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A modern mash-up: A his-and-hers house with color, cheer and charm

The 2,000-square-foot A. Quincy Jones house combines pieces that have a design pedigree with simple, sweet, affordable touches. Case in point: Decorator Jackie Terrell hangs tea towels on the back of two chairs “to break up the whole thing visually.” (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
In front of the Brentwood rental, a street banner for a Maira Kalman illustration exhibition hangs on the gate. “It’s a prized possession and immediately cheers things up without painting or getting into construction,” said Terrell, who also routinely cuts up pieces of fabric and hangs them from the tree. “It’s one of those little, silly things that I do that immediately jollies up the house.” (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Terrell flanked the front door with a pair of vintage IKEA benches that she had in her Park La Brea apartment. “I stuck these outside and slipcovered them with IKEA fabric and then put some of Larry’s art above on one side.” (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Terrell and Turman owned a total of six sofas before moving in together, but none worked in their new living room. “A. Quincy Jones was known for these oddball fireplaces set at an angle,” Terrell said of the architect. “It’s very attractive but hard to furnish. So I got rid of all the sofas and then found this one hanging from the rafters at my upholsterer’s. It’s 10 feet long and has a slight curve. It was only $200, but it was a mess, so then I spent a lot more money to have it slip-covered.” Instead of making one enormous cover, Terrell had the base piece split in half and lined with velcro down the middle. That way the pieces come apart and are small enough to fit in a standard home washing machine. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
“Anything that is old and brown in the house was probably Larry’s,” said Terrell, who used a pair of his bentwood chairs as extra seating for dinner parties. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Terrell used Turman’s zinc-topped table in the dining room, along with his dining chairs, which she covered in white canvas. She collects tea towels, and the one pictured here as chair-back decoration was designed by Louise Bourgeois and bought at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The pendant lights are from IKEA, about $70 each. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
“I don’t even attach them,” Terrell said of her tea-towel trick for chairs. “Just hang them over the back.” (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
A built-in granite buffet in the dining room is ideal for storage, but aesthetically, Terrell said it was a challenge. Rather than take it out, she chose decorative pieces that distract the eye. “I put a piece of art that Larry collected along with some of my old Japanese candle holders and a pair of funky busts that were Larry’s, probably from a ship,” Terrell said. The couple shares an interest in art and design books, so each takes a turn leaving out a different book every week. “One of us will turn it to a page that’s interesting to us. We take turns doing that,” she says. “It’s silly, but we both enjoy it.” (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Terrell collects vintage Scandinavian breadboxes and uses them for creative storage on the Corian countertop. She grouped objects by color to keep the room from looking too cluttered. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
The green bunny conceals trash bags. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
An IKEA bed from Terrell’s previous home gets a new life with a fresh slipcover. Bed textiles are from the Santa Monica Canyon company Ya Living and are combined with an IKEA rug and a Jonathan Adler blanket on Turman’s classic Eames chair. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
“I like pattern a lot and love mixing ethnic patterns together,” Terrell said. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
In the master bathroom, Terrell used one of Turman’s old wooden boxes as storage for watches. The cotton ball jars were from Restoration Hardware. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Terrell didn’t love the tile of her rental, so she covered as much as possible with art and artifacts. The basket was from West Elm. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
The decorator’s strategy: Surround yourself with things you love, and the things you don’t will fade away. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Between them, Terrell and Turman have four children, six grandkids and two houses full of family memories, so when they moved in together, one of Terrell’s first projects was a photo wall in the hallway. She kept custom Lucite frames that had housed just her family photos, but swapped out some of her pictures with Turman’s.

“I put in an equal number of photos that are my family and his,” Terrell said. “It’s our immediate family history: my parents, my children, and the same for Larry. I also picked two photos of myself and Larry from when we’re very young and put them side by side. It’s as if we knew each other when we were young.” (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
In some frames, Terrell intermingled photos, visually weaving the two families together to create a new story through photography. And as for making the walls look unified and not chaotic? Terrell hung frames in a tight grid. She likes to find a through-line that connects the photos: “They’re mostly all black and white, and the frames are identical, which neatens it up. You have to keep it tidy in some way or else it looks messy.”

The subject matter also is consistent. “If this were a grandkid wall, then that would be different,” Terrell said. “We have their photos in the house too, but not on this wall.” (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Unlike other areas, where Terrell spent time combining their objects, in the hallway she simply relocated a vignette from Turman’s previous home. “The mermaid, the ship picture, the cabinet -- I just moved it all together to this place where I really like it,” she said. “The cabinet houses all of our family photos together. When the grandkids come to visit, they love to look through them.” (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
“This is our library and our TV room,” Terrell said. The couple owned way more books than could be stored in the house, so they edited the collection, keeping only what they truly wanted and giving many books away. Terrell brought IKEA shelves from her old apartment and fit them into the converted bedroom where she stores cookbooks, design books and art books. She painted “Red Book,” hanging above. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
For the office of Turman, the chairman of the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC and a producer of more than 40 films, including “The Graduate” and “American History X,” Terrell installed a series of IKEA shelves that combine books, art and family photos. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Terrell Home
Terrell converted one of the home’s three bedrooms into her design studio. A Strut table from Blu Dot functions as her primary work surface, and a zigzag IKEA bookshelf hangs above the window for storage. Orange tubes hold plans for each project, resting on hooks from IKEA. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
The entry to the guest bathroom. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Terrell didn’t love the cabinetry or tile work in the guest bathroom, so she used textiles and photos to cover up as much as possible. She scanned family photos, reprinted them in magenta and put them in IKEA frames. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
A Marimekko shower curtain from Crate & Barrel plays off the color scheme. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Another detail in the guest bathroom. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Because the house is full of what Jackie Terrell calls “funny angles,” a 90-degree canopy would have been hard to fit in the outdoor area. Instead, Terrell opted for a triangular canvas canopy from IKEA with four chairs from the Scandinavian superstore under it. The chairs aren’t made for outdoor use, so Terrell painted the wicker in almost-black green Farrow & Ball exterior paint for good-enough weather protection.

More profiles: Homes of the Times (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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