is mixed together. Toile with stripes, contemporary with very old. That’s what we’ve done in here. A ‘60s cocktail table and contemporary-style sofa go with a vintage American flag I got at a garage sale, and a worn leather chair.”
“I don’t like spaces that feel too clinical and hard,” the designer says. “I want our house to look like someone lives there, that someone is actually using the kitchen. I’ve been in many homes where it looks like no one actually lives there. It makes me shudder.”
Three covered porches trimmed with vintage brick lead to gardens, expanding the usable living and entertaining space.
“This is a marvellous house for entertaining,” says Antin. “Though it’s only two bedrooms, with the porches and gardens, we could fit 100 people in here. I’m not exaggerating!”
“I get up very early and when the dawn is breaking you can stand in the kitchen or on the porch and there is just so much light,” she shares. “I’m going to miss the light.”
Which is your favourite find in Antin’s home? Share with us in the comments!