Tour an Enchanting Santa Monica Idyll Where Historic Design Meets Modern Style

When an East Coast couple was faced with carving out their own LA oasis, AD100 firm Carrier and Company mapped out the perfect plan for success

This tall order was achieved, in part, by installing a series of massive arched glass doors—“as big as we could fit them,” the architect recalls—that pivot in the middle; an expansive open outdoor living space below the primary suite; and a reimagined entry sequence for the house that comprises a courtyard and fountain.

Giannetti, whose projects span the globe, further worked with Carrier and Company to reimagine the gardens in a way that felt welcoming and established. Most of the inspiration photos were of overgrown English-style greenspaces, so they set about planting a number of garden “rooms,” a second giant oak, mature sycamore trees and hedges, and rows of lavender. “So it just looked like it had always been there,” says Giannetti, who was ever mindful of crafting a space that little kids could explore. (A chicken coop was also installed out front.)

Though there can often be tension between a designer and architect, that was never an issue here, Giannetti comments, because “everybody was working together to make the owners a house they just love to death.” Carrier concurs, describing any initial concerns about the collaboration, which also involved the venerable Valle Reinis Builders, as fleeting. “We were kind of the new kids on the block,” he says, “but in hindsight, it was such a seamless integration.”

Having had a bit of time and space following the project’s completion, Miller muses on the end result. “What I’m really excited about is seeing that marriage of the place and the owners—and I feel like you can see that evolution,” she says. “And for us to help them grow their aesthetic and family is wonderful.”


A view through the newly planted, English-inspired gardens of a 1920s Santa Monica estate designed for a young family by designers Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller, coprincipals of Carrier and Company. The architect and landscape designer, Steve Giannetti, of Giannetti Architecture & Interiors, worked alongside Carrier, Miller, and Valle Reinis Builders on the extensive project.

hallwayArt: Angelbert Metoyer

“What’s beautiful about the entry is you walk in and see straight out through the backyard and to the view,” says Carrier of the gallery-like foyer, which features the clients’ existing artwork, a Lawson-Fenning table under a Rose Uniacke lantern, and a custom Campanha Daybed by De La Vega from Jean de Merry.

living roomArt: Dashiell Manley/Jessica Silverman, San Francisco

In the formal living room, which opens up to an expansive outdoor loggia and the gardens and pool beyond, a Vladimir Kagan Serpentine Sofa sits opposite a pair of midcentury-modern hairpin chairs wearing a harlequin stripe piment from Holland & Sherry. The armchairs to the left of the fireplace, from the Bright Group, are positioned opposite a Carrier and Company and Century Furniture sofa in a Pierre Frey fabric. The ceiling fixtures are Synapse pendants from Apparatus Studio. The room “is meant to be used by everyone and loved by them,” says Carrier, “so the kids can pile on the Kagan sofa and mom and dad aren’t screaming. They’re happy to entertain their guests as well as their kids there.”

dining roomArt: Guillaume Linard Osorio/ Carvalho Park Gallery, New York

“In a large home, this dining room isn’t grandiose,” Miller observes of the more intimate space. “When we have those opportunities, we like to make them a little darker and cozier…there’s nothing precious about it.” The room, wrapped in a Carrier and Company for Lee Jofa wallpaper, includes a custom table from Jasper surrounded by Luca dining chairs from Dennis Miller New York upholstered in a Toyine chenille fabric. The artwork hanging to the right of the light well is by Guillaume Linard Osorio.


Very little was done to the bright and airy kitchen following architect Steve Giannetti’s original remodel for the previous homeowners. The shade textile is from Radish Moon, the light fixtures are vintage, and the stools are from Erik Buck.

dining area

The kitchen dining area, with a view of the front courtyard, is populated by a vintage table and dining chairs designed by Osvaldo Borsani, which had formerly been in the clients’ New York apartment. The ceiling fixture, sourced from 1stDibs, is a 12-globe Stilnovo-style chandelier. “[We were] just happy to move these things that we had found for them in previous homes and reinvent them in new spaces,” shares Carrier.

living room

At the back end of the house, the family room, which is wrapped in a wallcovering from Schumacher and has no TV, “might even be called more of an old-fashioned study,” observes Miller. “It’s a bright room and there’s just so much texture in the curtain panels, raffia walls, and that adds intimacy and comfort.” A George Smith sofa, Harvey Probber lounge chair and ottoman in a Hodsoll McKenzie fabric from Zimmer + Rohde, and Lawson Fenning stools sit on a Loloi Rugs rug. The John Salibello asymmetrical brass chandelier complements Hackney floor lamps from Visual Comfort/Circa Lighting.

barLisa Romerein. Art: Greg Foley/Planthouse Gallery.

