We’re both writers (he writes songs; I write books, among other things), so our process began with jotting down words that kept our intentions in focus: more space, more sunlight, more serenity. The dream was to go from the top floor of a Bed-Stuy brownstone to a chic hideaway in the Hollywood hills. But we were halfway up a particularly perilous, winding single-lane road when I said aloud to our real estate broker, Ikem Chukumerije: “I don’t care what this next house looks like; there is no way I’m doing this drive every day.” Of course, the moment I walked through the doors I just knew: This was our home.
The 13-foot pitched ceilings, the spacious, sun-drenched patios, the artful views, wood beams, and airy, open spaces—it instantly delivered on wow factor. It also possessed a certain creative soul we both immediately tapped into. Later we learned the contemporary Spanish-style dwelling, built in 1977, was previously owned by the prolific film director and actor Robert Townsend. We loved that there was enough space to grow into the 2.0 versions of ourselves. Little did we know then that less than a year later we would be designing the space with a new member of the family on the way.