Beserra-Byrd home in Silver Lake
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Artists piece together a colorful look with mosaics in their L.A. bungalow

Consider the whimsy that frames the hearth in David Edward Byrd and Jolino Beserra’s 1928 Spanish bungalow. Clothed in broken ceramics and found and treasured objects, the fireplace resembles an outsize toy. The swirled mosaic pattern and jumble of shiny fun make one suspect it’s crowded with spirits. (R. Daniel Foster)
“We built the fireplace as our portrait,” adds Beserra, who in 1997 bought the three-bedroom Silver Lake home with Byrd, his partner of 28 years. (R. Daniel Foster)
A collection of 1930s and ‘40s salt and pepper shakers (birds, devils, fat airplanes and a pair of American Indians) are strewn throughout the face and sides. (R. Daniel Foster)
Beserra found many of the items at swap meets. (R. Daniel Foster)
The couple’s birth dates, initials, portraits and other personal items are embedded in the piece. (R. Daniel Foster)
Beserra, left, was influenced by Watts Towers creator Simon Rodia. “I volunteered for a summer helping with restoration in 1989 and loved the fluidity of his work,” says Beserra, who calls himself a consummate “puzzler.” Other influences include Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi and Philadelphia mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar. Beserra’s partner, David Edward Bryd, right, created posters for Jimi Hendrix, the Who, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, the Woodstock music festival and Broadway plays; he was a senior illustrator for Warner Bros. for 11 years. (R. Daniel Foster)
A surge of pigment travels from the cobalt blue entryway and chiffon lime living room to the blood red walls of the dining room. (R. Daniel Foster)
The couple’s lemon-orange kitchen, dominated by a 1949 O’Keefe & Merritt stove, completes that surge. (R. Daniel Foster)
“The best neutralizer for all that color was clearly white,” says Beserra, who used a food theme to create the kitchen’s black and white mosaic backsplash. (R. Daniel Foster)
He began with Mr. Potato Head and see- hear- and speak-no-evil monkey mugs, and added his grandmother’s ceramic spice jars. (R. Daniel Foster)
Other items are from swap meets and the playful discontinued Slice of Life kitchenware line. (R. Daniel Foster)
Near a cabinet, a white cow’s bum juts out from the wall. “I love using butts,” says Beserra, who keeps a drawer full of derrières in wait for proper placement. “I often stick one on a corner, and place the object’s head on the opposite side. People respond to the humor in my work. It allows me to be slightly subversive.” (R. Daniel Foster)
Beserra recently framed the dining room’s patio entryway and an outdoor shower with mosaics. (R. Daniel Foster)
“Some people see this and say, ‘I could do that,’ and they go home and attempt it,” says Beserra. “Then they call and ask me to help them save it.” (R. Daniel Foster)
“You can’t look at one of my pieces and not think of a time or place in history. Ten different people will relay 10 different stories.” (R. Daniel Foster)