California isn't just about palm trees, eye-popping colors and Midcentury design, if one were to go by Kelly Wearstler's interpretation of California living inside Hollywood Proper Residences, an extended-stay accommodation geared toward the musicians, writers and creatives who will inevitably need a place to stay as they climb the ranks of Hollywood.
Set within the former CBS studios site on Sunset Boulevard, which now houses media giant Viacom and upscale collaborative workspace Neuehouse, Hollywood Proper Residences has 200 units — furnished and unfurnished — and four penthouses. Units within the 23-story building can be rented for stays of 30 nights or more.
Stays include the usual hotel amenities, with luxe add-ons that play well in L.A., such as on-demand helicopter transit, on-site sommeliers, and even a VIP concierge with access to Hollywood premieres.
This decadent taste of Los Angeles living also comes with an accompanying heady taste of life in the Golden State.
"I just wanted it to telegraph easy living — natural materiality, bright colors — where everything is about California," said Wearstler, the Los Angeles-based designer the New Yorker has dubbed "the grand dame of West Coast interior design."
Rather than find the usual coterie of bright California design furnishings and accessories, Wearstler chose to give the space a sense of luxury by using texture within a layered neutral color palette.
Whites, creams, browns, grays and blacks permeate the interior. The color combination bucks implied monotony thanks to glimmering metal, knotty textiles, and playful patterns.
Take the lobby. Floor-to-ceiling slatted wood screens, Douglas fir-skinned walls, a soaring metal and knotted rope wall piece by textile artist Tanya Aguiñiga, and a multipatterned totem sculpture by another local ceramic artist, Ben Medansky, create a home-like atmosphere. But all that is contrasted by a gleaming lobby floor made of five different marbles, black leather seating and metallic coffee tables made in Los Angeles.
Wearstler keeps that sensibility running through each of the units. But her take on classic California design is best shown in the furnished units, the last of which was finished last month.
Solid, custom furnishings by Wearstler ground the interior, creating an impression of permanence. In the living room, an upholstered barrel-backed swivel chair with a walnut base is often paired with a cylindrical block of swirly marble. In the dining room, an oak tabletop brushed with a triangular pattern is surrounded by a pair of white, stainless-steel-legged dining chairs, two other ebonized oak dining chairs and a gray Douglas fir bench. Views of a glittering Hollywood below and the mountains outside from black-framed floor-to-ceiling windows offset Wearstler's design.
"It's a warm but really sexy sense of California," said Wearstler, "It's like you're living in a house in the hills."
Many a Los Angeles transplant has been tempted with less.
Wearstler's design and the Hollywood Proper Residence's lush amenities might just convince a few more Hollywood hopefuls to stay for more than just a month.
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