The ul­ti­mate home of­fice: Lorna Jane Clark­son’s LA pad.

ELLE (Australia) - - Contents -

The term bi-coastal doesn’t of­ten en­com­pass a com­mute across the Pa­cific Ocean, but that’s ex­actly how Lorna Jane Aus­tralia’s founder and cre­ative direc­tor, Lorna Jane Clark­son, and her hus­band Bill live, split­ting their time be­tween their homes in Bris­bane and the coastal sub­urb of Pa­cific Pal­isades in Los An­ge­les.

“We had been look­ing for three years be­fore we found this house,” says Clark­son. “One of the rea­sons we fell in love with it was the wellestab­lished and beau­ti­fully serene gar­dens. The houses are com­pletely hid­den from the road and sur­rounded by lush fo­liage rang­ing from Cal­i­for­nia palms to Aus­tralian gums.” (The prop­erty, built in 1948, in­cludes a main house and the Bai­ley House, a smaller, orig­i­nal struc­ture de­signed by famed mod­ernist ar­chi­tect Richard Neu­tra, which she uses as a de­sign stu­dio and guest lodg­ings.)

When the pair, along with their dog Roger, moved into the beach-ad­ja­cent digs just over two years ago, they went to work mol­li­fy­ing the in­te­rior, with the help of in­te­rior de­sign­ers Jenn Pablo and Olivia Koren­berg from Twofold LA (twofoldla.com).

“When we first moved in, it had a very mod­ern and mas­cu­line feel with a lot of brushed steel, busy tiles and ter­razzo counter-tops. We went about soft­en­ing the mas­cu­line aes­thetic. We re­placed the en­try tiles with softly aged lime­stone that I just love. We shipped some of our favourite pieces from our beach house in Aus­tralia and used them to fur­nish the main liv­ing area, din­ing and study, then bought com­ple­men­tary pieces from lo­cal mer­chants in LA,” ex­plains Clark­son.

The pair added sheer drap­ery to the over­sized arched win­dows, wooden bead trim­mings, and iron and mother-of-pearl hard­ware to add a mod­ern bo­hemian touch to the pal­ette of white and del­i­cate earthy tones. “We wanted it to have a West Coast-beach­side sen­si­bil­ity but we also wanted to create a home that would ul­ti­mately be a sanc­tu­ary where we could recharge and un­wind,” says Clark­son. “So much light and colour from the sur­round­ing gar­dens floods into the house that we de­cided to stick to neu­trals and soft muted tones – from white to pale pinks and sub­tle tim­bers – to com­ple­ment the views.”

Her art choices also re­flect her de­sire for a home that is a sanc­tum of calm. “I se­lected works with sooth­ing im­agery from lo­cal artists that cap­tured the essence of beach­side liv­ing, then blended them with favourites I brought over from Aus­tralia,” she adds.

If you were to visit the cou­ple, you’d likely find Lorna Jane in Bill’s of­fice or the kitchen. The close prox­im­ity of the two rooms means she spent a lot of her time writ­ing her lat­est book, Eat Good Food, flit­ting be­tween them. “I re­ally fell in love with the ’50s

“Her art choices also re­flect her de­sire for a home that is a sanc­tum of calm”

aes­thetic of the of­fice and its view of the gar­dens and pool. And I love the sheep­skin chair we have in there. It’s called the ‘Wild Chair’ by Ti­mothy Oul­ton and it’s made from long­haired New Zealand sheep­skin and up­hol­stered by hand with leather strapped onto a rus­tic wooden base,” she says. “It’s the per­fect spot to curl up with a cup of tea and make plans or talk over the day with Bill.”

Cre­at­ing an eco-friendly space was para­mount; the home is built to LEED Gold stan­dard, which in­cludes en­ergy con­ser­va­tion tech­nol­ogy and the use of re­cy­cled and toxin-free ma­te­ri­als. Seren­ity is also of the essence. “I’m con­stantly on the go, so I want my home to be like step­ping into a space of calm and re­lax­ation. I also wanted to create a place in LA where I could work on my pas­sion projects.”

So what’s next for the never-still Clark­son? The con­tin­ued ren­o­va­tion of the Cal­i­for­nian home – all of the up­stairs and the theatre – and a new project back on the other side of the Pa­cific. “We’re ren­o­vat­ing a prop­erty in By­ron, so I’m al­ways look­ing for new pieces any chance I get,” she says. Turns out trans-pa­cific em­pire build­ing in­volves an ex­cel­lent ex­cuse to shop. E


Pen­dant light, $349, LUCCI DÉ­COR, bea­con­light­ing.com.au Wall hang­ing, $295, MARMOSET FOUND, mar­moset­found.com.au Chair, $1,145, GLOBEWEST, globewest.com.au FLEX­I­BLE WORK­ING: The Cali-cool res­i­dence also dou­bles as Clark­son’s of­fice Entertainment unit, $2,020, GLOBEWEST, globewest.com.au Floor lamp, $1,995, JENNY BACK, great­dane­fur­ni­ture.com HOME COM­FORTS: Many pieces from Aus­tralia – like these din­ing chairs – have made their way to Clark­son’s LA abode

Can­dle holder, from $275, BROBERG & RIDDERSTRÅLE, great­dane­fur­ni­ture.com Con­sole, $3,034, JARDAN, jardan.com.au Stool, $750, MARK TUCKEY, mark­tuckey.com.au SO FRESH: Clark­son’s kitchen (above) is al­ways stocked with sea­sonal pro­duce and homemade gra­nola Print, $590, black­list­store.com.au BLACK­LIST,

Floor lamp, from $1,650, THE AUS­TERE COL­LEC­TION, great­dane­fur­ni­ture.com Pho­to­graphic art­work, $2,200, DAN HOCK­ING, jardan.com.au Chair, $5,950, TI­MOTHY OUL­TON, co­core­pub­lic.com.au CAL­I­FOR­NIA DREAM­ING: A colour pal­ette of whites and earthy tones make for a chilled-out vibe

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