Another view of the family room shows the custom bar and shelving, installed by Valle Reinis Builders, alongside stools from Amsterdam Modern in LA. It provides a perfect space for pouring guests a drink en route to the outdoor dining terrace. “When the house is in full-play, all the doors are open and people are mingling through,” says Carrier.

As with nearly every room on the ground floor the screening room “where all the kids pile in for movie night” says...Lisa Romerein

As with nearly every room on the ground floor, the screening room, “where all the kids pile in for movie night,” says Carrier, features views of, or an egress to, the grounds. Tiered Cloud sofas from RH, wearing a natural Italian boucle, face a hidden media screen that descends to cover a fireplace. The sound system is also disguised behind fabric panels; the projector comes through a concealed aperture in the wall; and blackout shades descend to cover the windows and door. The Chaumont velvet wallcovering from Brunschwig & Fils adds to the room’s soundproofing. The swivel armchair is from Una Malan and the pair of ceiling fixtures are Modulightor.


A half bath is conveniently located in a hallway between the library and screening room. Inside, Jennifer Shorto wallpaper in an emeralds pattern and sconces from Carrier and Company for Visual Comfort add a sense of occasion to the tidy space. The mirror, from Made Goods, hangs above a sink from Urban Archeology.

libraryArt: Elizabeth Atterbury

The library/office, tucked behind the mantle wall in the formal living room, provides an ideal backdrop for Zoom meetings, the designers explain. “It’s a cozy sort of dark moment in an otherwise sun-filled, white-plaster California home,” says Carrier. Zurich lanterns from Vaughan hang above the clients’ own desk, a Soho II chair from Laura Furniture, and a rug from Loloi.


In the primary bedroom, Giannetti took pains to install a wall of glass that would be completely hidden when open. A glass balustrade adds to the remarkable sense of openness. “This is just a beautiful sort of California moment, where everything is light and airy—the antique rug is sort of faded enough and the bedding is inviting—it’s soft, it’s relaxed,” shares Carrier. The Paloma bed from Quintus stands on a custom mohair Tibetano rug beside a Hampton side table from Noir and contemporary Chinese lamps from Balsamo Antiques.

bathroom bathtub

The expansive primary bath, a small corner of which is pictured here, provides a matchless perch from which to take in the leafy grounds and mountains in the distance. The Waterworks soaking tub sits below a Valere glass chandelier from Vaughan and beside a Rose Tarlow slipper chair covered in a natural fabric from Carrier and Company for Lee Jofa.


In the corner of a boy’s room—which again showcases “a little more of that signature Carrier and Company love of color,” notes Carrier—paint-splatter wallpaper by Peter Fasano for John Rosselli & Associates adds a playful air, as do the striped Pat McGann throw, Anthropologie bedside table, Stark rug, and Abaco lamp from Visual Comfort/Circa Lighting. The kids’ rooms are all somewhat “interchangeable, playful, simpatico,” explains Carrier, “because you don’t want to invoke any sibling rivalry.…It’s a delicate balance for sure.”


In the kids’ rooms, the designers were able to “indulge and add layers of wall covering and textures and textiles through the floor and bed coverings, just to give a little more of that cozy feeling that they love as a family,” says Carrier. In the daughter’s bedroom, a Jonathan Adler bench stands at the end of a bed from Anthropologie, where the armchair is also from. The window treatments and bed hanging are from Claremont, while the wallpaper is Morrigan in cream from Colefax and Fowler.


The private guest suite, thoughtfully accessed by its own stairwell off the family room, overlooks a rose-vine-covered loggia. (The house’s entire second floor was added by Giannetti during the first remodel.) A Gemma bed and Valyn chair, both from Carrier and Company for Century Furniture, anchor the space, which also features a Loloi rug, window treatments from John Rosselli & Associates, and a Silas chandelier from Arteriors.

Via Architectural Digest

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