This 1920s Spanish Colonial Home Is Vintage Eclectic Done Right
Just like the popular Cameron Diaz film, there's something about Lisa Larson. The Swedish-born Los Angeles–based designer and founder of Ragdoll L.A. (a favourite of celebrities such as Alicia Vikander, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Sienna Miller, and more) simply oozes effortless style. She can make a T-shirt and jeans look insanely cool and covetable. Of course, this is something we've come to expect (and love) from the Swedes. Everything they touch turns to design gold, and it seems Larson's creative talent doesn't end in fashion, either. She recently lent her artistic nous to interior design while renovating her own 1920s Spanish Colonial–style home in the Hollywood Hills (it was built three years before Chateau Marmont), and the result is beyond gorgeous.
Of course, Larson's home mirrors her fashion design style, fusing her refined taste with a hint of nonchalance and that rare vintage charm. She's definitely mastered the art of blending old and new, antique and modern, resulting in a highly curated home that is at once eclectic and beautiful. Take a tour through every room of this striking space and prepare for your jaw to hit the floor too.
Although Larson and her husband renovated the whole house when they first bought it, they made sure to preserve "every original detail we could" in order to keep the patina they initially fell in love with. "We wanted the house to be updated and functional to our family's needs, so we opened the space between the kitchen and the living room, and those two rooms are the ones we spend most of our time in," she told MyDomaine. "We also completely renovated the kitchen and all bathrooms, but again, we kept the look from 1920."
We can see why their family spends the most time in this room now. The exposed beams overhead, paired with the unexpected black flooring, really add a unique appeal, both rustic and modern with a traditional flair.
It wasn't until after they started the renovations that they realised the house needed more work than first thought. "We realised every wire and pipe in the house had to be changed," she said. "The outside we kept as it was, and I still hesitate to fix the stucco or paint the house since the look is hard to reproduce. Meanwhile, all the floors were refinished to look like the original."
We love nothing more than a beautiful entryway, and this one certainly is grand. The wear in the tiles is all original, along with the circular-shaped architecture that really highlights the Spanish style. Plus, who can resist that spiral stairway? Stunning.
When asked to describe her style, Larson throws out eclectic, antique, and French art deco with a midcentury modern vibe. We couldn't agree more, and the dining room is where this style really comes into play. The chandelier brings a sweet touch to the monochrome tone.
Having traveled from the home of some of the world's best design, Sweden, Larson brought a lot of furniture with her. "We shipped a container with pieces from our previous home in Stockholm, and I bought all the French antique pieces from auction houses all around Sweden," she said. "I really like to mix different eras, and think it makes your home more personal."
Despite bringing the Swedish furniture home, Larson really struggled finding materials that felt true to the house. "It was heartbreaking when we couldn't save the kitchen floor," she said. "So we had to find something that looked authentic and would melt in with the originals." We think she nailed it.
The timeworn furniture in the kitchen sits comfortably alongside the Spanish architecture, all set against a white background. "I first fell in love with the house and pretty soon after with the big French farm table that is now in our dining room," she said. "It's where we gather for extended dinners, and that was the perfect starting point."
When asked about her greatest find, Larson had a hard time choosing. "I love to spend my time hunting vintage pieces on the web but also around town," she said. "I found the big table lamps at a small flea market hidden in a dusty corner, and a coffee table on Craigslist that I later saw on 1stdibs for 10 times the price." Perhaps we need Larson to write a separate story sharing her vintage shopping secrets.
One of the key features of this house is the natural light. Thanks to the large, open windows and archways, sunlight floods almost every room. It really lifts the rustic style and brings a fresh modernity to the space.
The original ceiling molds maintain that historic appeal with the vintage modern furniture below. "Our house has really become the most relaxing hideaway for our family but also for friends who come and go, and even though we live in a 1920s original, we can accommodate our modern life just perfectly."
The colour scheme features a lot of white and wooden tones. "The dark terra-cotta floors paired with the white plaster walls create a perfect foundation, and the antique furniture complement them well," she said. "But we did pick some colour for the upholstery to give contrast, like the green sofa that was custom made."
The house is very rustic, with an indoor/outdoor theme. "The garden is amazing with roses, bougainvillea, and cypresses," she said. "So in a way, it feels like our home could have been part of our family for generations, and I think the fact that all the original details were preserved plays a big part in that."
Larson stayed true to the history of the home by choosing vintage pieces that complemented the era, adding splashes of her personal (and modernised) taste into the mix for a hip, eclectic look.
The vintage appeal extends outdoors, with French wire furniture and fairy lights that add a magical fairy-tale feel.