THIS HOME REFLECTS NEW ENGLAND SENSIBILITIES
TEXT BY KAVITA DASWANI | PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOE SCHMELZER
With Designer John De Bastiani
IN RENOVATING HIS HOLLYWOOD HILLS-AREA HOME, JOHN DE BASTIANI was faced with a few unique challenges. It needed to be a place where he could work effectively, take meetings, entertain, sleep, eat, cook and relax – and all within what is essentially an open area of no more than 700 square feet.
“When you do a small space, you can’t just throw anything in it,” said De Bastiani. “You have to be conscious of scale and proportions.”
The noted Los Angeles interior designer had moved into the home– it essentially once served as the artist’s studio of a old Spanish house – four years ago, drawn to the vaulted ceilings and details like Juliet balconies.
Despite it starting to look like it could do with a makeover a couple of years ago, he held off pending plans to move to New York. When that didn’t happen, he decided to “pull the plug; I wanted to do it in a way that if I found something that I completely loved, I could bring it here and it would work in the space,” he said. Moreover, he wanted the end result of the renovation project – which took about six weeks – to not “reek” of a particular style.
“I wanted it to have its own character, but also be a neutral base,” he said. “So if I found a wonderful mid-century piece of pottery, or some modern art, I could put it in the living room and everything would work together.”
The living room, demarcated from the bedroom by a large fireplace, has a rich teal blue crushed velvet sofa opposite a pair of chairs covered in a striped cranberry red fabric, which De Bastiani said he surprised himself by choosing.
“I’m not a big red person, and tend to like muted colors. But I loved this color, it’s very pretty, especially with the kind of organic, ethnic stripe.” The coffee table is made from an aged copper. Other intriguing pieces include a table, elaborate and beautifully textured, made from a tree root that can’t be harvested anymore. He also customized pieces like small tables made of