When a free-spirited and stylish empty nester from the Bay Area sought a second home where she could relax and feel connected to the community, she set her sights on Venice and turned to interior designer Tessa Platner to infuse her sunny, Southern California escape with warmth and personality. “The redesign was centered around creating a quiet sanctuary that reflected our client’s spirit,” explains Platner, a principal designer at Platner & Co. “Relaxed, traveled, fun, colorful. A place to unwind, to enjoy the neighborhood, and to entertain effortlessly.”
With that in mind, Platner set out to bring warmth to the 1923 Craftsman-style home that was primarily white with black finishes when purchased. “It felt cold and without expression,” she recalls, noting that simply wouldn’t do for the home’s new owner. “She has a fabulous wardrobe and a lot of what I pulled for design inspiration for the interiors was what she would wear to our meetings. It told me so much about her style and how she likes to live and enjoy her surroundings.”
That direction resulted in indoor and outdoor spaces designed for reflective private moments and for entertaining as well. Add to that creative consideration given to the homeowner’s pets, like a stair runner that was added both to bring in color and to help the sometimes-resident French bulldog ascend and descend more easily, and the home is truly a welcoming retreat for all.
While its Craftsman bones offered a classic canvas, the home and its new owner demanded a dose of personality. Enter an assortment of antique and vintage goods hand selected by Platner, as well as decorative decisions both rich and playful. What reads as a traditional toile in a bright ombre pink, for example, becomes a conversation piece when guests discover in its pattern a plethora of iconic Los Angeles scenes — from the Beverly Hills sign and the La Brea Tar Pits to the freeway traffic and even Harry Perry, the famed rollerskating guitarist of Venice Beach. “We were looking at this vestibule that leads into the powder room and thinking, ‘How do we make this interesting and maybe a little bit cheeky?’” Platner says of the jewel-box-like space. The designer had admired the wallcovering previously but hadn’t yet found the ideal project for it. “In this house, it’s so perfectly implemented,” she reflects. “It was really just the perfect fit.”
The abundance of antiques and vintage pieces also contribute to the relaxed, refined, sustainable atmosphere the homeowner desired for her getaway. “Each piece is thoughtfully selected for function and to add some soul to the space as well,” explains Platner, noting the goal was for each room to feel inviting, interesting, and collected over time. “The layering of old with new creates a welcoming feeling, a sense that the home is loved. The art and antique objects create conversation and connection. And those imperfections in the antiques and the vintage items add so much character. They begin to tell a story.”
Photography by Michael Clifford.
For more like this home by Tessa Platner, be sure to check out this light-infused, Haussmann-era apartment.
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