YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

HOME FURNISHINGS : Playing Favorites : Four of Los Angeles' Leading Interior Designers Share Their Personal Best

October 25, 1987|VIRGINIA GRAY


Waldo Fernandez' clientele has included Elizabeth Taylor, Goldie Hawn, Burt and Carole Bacharach, Merv Griffin and fashion designer Carole Little. "My favorite room is the Beverly Hills living room of my clients Lisa Specht and Ron Rogers," says Fernandez, who works out of his Los Angeles showroom. "There are several reasons why I chose this room. The house has wide appeal architecturally--which I cannot take credit for--and the living room is an easy one to relate to. This is a simple, open space with white walls and terra-cotta tile floors--the ideal palette to highlight my clients' art collection. It represents a minimalist approach to design without a hard edge. Lisa and Ron entertain a great deal, and by using the all-white-and-natural scheme, their guests become art as well. The budget for furnishing this room was relatively small by comparison to many of the homes I design, but I think it epitomizes Southern California living at its best. To me it seems timeless . . . something my clients can live with and not tire of for a long time. I look at the room and think to myself, 'What's not to like about this!' "


Louis Cataffo, head of the Los Angeles-based firm Intradesign, is responsible for the interi ors of many hotels--among them the Hotel Bel-Air, the new Four Seasons Hotel, Le Meridien in Newport Beach, the Remington Hotel in Houston, Tex., and the Fairmont Hotels in San Jose and Chicago. His own home was recently featured in Architectural Digest. "The elevator lobby of La Chaumiere restaurant (in the Century Plaza Tower), a unique and challenging space, could be said to be a favorite," Cataffo says. " Trompe l'oeil murals by artist Lenore Cellini surround guests with the fantasy theme of the restaurant from the moment they enter the lobby. The theme of these murals is based on the madrigal of the Renaissance period, complete with antiqued patina finishes. Because the mural continues into the elevator cab itself, all functional requirements were overcome in beautiful detail. This small lobby and elevator represents, in miniature, everything we strive to do in attention to detail, concern for personalization, involvement of guests, technical criteria and the incorporation of humor and whimsy in approaching our profession."


Although I don't look upon it as the highest point of my career, the living room of my Rancho Mirage home would qualify currently as a favorite room," says Steve Chase,

of Steve Chase Associates in Rancho Mirage. Soon to receive the Interior Design Magazine Hall of Fame Award, Chase works all over the world for major business tycoons and for many of Hollywood's elite as well. His 7,000-square-foot desert home, the main structure of an 11,000-square-foot compound of buildings, "suits the desert colors and terrain," he says. As involved in the architectural aspects of his home as he was with the decorative decisions, Chase feels that such an involvement helps to ensure that the architecture and decor achieve the ideal blend. "My living room is a large, unconventional room with lots of open space and room for art. I have a 17-foot-wide Helen Frankenthaler painting on one wall and several other large contemporary paintings as well, which gives some idea of the expanse of space. This room is elegant, yet casual. With its large bar and several conversation areas, one can be as comfortable here in tennis shorts as in black tie." JANET POLIZZI

Working out of her Melrose Place studio, Janet Polizzi has had a variety of clients--Sylvia and Sam Schulman, Tim and Nancy Vreeland, Carole and Gerry Isenberg, and the Los Angeles Country Club. "One favorite is the living room of my clients Betty and Russell Nowling," Polizzi says. "To me the room feels like today. Like the rest of the house, this room was totally remodeled and simplified so that it has become a great background for the art that my clients have been collecting for many years. We tore out badly scaled faux French fireplaces and pilasters and reworked the ceiling so that the proper light illuminates the art. I designed the upholstered furniture, and the remainder of the furniture is a mix of periods. The table by the fireplace is a 19th-Century Biedermeier piece; the marble-topped cocktail table is from the 1930s, as is the unusual rug. The colors of the room were established by the John Alexander painting over the long sofa and the diado floor, which was original to the house. This project gave me the chance to do something contemporary, as I'm often called on for more traditional design jobs."

Los Angeles Times Articles