She has been collecting silver since she began her career in magazine publishing. It's a tradition her Greek mother began when she registered for sterling instead of the more traditional wedding gift of cash.
"When I was growing up, I would sit and help polish, and she would tell me the story behind every piece," Gianopulos says.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday June 29, 2006 Home Edition Home Part F Page 5 Features Desk 1 inches; 42 words Type of Material: Correction
Music executive -- A story in last week's Home section about Sony Music executive Jay Landers ("Dad's House, Fine-Tuned") said his duties include selecting songs for performers such as Jesse McCartney and Hilary Duff. He worked with those artists before joining Sony.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday June 30, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 42 words Type of Material: Correction
Music executive: A story in the June 22 Home section about Sony Music executive Jay Landers ("Dad's House, Fine-Tuned") said his duties include selecting songs for performers such as Jesse McCartney and Hilary Duff. He worked with those artists before joining Sony.
Tales lie behind her collection as well. The Tiffany & Co. Witchball table lighter she scored for $20 at a Long Island tag sale is now worth $1,000. The miniature kouros statuette in silver came from an Athens museum. Antique and Deco sterling pieces and classic hotel and cafe china were picked up during three post-college sojourns in Paris.
"My eye, my instinct, goes to things that are French," she says.
Today her treasures adorn bookcases, shelves, a black baby grand piano and the tops of antique tables, including one in the ornate late 18th century Italian Directoire style and an early 19th century Biedermeier, as well as a contemporary gilded iron and glass design from A. Rudin.
Despite the heirloom furniture and fine floor coverings, the Landers household, which includes the keeshonden Halle and Lucy, has a comfortable and casual elegance.
It is a look that Arch-Interiors decorator Christopher Grubb, who worked with the couple, refers to as a 21st century form of "transitional," which he defines as "a mix of antiques and timeless contemporary pieces."
THE decorating process took a gentle curve when Gianopulos learned that she was expecting. "Pregnancy changes how you feel about a house and what you need to do to make it a family home," she says -- something more than baby latches and plastic caps for electrical outlets.
"It meant Ultrasuede and chenille, and Scotchgard fabrics," she explains. It also meant a pool and spa designed with an infant in mind. Rather than re-creating the black-bottom pool that Landers' father built, they installed a new one (finished eight months ago, the week daughter Sophia was born) that provides better visibility. The white plaster finish takes on a blue cast from the reflection of Italian glass tiles.
In the couple's beloved sunroom, Grubb added luxury and functionality with a classic leather sofa, swiveling linen club chairs and a coffee table with extending side panels, all from Barclay Butera. Grubb had custom blue faux suede ottomans constructed with hinged tops so that they could serve as chests for toys and baby blankets.
In other rooms, the challenge was finding furniture that blended with Ehrlich's design.
"The house is so strong architecturally with all that masculine wood paneling that I could easily see some people going all Craftsmen or even Asian with it," says Grubb, who covered the off-white walls in cozy European shades of claret and champignon. "An interior is really about the people and their lifestyle. The Landers are sophisticated people who represent a new kind of transitional style, one that is uncluttered and comfortable."
Husband and wife each brought professional experience to the table during the renovation and redecoration. Gianopulos, a self-described Type A and former events planner for Conde Nast magazines, meticulously documented every step of the decorating process (see sidebar).
Landers, whose duties as senior vice president for Sony Music include selecting songs for performers as diverse as Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Jesse McCartney and Hilary Duff, applied the same exacting process when it came to furnishing his home.
"What I look for in music, be it Stephen Sondheim or Justin Timberlake, is an artistic expression of the truth," he says. "That is the same thing I look for in an antique table or a new sofa. It should have a certain weight to it without being overbearing. It should be well made and look traditional without appearing ostentatious."
Though he collects books and recordings -- about 5,000 wait to be alphabetized in storage rooms behind the house -- Landers has no qualms about reupholstering chairs or buying period reproduction pieces, like a dining table and chairs from the West Hollywood retailer Grange.
"Once I have something that is right, I don't need to replace it," he says. "The biggest compliment people pay me is when they tell me it looks like you lived here forever -- which, in some ways, I have."
Last Sunday, the couple celebrated their first Father's Day with Sophia in the house that her grandfather built. Extended family arrived to join the festivities. Nieces splashed in the shallow end of the pool, chicken skewers sizzled on the grill, and guests lounged on teak chaises and chairs inside a gazebo-style patinated metal pavilion.
"Jay's the kid who ate in restaurants with his parents," Gianopulos says. "I'm the one who always sat down to dinner at home with 20 relatives and friends at the table."