Inside a Dazzlingly Original and Decidedly Playful LA Home

Art world veterans Tobias Meyer and Mark Fletcher restore a sense of visceral allure to midcentury-modern living

kitchen white shelves and floorThe kitchen was designed with unpretentious materials appropriate for the house’s vintage. The bronze vessel is by Max Lamb.

The effect of the freshly honed interior and exterior envelope is buoyed by the work of AD100 landscape designer Madison Cox, who deployed a limited plant palette to accentuate the strong, graphic quality of the architecture. “The outdoor spaces are not very large, but they are essential to the experience and transparency of the house, which feels like a lantern set within a cloistered landscape,” Cox says. “All of our moves were calculated to screen and focus particular views, and to foster a sense of intimacy.”

One of Fletcher’s most powerful gestures was the installation of green wall-to-wall carpeting in the central social sweep of the living room and dining area, which effectively connects the entry courtyard to the pool garden at the back of the property. “The house originally did not have wall-to-wall, but because the gardens and the interiors have equal weight in the scheme, we wanted the carpet to feel like grass or moss,” Meyer says of his husband’s unexpected inspiration. “The carpet is Mark’s favorite thing about the house,” he adds.

Building on the verdant underfoot plane as the bedrock of their decorative alchemy, Meyer and Fletcher stocked the home with a dazzling assortment of furniture and art, meticulously orchestrated to highlight unregarded similarities that point to shared aesthetic genealogies, creating bridges between disparate times, places, and styles. Bold statements, befitting a pair of top-tier tastemakers, abound. The decor riffs on the more outré meaning of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous bon mot, “Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.” Here, the “loose” furnishings of the house express an overt sensuality that at first feels startling and then, almost immediately, absolutely right. It is as if Fletcher and Meyer have decrypted a truth hidden at the very core of the midcentury design movement: open-plan buildings with walls of glass built to maximize exposure—what could be more sexy and intimate?

Dining room with sculptural table and large artSculptures by Urs Fischer and Jonathan Meese rest on a dining table by Ron Krueck and Mark Sexton. A Louis Eisner painting is installed on a walnut wall that mirrors the fireplace elevation. Art: © Urs Fischer. Jonathan Meese. Louis Eisner/Fitzpatrick Gallery, Paris.

The interior design takes a shock-and-awesome approach of oblique interconnection and unlikely affinities. Allusions spiral between the objects and art in the home, following Ryan McGinley nudes from bedroom to kitchen, Alma Allen’s bulbous organic-form tables from breakfast room to living room, bouncing between Nate Lowman’s painting based on a photo of Scarlett Johansson posing with soldiers and Louis Eisner’s J. Fred Muggs canvas based on a Mad magazine cover painted by a chimpanzee. Wright’s 1956 executive chair for Price Tower—a cast-aluminum exoskeleton that looks ready to blast off into space—sits facing Ron Krueck and Mark Sexton’s 1987 perforated-aluminum high-back chair across Chris Schanck’s 2015 Bernini-on-acid desk made of recycled objects covered in aluminum foil. At first glance this could simply be a meditation on the use of aluminum in modernism, but the fact that the three pieces span the life of the house points to the deeply intellectual apparatus at work here. Like the biblical trinity, the three pieces represent different versions of the same material, ultimately culminating in a story of resurrection.

A sense of humor runs beneath all of it. On a bedside table in the primary bedroom, an Adam McEwen drawing that proclaims “Fuck Off We’re Closed” slyly winks at a McGinley photograph of a nude woman with her legs splayed wide open that hangs above it. The juxtaposition epitomizes the spirit of the house—playful, titillating, and seriously smart. Fletcher and Meyer’s design choices unlock the id pulsing within the midcentury walls. Like the self-lubricating frames of the Matthew Barney diptych in the primary bedroom, California midcentury homes were designed not for containment but to encourage the salubrious slipping of boundaries, between interior and exterior, art and design, present and future, human and nature, body and body.

outdoor courtyard pool sculptureThe entry courtyard is planted with Japanese aralia and camellia. Sculpture by Alma Allen acquired through Blum & Poe.

