CAL­I­FOR­NIA DREAM­ING

Stylist Jessica de Ruiter’s chic mid-cen­tury sanc­tu­ary in Los An­ge­les lays bare her ef­fort­less el­e­gance.

VOGUE Australia - - News - Byy Cushla Chauhan. Pho­tographed g by Julie Adams.

Stylist Jessica de Ruiter’s chic mid­cen­tury sanc­tu­ary in Los An­ge­les lays bare her ef­fort­less el­e­gance.

Ren­o­vat­ing a home is la­bo­ri­ous at the best of times, let alone when you throw a child into the mix. “It was stress­ful, yes, and we had a daugh­ter in the middle of it!” says Los An­ge­les-based stylist Jessica de Ruiter of the two years spent adding new doors, win­dows, fin­ishes and a new kitchen and bath­room to her newly pur­chased prop­erty.

But dec­o­rat­ing the home proved the op­po­site ex­pe­ri­ence – a pas­sion project that both she and her hus­band Jed Lind, an artist and in­te­rior de­signer, tack­led with gusto.

The cre­ative cou­ple, who moved from their na­tive Toronto to LA in 2002, had al­ways grav­i­tated to the city’s East­side neigh­bour­hoods be­fore dis­cov­er­ing their Gre­gory Ain-de­signed home in Silver Lake al­most seven years ago.

The lo­ca­tion suited them well: a cre­ative hub close to Grif­fith Park at­tract­ing lots of young pro­fes­sion­als and fam­i­lies. Ar­chi­tec­turally, the home was equally ap­peal­ing. “We liked the fact it was a mid-cen­tury house and quintessen­tially Cal­i­for­nia,” says de Ruiter. “Be­ing from Canada, it was very dif­fer­ent from any­thing we have there and it’s al­ways been an as­pi­ra­tional thing to live some­where that’s so de­fin­i­tive of LA and Cal­i­for­nia.”

As one of LA’s most re­spected stylists, the wil­lowy blonde is known for a sar­to­rial sig­na­ture that is clas­sic and so­phis­ti­cated, re­laxed and cool – an “easy el­e­gance”, as she de­fines it, that also char­ac­terises her home. Her en­vi­able in­stinct for what works means she doesn’t have a de­sign phi­los­o­phy per se. “It’s more of a gut feel­ing about what things are go­ing to work, the same as with clothes; it comes nat­u­rally,” she ex­plains.

While the house af­ter years of ne­glect was “not in great shape” and re­quired a com­plete re­vamp, ren­o­va­tions paid heed to the

“IT’S AL­WAYS BEEN AN AS­PI­RA­TIONAL THING TO LIVE IN A HOUSE THAT’S SO DE­FIN­I­TIVE OF LA”

site’s ar­chi­tec­tural sig­nif­i­cance. “We didn’t dras­ti­cally change the house,” clar­i­fies de Ruiter. “We wanted tot keep that in­tegrity, keep it true to its in­ten­sion and just ba­si­cally redo ev­ery­thing in a more restora­tive way rather than give it a re­design.”

Now the open-plan in­te­rior, drenched in LA sun­shine and with views out to the hills of Los Feliz, evokes a sense of seren­ity and time­less­ness, a feel­ing en­hanced by cou­ple’s shared dec­o­ra­tive vi­sion. “We wanted it to feel cosy and wel­com­ing but not con­trived,” notes de Ruiter. Dou­glas fir wood through­out brings warmth, while natural tones, fi­bres and tex­tures pro­vide a neu­tral back­drop for the skil­fully cu­rated col­lec­tion of ob­jects, fur­nish­ings and art­works. “We used lots of sim­ple washed linens, cot­ton canvas, wool mixed with eth­nic vin­tage pat­terned tex­tiles. The hard­ware through­out is un­lac­quered brass, which pati­nas nicely with wear, and all the rugs are vin­tage,” says de Ruiter.

The kitchen is the stylist’s favourite space, where the fam­ily of­ten gather and where she loves to cook for friends. “Sim­ple, ca­sual food, lots of it, noth­ing too pre­cious, great mu­sic, and small, in­ti­mate groups of friends,” she says.

But it’s the liv­ing room with its gen­er­ous views of Franklin Hills that guests grav­i­tate to at sun­set. And it’s here too – com­fort­able and cosy, sur­rounded by very beau­ti­ful yet un­pre­ten­tious pieces – that de Ruiter’s gift for evok­ing such per­fect har­mony is as clear as the blue hori­zon be­yond.

Restora­tion re­mained true to the orig­i­nal foot­print of the house. Here in the liv­ing room, the orig­i­nal fire­place was left in­tact. Heir­loom slip­per chairs are cov­ered in Libeco linen. An Alma Allen bronze bowl com­ple­ments the cus­tom un­lac­quered brass...

The of­fice: the desk, made by Jed, faces out to the pool. Old pho­tos show de Ruiter’s mother in her mod­el­ling days and de Ruiter as a child. The vin­tage Tizio lamp and vin­tage red lamp are from LA’s Rose Bowl flea mar­ket. De Ruiter and her daugh­ter...

The kitchen’s float­ing shelves dis­play pottery by Heath Ce­ram­ics, Akio Nuk­aga and Vic­to­ria Mor­ris.

Jessica de Ruiter stands in her liv­ing room in front of a built-in couch and side ta­ble con­tain­ing a wood box. Vin­tage fab­ric cov­ers the cush­ions and a vin­tage kilim rug lies on the floor. On the shelf are Stan Bit­ters ce­ram­ics; a Vic­to­ria Mor­ris...

Vin­tage safari chairs flank an Alma Allen wal­nut ta­ble. The book­shelf clev­erly stores a wall bed that folds out for guests. John Divola’s pho­to­graph Dogs Chas­ing My Car in the Desert hangs on the wall.

Aus­tralian shep­herd Blue fol­lows his fam­ily around the pool. A Stan Bit­ters pot is planted with an olive tree while creep­ing fig vines climb the walls.

Six-year-old James’s bed­room, where a Ta­mar Mo­gen­dorff swan from her grand­fa­ther hangs above a vin­tage iron bed painted the palest of pinks.

A still life of ves­sels in var­i­ous shapes perch on a float­ing mar­ble shelf.

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