We're Speechless: Step Inside the 3700-Square-Foot Home That Made Our Jaws Drop
Oftentimes, people approach design from an aesthetic safety net. We know what we love and typically what we don't, and we veer further and further away from experimentation. No need to feel bad about that because feeling safe is in our DNA; humans hardwired to move away from things that scare us. The only problem with that is complacency. After a while, we tire of our surroundings, we crave adventure, and we start looking for those things that push us out of our comfort zone and into the wild unknown. This Beverly Hills project was that fearless place for Natalie Myers, founder of Veneer Designs.
Her personal goal? To design a "knock-your-socks-off jaw-dropping home unlike anyone in Beverly Hills has seen yet." We certainly think she nailed it. This five-bed, five-bath, 3700-square-foot home was a huge divergence from the designer's earthy, neutral style, but she reveled in the challenge and the end result really rendered us speechless at MyDomaine HQ.
Built in 1954, the home's original midcentury architecture was fairly traditional, and not the midcentury modern style we all adore, Myers explains. "More of that older overly ornamental 'grandma' style that needs immediate updating," she adds. Take the tour and see for yourself how Myers transformed this residence and made bold moves with colour and texture.
Since the house had not been altered for over 40 years, an extensive gut remodel was definitely needed. "It took about 18 months from planning to completion before we could get to furnish and decorate it," says Myers. "The layout and flow were reconfigured. Every aspect of the built environment was altered to make it right for the family’s modern lifestyle."
But despite the immense amount of work a remodel requires, Myers actually prefers this type of project and getting her say in every detail from the ground up.
Typically, Myers's style is minimalist and infused with bohemian influences, but her client wanted more glamor and color befitting both the Beverly Hills neighborhood and her personality. "My sensibilities kept my client's loonier ideas from seeing the light of day," she explains. "She provided the push out of the Veneer comfort zone and a chance to develop our range."
As much as we want the pricier items from our old homes to work in our new homes, most of the time they're simply not a great fit for the new space both in terms of the new materials used and the color palette. "We brought the dining room sideboard and master bed over as placeholders," Myers tells me. "My clients wisely realised none of their other big-ticket furniture items would work and were happy to start with a fresh assortment."
Myers knew her client wanted rich colour in the final install, so for the remodel, she steered her toward a neutral palette of white, blacks, gray, brass, and walnut. "It felt true to midcentury modern and provided the attention-grabbing drama through contrast and shapes I knew she wanted," she says. "Having the permanently fixed parts of the house be a neutral canvas allowed us to get quite playful with jewel-toned hues in the furniture, wallpaper, rugs, and accents. That way there is lots and lots of color woven throughout, but it doesn't feel too overwhelming or circus-like."
When searching for furniture to fill the space, Myers's greatest finds were both high and low. The white oak extendable dining table was custom-made for this install by Dusk Designs. "Working with a talented maker to get exactly the design and size you need is beyond satisfying," she says. "The bent cane chair in the master bedroom was a flea market find by my client that added buckets of personality to the room for a few hundred dollars." What a score.
The biggest challenge of this project was the re-model portion, which dragged on much longer than anticipated. "Beverly Hills is not the most permit-friendly city, and our builder was a perfectionist (in the best way)," says Myers. "He did and redid too many installs to get it just right forever, which we appreciated but also were chomping at the bit to move onto the more fun furnishings portion and move my clients into the house."
Even though the style of this house was a departure from Myers's typical "quieter and earthy take on modern interiors," she really enjoyed the experience to experiment. "My clients were confident I was the one to take their house through the difficult remodel and I would get their style," she says. "I'm grateful they were so sure. It's important that we push ourselves out of our comfort zones. Great things always happen when we do."
This dining room really proves how far she pushed herself, and we are so incredibly glad that she did. It is a showstopper with those West Elm chairs, which are now sadly sold out.
Now, this is a room where we'd love to entertain friends. It's definitely the highlight of the home and while the colors are bright, it doesn't feel overdone thanks to the clever lend of light wood materials, white walls, and gold accents.
"One look at that kitchen and you know what the house is all about," says Myers. "Thoughtful, gracious, sophisticated glamour, playful with color, open. The gorgeous panda slabs shake things up from the norm, and the open shelves proudly display the finer artful moments." We couldn't agree more.