Mae Brunken's Beachwood Canyon home in the Hollywood Hills
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Mae Brunken's Beachwood Canyon home( Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times )
By Debra Prinzing
Mae Brunken wanted a home with a past. The interior designer and set decorator ultimately found her period piece high in the hills of Hollywood: a 1927 Spanish Colonial Revival that starred as the home of Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) in Billy Wilder's "Double Indemnity."
As principal of Mae Brunken Design, Brunken likes to create spaces "around a character and what that character would love." In renovating the white stucco-and-red-tile-roofed "Double Indemnity" house, she channeled the character of a glamorous movie star of the 1930s and '40s.
"I wanted to restore the house and have fun furnishing it as a part of the Hollywood era," she says. To blend two styles -- Deco interiors and Spanish architecture -- Brunken couldn't interpret either too purely. Instead, she used vivid Deco colors and glossy finishes to brighten the home's traditional terra cotta floors, stark white stucco walls and exposed beams. "I like my environments to be modern-day and a little playful," she says. "I love fresh and happy color. I want to mix different periods and allow the pieces to play together."