Stepping into the celebrity photographer John Russo‘s mid century home in Los Angeles is like walking on a cloud. “He was really excited about doing a complete white palette”, says interior designer Erin Valencich. “He wanted everything light and bright. Very clean and austere.”
This was the second interior decoration project for the artists, who’ve worked together professionally for six years. “His first house was spanish style and incredibly charming,” the designer says. “When he purchased this mid century home, he wanted a complete new look”.
To bring this home into the modern days, Valencich and Russo renovated pretty much everything. “We opened up the kitchen and gut renovated it. We painted the floors, renovated the bathrooms, and painted it all.” They also added a one-bedroom guesthouse below the main house, which sits on a hill in the treetops, with great views of the city.
To play with the white pallette, Valencich thought it important to warm up the space, though, so she added touches of color and natural elements to break up expanses of white.
Most of the decoration pieces are John‘s own abstract photography, as well as paintings by his artist father, Dan Russo. Valencich also added warmth with accessories like glass bottles from more fire glass studio, rugs, and diverse throw pillows.
The mid century modern Architecture of the home, she says, “Set the stage for a clean-lined space and slightly sparse furnishings.” Given the home’s simple detailing, “each piece’s shape was important to the architecture and the clean palette,” the designer says, so she sought furniture that could hold its own. A group of petrified wood stools, a sculptural black side chair, and the designers’ own chairs all worked to create special standout moments throughout the space.
In every room, on every wall, around every corner, you get the sense this home was thoughtfully curated—not overly collected but designed with restraint and strategy. The work of a talented designer and an artist with an eye for composition is everywhere you look.
“White is clean, ethereal, and makes me happy,” Russo says of his color palette of choice—which is a peaceful, soft retreat from the color-happy sets he sees daily, shooting celebrity magazine covers around the world.
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