Ultimately, the house reflects nothing so much as the taste and intellect of its owners, particularly Fletcher’s­—he set the tone for the project and drove the program. “Mark has one of the most incisive eyes for architecture and design I’ve ever encountered. He puts so much thought, time, and talent into the places we live,” Meyer says of his estimable partner. “This house is a testament to the clarity of his vision.”


midcentury modern house

Architect Donald Polsky’s circa 1960 Hillman residence, meticulously restored by designer Brad Dunning, has a mute street-facing wall that opens onto a magical entry courtyard with views through the house to the rear garden. Landscape design by Madison Cox.

outdoor courtyard pool sculpture

The entry courtyard is planted with Japanese aralia and camellia. Sculpture by Alma Allen acquired through Blum & Poe.

Living roomArt: Nate Lowman. Andra Ursuta. Bruce High Quality Foundation/Richard Taittinger Gallery.

Furnishings in the living room include a carved-wood table by Gruppo NP2, circa 1969, a Claude Prevost chair from Pierre Cardin’s Palais Bulles, and an Alma Allen stool. Sculpture by Andra Ursuța. Paintings by Nate Lowman (left) and Bruce High Quality Foundation (rear).

living room with view to pool and courtyard through floortoceiling windows

View from the living room to the pool garden. The red chairs are by Jan Bočan. The sculpture is a Boki Secret Society figure.

living room

A Max Lamb stool sits beside a custom Alma Allen cocktail table commissioned with the assistance of Commune Design.

lamp on a table beside a chairArt: John Kleckner. Matthew Barney. Nate Lowman.

In the living room, a Nate Lowman painting with a circa 1920 Viennese table lamp and a Lisa Eisner censer.

kitchen white shelves and floor

The kitchen was designed with unpretentious materials appropriate for the house’s vintage. The bronze vessel is by Max Lamb.

Dining nookArt: © Alma Allen/Kasmin, New York and BLUM, Los Angeles/Tokyo/New York. Ryan McGinley. Mårten Medbo.

A dining table by Alma Allen, commissioned with the assistance of Commune Design, sits on a terrazzo floor in the breakfast room. Photograph by Ryan McGinley, sculpture by Mårten Medbo, votives by Lisa Eisner.

Dining room with sculptural table and large artArt: © Urs Fischer. Jonathan Meese. Louis Eisner/Fitzpatrick Gallery, Paris.

Sculptures by Urs Fischer and Jonathan Meese rest on a dining table by Ron Krueck and Mark Sexton. A Louis Eisner painting is installed on a walnut wall that mirrors the fireplace elevation.

bedroom with a photograph of a naked woman above the bedArt: Ryan McGinley. Dash Snow Archive, NYC/Morán Morán.

A Ryan McGinley photograph presides over the primary bedroom. On the left bedside table are works by (top to bottom) Dash SnowAdam McEwen, and Matthew Barney.

close up of bedside table with art surrounding it

Artworks (top to bottom) by Dash Snow, Adam McEwen, and Matthew Barney are arrayed on a bedside table. The plaster torchère is circa 1940 French.

desk area in a master bedroom

The primary bedroom is outfitted with a desk by Chris Schanck, chairs by Frank Lloyd Wright and Ron Krueck and Mark Sexton (at far right), and a table lamp by Roger Comparet.

desk in the living room

The only major change to the floor plan was the merger of a den and a bedroom to create a more generous primary suite. The desk and cabinet are by Chris Schanck, the red chair by Frank Lloyd Wright, the chair opposite by Ron Krueck and Mark Sexton, and the table lamp by Roger Comparet. Paintings by Dan Colen.

closetdressing room

A chair by Ron Krueck and Mark Sexton resides in the dressing room.

bedroom art on wall© 2023 Adam McEwen / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Matthew Barney. Nate Lowman & Dan Colen. © Dan Colen.

Rick Yoshimoto tables flank a custom daybed. Inkjet print on canvas by Nate Lowman and Dan Colen (left) and paintings by Dan Colen.

bathroom walkin shower

Drawings by John Currin and Rachel Feinstein rest on the vanity in the primary bath, where the deliberately modest materials palette nods to the house’s midcentury origins. Lamp by Adam Silverman.

outdoor couch area

CB2 outdoor sofa is joined by Willy Guhl concrete chairs and a Rick Yoshimoto cypress side table.

outdoor pool

Hedges of silver sheen and waxleaf privet echo the geometries of the architecture.

shrubs sculpture corner of a pool

An Alma Allen marble sculpture acquired through Blum & Poe is nestled in a bed of monstera deliciosa in front of a wall of ficus nitida.


Via Architectural Digest

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