Tour a Classic 1930 Spanish-Style House in LA’s Miracle Mile Neighborhood
The quiet and sophisticated home is the abode of designer Jeff Andrews
For anyone designing their own home—and particularly for a professional interior designer—the process invariably presents an opportunity to reassess what inspires you, what you desire, and on some fundamental level, who you are. “I was more adventurous with color and pattern in past homes, but I wanted this place to be more subtle. Something a bit quieter and more sophisticated felt right for where I am in my life right now,” says Los Angeles AD PRO Directory designer Jeff Andrews, reflecting on the home he recently renovated for himself and his husband, Emmy-winning casting director Ken Miller. “Of course, I wanted it to be beautiful; but above all, it had to be livable and comfortable,” he adds.
The site for these ruminations is a classic 1930 Spanish-style house in LA’s Miracle Mile neighborhood. “This was the perfect spot,” Andrews declares. “Spanish architecture speaks to me in a way that a modern house or a Craftsman just doesn’t.” Indeed, the new residence neatly encapsulates Andrews’s respect for the original architecture as well his skill in seamlessly adapting and attuning a nearly century-old structure to the couple’s personal tastes as well as the rhythms and rituals of contemporary life. “The house was basically gutted, but we stuck with things that made sense. I didn’t want to interfere with the original architectural envelope, so I just tried to accentuate it and add a little more design drama,” Andrews explains of his ministrations. In the living room, for example, the designer restored the original beams and corbels but added new ceiling details to activate the overhead plane. He also replicated the stained-glass details of the unsalvageable window on the front façade but changed the colors to coordinate with his preferred palette. In the dining room, the original crown moldings are now complemented by a dynamic new ceiling with radiating bas-relief bands. “I think the ceiling takes the room to another level,” the designer offers.
For ease and efficiency, Andrews broke out the wall between the living room and what is now the media room, adding a seductive new bar of fluted Calacatta Viola marble to mediate between the two spaces. “We didn’t want useless rooms separated from the main flow of the house,” the designer notes. The interior appointments of the two rooms point to the overriding sensibility that animates the home—restrained, finely tailored, soft yet masculine. Here and throughout, Andrews paired furnishings of his own design with select pieces by some of his favorite contemporary makers, including Lindsey Adelman, Alison Berger, BDDW, and Apparatus. Artisanal flourishes—like the living room’s custom limestone fireplace inspired by Constantin Brancusi’s Gate of the Kiss in Romania—add an additional layer of depth and drama to the heady mix.
The most significant changes to the original architecture occur at the back of the two-story house. On the first level, Andrews completely reimagined and enlarged the kitchen, adding new cabinetry, counters of textured soapstone, and accents of teal tile from Heath Ceramics. “I hemmed and hawed over that kitchen more than any room in the house,” the designer recalls. “But the new kitchen inspires me to cook. We entertain now more than ever.” On the upper floor, a new primary bath—like the kitchen below—gives more room and prominence to a space that would have received far less consideration in the 1930s. A new oak-lined dressing room, which Andrews describes as “gentlemanly,” adds an elegant finishing note to the couple’s private domain. Completing the scene of domestic bliss is an entirely new backyard, an urban Eden conceived by Andrews in tandem with landscape designer Ana Saavedra, replete with a new pool, outdoor lounge, firepit, and a freestanding pavilion for a gym and studio capped with a traditional terra-cotta tiled roof.
As this is the first proper house Andrews has designed for himself and a partner, one naturally wonders how his husband factored into the design equation. On that subject, Miller remains sanguine: “Jeff ran everything by me. We debated, but we never fought,” the casting director insists. “And after all, Jeff’s taste is impeccable.”