“There are a lot of interior designers in L.A.,” said editor and art director Anthony Iannacci of the selection process for the 25 architects and designers whose work is featured in his latest book, “Hollywood Interiors: Style and Design in Los Angeles,” which is just out from The Monacelli Press.
What he was looking for, he explained, were places that seemed unique to “L.A., Hollywood and the Southern California conditions, celebrating midcentury modern masters, reinterpreted or with a level of theatricality.”
Midcentury modern is an L.A. signature, but a number of other styles are included in the book, among them new designs by the likes of Richard Meier and perhaps the polar opposite, Storybook architecture. Another specific criterion for Iannacci was an imaginative balance between indoor and outdoor space, a signature of the area.
“Hollywood Interiors” was introduced at a party on Tuesday night sponsored by Architectural Digest, part of a series called, “ADLoves,” and held at the Kelly Wearstler showroom in Manhattan. Wearstler’s renovation of a 1939 Georgian Revival house appears in the book.
The book features work from relatively new designers such as Olivia Williams, Chu Gooding, Nickey Kehoe and Trip Haenisch, along with more established designers and firms such as Paul Fortune and Commune.
The cover, Iannacci observed, shows an image from a Spanish Revival house originally designed by George H. Fruehling, which appeared in Architectural Digest in 1926. It was recalled to life after a series of unfortunate renovations in the Eighties by architect Linda Brettler — who is married to “Mad Men” series creator Matthew Weiner — with an eclectic mix of furnishings intended to show how people lived in the house at the time
Iannacci also mentioned a house decorated for the second time by Melinda Ritz, who first worked on the dwelling a decade ago and whose new client is passionate about everything Italian. She envisioned it as an imaginary world created “in the hills outside Rome sometime in the Seventies and Eighties,” Iannacci said, adding, “Melinda herself comes out of the world of set design and always works with a narrative when she designs.”
One interesting feature of the book, Iannacci added, is that the ratio of male and female designers is, as he put it, “50-50.”
He added, “I asked, why do women interior designers flourish so much more in L.A. than in other cities — the New York design world is about 20-80 women to men? I didn’t come up with an answer. There are wonderful women in the book, from Courtney Applebaum in her 20s at one end of the spectrum to [L.A. design doyenne] Rose Tarlow at the other.”