Cool Spaces: Bond, James Bond

When interior designer Holly Hollenbeck of HSH Interiors was hired to complete this Los Angeles home, she quickly realized the client was James Bond.

Of course, the fictional character has never actually lived, much less hired a designer. Hollenbeck explains: "The client was a developer building a top-of-the-line spec home which he was furnishing for sale. It became clear the developer was using himself as a model for the target buyer. He collects luxury cars and watches, and he produces movies as well as develops high-end real estate. When I met him, I was immediately met with the impression of a modern-day James Bond; handsome, assured, and ready to take on the world."

Of course, such a sophisticated and suave client (and potential buyer) needs a place to both entertain and to relax—preferably with a martini that's "shaken, not stirred." Hollenbeck created a living room room that's as appealing and exciting as any 007 film.

The space has roots in the past. The client wanted to infuse it with a bit of the mid-century modern vibe that existed in the original house and in the neighborhood. He also wanted to use a circle motif throughout. "Our pitch for the project was a mix of imagery, and honestly used only a few pieces of furniture and art," says Hollenbeck. "It was primarily for feel and style and mixed images of cars, watches, cocktails, retro pool parties and classic Beverly Hills images."

The vibe is clearly present in the living room, where a curving sofa anchors the space. The piece is perfect for kicking back with said martini, either alone or with a crowd. "It is tailor made for large-scale parties by the pool, entertaining friends watching movies in the screening room and the occasional night at home alone by the fire to unwind," Hollenbeck says. " The sofa plays perfectly off the round skylight above, and provides a sense of shelter and warmth in an open plan room."

The space is open to a generous bar, a piano room and (thanks to retractable doors) a pool. The living area is defined by a shag rug, the sofa and two chairs with fluffy upholstery. The effect is a bit like a sexy conversation pit populated with fabulous furniture. "A few one of a kind and vintage pieces also make an enormous difference in the space, such as the 1970’s vintage DeSede Non-Stop sofa with just the right amount of patina," Hollenbeck says. "We were able to bring in mixed metals, such as the Baxter coffee tables which add interest, warmth and contrast."

Making the room work in wide-open spaces hinged on that material mix as well as color. "The pallete for the architecture was one we wanted to extend to the furnishings, so they are primarily black, white, grey and a few neutrals," the designer says. 

The final product is a home that, although it was not designed precisely for the end user, has a bespoke feel. "To me, emotion in a home comes from a personal connection of the owner to the space," Hollenbeck says. "In this case, the developer was our model, so his love of circles, minimal colors and contemporary street art really informed the design and brought the home's personality to life. Even though this house was furnished for sale, having the client’s personality for inspiration and his preferences as a guide for our design provided the home with authenticity and warmth beyond the ordinary spec home."

 

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