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Mixing old and new in Pacific Palisades

Interior designer Sasha Emerson reveals her strategy for Lucinda and David Schiff's home renovation.

October 23, 2010

Mixing old and new

For Lucinda and David Schiff's renovation of a 1927 house, interior designer Sasha Emerson refurbished vintage furniture and had new pieces made. Some of her strategies for fixing and mixing the old and the new:

Shopping: Before buying something at a flea market or vintage store, imagine where it will go. Ask two key questions: Does the piece in question integrate with what's already there? And can it fit in several places in the house if the first location does not work out? Some of Emerson's favorite lesser-known haunts: the National Council of Jewish Women thrift shops, http://www.ncjwla.org; Peter Vanstone in Los Angeles, (213) 413-5964; Pico Modern in Los Angeles, (818) 480-8800; Design Utopia in Los Angeles, (323) 466-0048; Silverlake Architectural Salvage in Los Angeles, http://www.silverlakearchitecturalsalvage.net.

Making old things new: Sometimes just making things the same color is enough. Emerson used Silver Boomerang in Los Angeles, (323) 931-0887, to refinish and stain Old World wooden bar stools to match a contemporary bar. That bar was tiled with closeouts from Walk on Tile in Los Angeles, walkontile.com. She has old lamps rewired and new fixtures made at Filament Lighting in Los Angeles, http://www.filamentlightingla.com.

Selecting fabrics: Complementary materials and patterns for drapes and furniture can tie disparate styles together. Emerson has draperies made at F&R Interiors in Los Angeles, http://www.fandrinteriors.com. For outdoor cushions and upholstered furniture jobs, she turns to BFR Upholstery in Los Angeles, http://www.bfrupholstery.com. For deals, Emerson prowls fashion district retailers on 9th Street in Los Angeles and Sav-Mor Leather, also in downtown L.A., http://www.savmorleather.com. When reupholstering, the designer advises choosing basic fabrics in solid colors on more ornate pieces; put splashy prints on more simple, modern silhouettes.

Decorating process: Let one piece guide a room, and then don't be afraid of contrast. In the living room, she put a coffee table made from a factory palette between two elegant, upholstered sofas. To make a floating rectangular dining room buffet more dynamic, Emerson covered the space in a pigeon print from the Wallpaper Collective, http://www.wallpapercollective.com. For unusual pieces that could be focal points, Emerson likes Mine in Los Angeles, http://www.mine-la.com, and Jefferson West in Culver City, http://www.jeffersonwest.com.

Interior designer Sasha Emerson, http://www.sashaemersondesign.com. Architect Lewin Wertheimer, http://www.wertheimer-architect.com. Contractor Alisal Builders, http://www.alisalbuilders.com. Landscape designer Jay Griffith, http://www.jaygriffith.com.

— David A. Keeps

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