It doesn’t take long to realize that the driving aesthetic behind this newly revamped 6,500-square-foot Beverly Hills residence is the dramatic views of the Santa Monica Mountains, which surround it. It’s clear outside, as one passes by a vintage silver Porsche Carrera, as well as inside, where floor-to-ceiling windows appear as frequently as head-turning works of art.
“The clients are passionate collectors of art and design objects…so we knew their collection needed to play a critical role,” David Lucas, creative director at Seattle-based interior architecture and design studio Lucas, says of his clients—a New York couple who moved to Los Angeles to be closer to their grandchildren.
“The goal from the beginning was to create a genuine warmth to the home’s size and scale,” adds Suzie Lucas, David’s sister, as well as the firm’s cofounder and principal designer. (Their other sister, Rachel Lucas, joined the family business later and now serves as operations director.) “That’s always a challenge with a space like this, but particularly when you have a client with such an abundant selection of artwork and furniture.”
The home is located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Trousdale, a community of upscale dwellings perched at the highest point of Beverly Hills that is rich in midcentury-modernist history. The original development, known as Trousdale Estates, dates back to the 1950s when celebrities, including Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, built custom homes there.
Though there was an existing house on the site, which was constructed in 1967, the Lucas design team decided to forego a remodel and instead rebuild the entire structure from scratch. “The view on this site is gorgeous,” David says. “But the home was completely outdated.” A complete overhaul meant that no architectural detail was too big or small for what eventually became a two-bedroom, four-bathroom residence. Ceilings were raised, combed limestone walls were added, and an infinity pool was installed to go right up to the living room window. “The clients took a huge leap of faith with this one,” David says of the pool. “But they realized that it would elevate the entire project.”
The living room underscores the designer’s bespoke approach, which translated into rich materiality. A flame-sprayed nickel wall was installed to run from the exterior to the interior of the living room where a curved Vladimir Kagan sofa, Ado Chale coffee table, and lounge chairs from Ralph Pucci sit atop a custom wool and silk rug from Fedora Design.
And perhaps not surprisingly, a number of the artworks were commissioned, including a piece by American artist and designer David Wiseman. The artist created a light sculpture that hangs above a sunken TV lounge in the living room. “The trees on the property became the inspiration for the sculpture,” David Lucas says. Wiseman casted acorns from the tree and used them as a detail in the sculpture, which allows the branches to have the scale and proportion of the existing forestry. “One of the most magical lighting moments happens with the sculpture at night,” the interior designer adds. “It is as if you are sitting under the branch of a tree strung with twinkling lights. It is breathtaking.”