An Effortlessly Cool Midcentury Home in L.A.
Joe Lucas and Parrish Chilcoat, cofounders of Lucas Studio Inc., create a timeless home on the fly.
When Joe Lucas and Parrish Chilcoat—cofounders of the elite Los Angeles design firm Lucas Studio Inc. and the retail showroom Harbinger—were hired to refurbish a three-bedroom mid-century gem in Brentwood, they found themselves working under a rather emphatic deadline: "The owners, a young couple, were expecting a child in four months," says Lucas, "so everything had to be finished by the time the baby came home from the hospital."
Aside from furnishing and repainting the entire house, the daunting design endeavor also included gutting the "dark and dreary" kitchen and reconfiguring the entry. Racing agains the clock, the partners completed their task with mere hours to spare. "We were installing when our client went into labor," Chilcoat recalls.
Despite the swiftness of their schedule, the pair managed to craft the kind of layered interior that appears to have developed organically over the course of years. "The clients wanted a home that was livable and comfortable, without too much stuff," says Lucas. The designers, therefore, carefully selected kid-friendly upholstered pieces and nature-inspired furnishings to evoke an ease and elegance in keeping with the residence's cool California locale. By maintaining a neutral palette—with wall colors ranging from chalky white to "greige," trimmed in subtle gray or ice blue—the house's surroundings shine: the living room's soaring windows flood the space with light, and, on a clear day, the ocean can be seen on the horizon.
Perhaps because of the thrill of its creative challenges, the project remains among Lucas and Chilcoat's favorites. "Everything about it," says Lucas, "from the warm, friendly clients to the way the house came together in the end, combined to make it a dream job."