When Debra Chow chose to update the interiors of her 1929 Spanish house in Silver Lake, she knew she wanted a livable, contemporary space that was family-friendly for herself, her husband, Josh Huang, and their two young daughters.
"I want my home to be beautiful," Chow said, "but I don't want it to be precious."
Although she renovates homes for a living, Chow said she doesn't regard herself as an interior decorator. So she reached out to Los Angeles-based David John Dick and Krista Schrock of Disc Interiors, who created decidedly modern interiors, mixing custom furnishings with vintage midcentury pieces. The eclectic mix includes striking mirrors by Mexico-based Casamidy and modern furnishings by young New York designers like the Egg Collective.
They started by brightening the main living room with white paint.
"We wanted to keep the room flooded with light," Dick said. They then divided the long floor plan into two living spaces: a designated seating area that works as a place for toddler Olive to play (newborn Quinn is not quite ready to push a toy train on the Paul McCobb coffee table) and a casual area for TV viewing. To help establish the two intimate living areas, the designers added two small rugs from Woven Accents. The rugs help to break up the room and are an inexpensive alternative to investing in one large statement piece.
Spanish architecture, with its mix of warm and rustic influences, has long inspired interior designers to create modern interiors that respect period architecture. Dick said this is especially true in Los Angeles.
"Many of our clients seek modern furnishings in their Spanish homes," said Dick. "With the ceiling height and beams, Spanish homes really lend themselves to modern furnishings."
Modern touches in Chow's traditional home include brass stick lighting by New York designer Billy Cotton, faux paneling wallpaper in the guest room by Obilis, a custom cloud chandelier by Apparatus in the dining room and a graphic bed and headboard upholstered with Japanese-inspired Templeton fabric.
Family-friendly details are plentiful as well, such as a large custom ottoman in the living room with storage for toys, durable leather chairs that will get only better with age, dark-colored, flat-weave rugs that can handle spills, and heavy-duty fabrics with big prints.
Ultimately, Chow got what she wanted: a stylish, comfortable space that suits her lifestyle.
By adding sculptural lighting, new furnishings, custom cabinetry and drapery, Dick and Schrock transformed the living, dining, guest room and office of the 2,700 square-foot home into elegant living spaces that are functional for her family.
"The ottoman allows the room to look presentable," Chow said. "But the minute people leave, it opens up and the room becomes filled with toys and Golden Books for the kids."