“I didn’t have much exposure to historic architecture,” says Jennifer Laskey, who grew up in suburban Orange County, California. After moving to Los Angeles for college, she began exploring the city and its neighborhoods. She fell in love with the beauty of early-20th-century Arts & Crafts and Spanish Colonial Revival houses. She discovered architectural salvage shops and couldn’t resist finds, from vintage lighting to period hardware. She soon parlayed her interests into a business, as an interior designer specializing in restoration and salvage: Salvage Beauty Design Co. In 2018 she found a historic Arts & Crafts house for sale—and knew it was the one.
built in 1909, the Hobart Wallsworth home is in Harvard Heights, a delightful pocket of Arts & Crafts bungalows and Craftsman-style homes between Korea-town and West Adams. It is zoned as an HPOZ (Historic Preservation Overlay Zone) to keep its historic integrity intact.
Designed by the noted architect Frank Tyler, the house shows the transition from late Victorian to Arts & Crafts design. A protected building through the Mills Act (assuring preservation through economic incentives), the house had been owned only by women, and it was well preserved. Intact details include diamond-pane windows in upper sashes, handsome fir moulding and trim that has never been painted, hardwood floors, charming clover-leaf cutouts in the staircase balustrade, a brick fireplace in the living room, built-in cabinets with stained and leaded glass, and a show-stopping front entry door inset with a sparkling, beveled- and leaded-glass window.
As always, there was work to be done. The electrical system needed complete replacement: “one good short and the house’ll burn to a crisp,” said the electrician about the decayed knob-and-tube wiring. The plumbing was sorely outdated and a 1980s bathroom sink had to go. Brickwork required repointing. The interior was painted in a palette best described as restless: yellow and green in parlors, bright blue and peach in bedrooms. Air conditioning is a must in LA, but this house had none; all-new HVAC went in, requiring ducts to the attic.
Jennifer Laskey preserved all of the original materials and detailing that she could. She cleaned and polished original hardware, rewired existing lighting, and added salvaged sconces and chandeliers of the period. Working with local artist Michael Foulkrod, she selected custom-blended colors to give rooms rich ele-gance. Parisa Patina (Sherwin–Williams) is in living and dining rooms; peach-grey Castlerock (Dunn–Edwards) is in the stairway and landings; soft, green-toned Granite (Dunn–Edwards) is in the bath.
The kitchen remains simple, befitting a 1910-vintage workspace. Hardwood floors were cleaned and polished; original floor-to-ceiling cabinets were painted a custom off-white. House of Hackney’s ‘Paradisa’ tropical-themed wallpaper on shelves lends a touch of glamour. Ceramic knobs are mint-green in period style. A vintage O’Keefe & Merritt stove in jadeite green, rescued from an old house to be demolished, centers the room.
To furnish the large house, Jennifer combed antiques and salvage stores and visited online websites for unique pieces. She wanted a vintage look with a bohemian twist and just a touch of LA glam. A Persian rug in rich red anchors the living room, a bold complement to the emerald-green walls and aged fir of the trim. An eclectic assortment of salvage treasures includes a Singer treadle sewing-machine base topped with a glass shelf (as a side table), a widely traveled steamer trunk (for the coffee table), a gramophone, and a ca. 1900 kitchen scale atop built-in bookcases flanking the fireplace.
Opposite the living room, a handsome colonnade with built-in cabinets frames the sitting room. This room’s details include the original brass chandelier, batten wainscoting, and art windows. The dining room has a substantial, built-in buffet with beveled glass and ornate strapwork hinges. The chandelier and wall sconces were rewired. A Spanish Colonial Revival dining table accompanies early-20th-century upholstered French dining chairs.
Overflowing with California sunlight, the second level is open and cheerful. An original clawfoot tub in the bath at the top of the stairs was cleaned, joined by a period pedestal sink and a vintage chandelier found on eBay. Bedrooms have luxe treatments. The front room has a gold-painted ceiling and a crystal chandelier. In the primary bedroom, a tufted, upholstered sleigh bed and a Venetian silk pendant chandelier by Fortuny offer a glamorous sensibility.
Instagram @michaelfoulkrod • saatchiart.com/MichaelFoulkrod
stencil (bath floor)
Royal Design Studio
‘Paradisa’ House of Hackney
silk pendant light
sleigh bed, table
knobs, bin pulls
House of Antique Hardware