A fresh 1980s vitality has been breathed into this 1930s Spanish-style Hollywood duplex through the ingenuity of its occupants, architectural-and-interior designer Costa Charalambides and his partner, Gerhard Dorhofer.
Surprisingly, the transformation required no structural remodeling. Because this is a rented apartment the pair had to work within certain constraints, so their revisions have been purely decorative. The new look has been achieved with custom-designed furniture, contemporary artwork and simple, dramatic lighting, all the work of Charalambides and Dorhofer. The pair's ability to make the most of limited space, coupled with Dorhofer's skill in building many of the furnishings--sofas, tables, bookcases, mirrors--gives the home a singular personality. Of special note is the focal point of the living room--a post-modern arch supported by columns, veneered in olive-ash burl, that flank the fireplace.
The living room, which is relatively narrow, also presented a seating problem. "A curvilinear type of seating maximizes the number of people that can be accommodated, while keeping the conversation area intimate," Charalambides says. "It's reminiscent of interiors of luxury steamships from the '20s and '30s--streamlined, practical, yet attractive."
Practicality, however welcome, by no means overwhelms the apartment. Restrained drama also plays a role, in lighting, accessories and color choices for walls and furnishings. Window treatments were installed only where privacy demanded, and even then the solution was a simple, unobtrusive one.