SCOTT JOHNSON, design partner at the architectural firm of Pereira Associates, and his wife, Margaret Bates, a gynecologist-obstetrician, decided to settle in Los Angeles because, Johnson says, "the economy and the art are more exciting." Their house-hunting criteria: "tall ceilings, good light and room for a lot of art." The Johnsons ultimately bought a 1920s Spanish-style bungalow. They brought in a few family heirlooms and some "investments" and "great finds." Scott also painted some of the walls and built a kitchen table.
The result is a home with freshness, livability and a non-static sense of style. In the living room, a British officer's chair is reupholstered in elegantly contemporary spotted cowhide, and fringed sofa pillows found in New Orleans accessorize a nubby '50s sofa. The trendily "tacky" vintage gold rayon curtains are held back with folkloric Guatemalan ties.
In the dining room, the stucco walls, which had been gridded with dark, heavy wood framing, were painted pea-green, yellow, ocher, gray and blue, and the surfaces toweled and sanded for a pointillist effect. At night, the room is lit by an inexpensive fixture from a hardware store--chosen for its simplicity. A basket-weave plywood wall that Johnson built in the breakfast room is characteristic of one of the architect's design elements--the use of facets and breaking planes--which can be seen in his design for Fox Plaza in Century City and also in his New Wilshire building, near Fairfax.