Whitley Heights restoration evokes 1920s Hollywood

Steps with original tile risers ascend to the front door of the 1920s Spanish Revival home.
Steps with original tile risers ascend to the front door of the 1920s Spanish Revival home.
(Val Rolio)

The feel of classic Hollywood permeates a renovated 1920s Spanish Revival home in Whitley Heights that sits on a bluff facing the Hollywood sign and surrounding hillside.

An early celebrity enclave, Whitley Heights was Hollywood’s first National Historic District and home to such stars as Rudolph Valentino, Bette Davis, Charlie Chaplin and Gloria Swanson. Today the neighborhood’s Mediterranean-style homes sit under towering eucalyptus and mature pine trees.

“We loved the history of the neighborhood,” says James Everingham, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who renovated the house with his wife, Brooke Davis. “It felt magical at night, like being in a European village. We’re into historic preservation so pulled the original floor plans and relaid the bottom floor to make more sense for modern living while preserving the 1920s feel.”

Some floors were leveled, and green and black subway tiles, typical of the period, were placed in updated bathrooms. The ceiling in the living room was raised 3 feet, and new plumbing, heating/air conditioning and electrical systems were installed.

A distinctive circular ceiling overlaid with gold leaf above the breakfast nook in the kitchen was added by artist Tania Seabock, who was commissioned to work on the U.S. Treasury Building and Trump Tower in New York.

On the ground floor is a dining room with a picture window overlooking the Hollywood Hills, a hall bathroom with shower, a large kitchen with walnut floors, two bedrooms and a guest bathroom. A third bedroom is used as an exercise room.

A laundry closet with a stacked washer-dryer and a storage closet are tucked between the dining room and guest bedroom under a gold-leaf ceiling archway.

Replicas of lighting fixtures and chandeliers from the period are found throughout the house, such as a beaded shade and crystal pendant chandelier at the top of the staircase landing.

Upstairs is a living room with wood-burning fireplace that leads to an outdoor deck. The master bedroom shares a bathroom with a fifth bedroom that is used as an office.

Outdoor patios on opposite sides of the house offer entertainment space and gardens.

To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send high-resolution color photos with caption and credit information on a CD and a detailed description of the house to Lauren Beale, Business, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Questions may be sent to