Los Angeles–based firm Blackband Design creates warm and fashionable interiors for one discerning couple
When designing a house, many homeowners request the kind of space that makes entertaining a breeze. But thanks to designers Wendy and Greg Blackband of Blackband Design, Denise and Brian Sklar have taken that notion one step further, achieving the ultimate party pad for hosting family and friends. The airy open layout of the main level allows that on any given night, guests might gather in the kitchen while others dine al fresco on the terrace, and still others may linger over a cocktail in the sunken living room—all made possible by the sliding doors that open completely to tie the spaces together. “That’s changed so dramatically in the last couple of years—bringing the outdoors in and the indoors out,” says Wendy, who also collaborated with Ashley Porter, lead designer on the project. “Once you open those doors, the whole back of the home is open. There’s a nice combination of architectural materials and landscaping, so it’s not too stiff but rather a beautiful exterior livable space.”
The modern house—designed by architect Derek Wolf of Wolf Design Studio and built by James Corr of Corr Contemporary Homes—indeed lent itself to a California-cool lifestyle. Set high in the hills with panoramas that stretch from downtown Los Angeles to the ocean, the house takes its cues from the scenery, utilizing furniture with low profiles that wouldn’t obstruct the views and a soothing neutral palette of creams, nudes, blacks and browns. “More and more, our clients have been asking for monochromatic design,” Wendy says, noting the mix of textures and materials and shots of color to give the design an edge. “In each room, we have that special piece that has a little something extra,” Porter says of the green-velvet upholstered sofa in the living room. “It’s not overly done, but the right selections stand out and make a statement.” Other ‘70s-inspired showpieces include leather-and-brass barstools in the kitchen, leather-fringe chairs in the family room, and a black bench in the foyer with a chic channeling detail that speaks to the Denise’s impeccable style and love of fashion.
Features like the clusters of globe pendants in the dining room and chevron-patterned wood wall paneling in the master bedroom help balance and give weight to the light palette and lofty architecture. Southeast Asian influences lend a note of eclecticism. “I’ve spent a lot of time in Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal and Indonesia. It’s always interesting when you think of those places and the ornamentations you see against natural and beautiful exteriors,” Wendy says. The combination results in a home that’s appealingly multifaceted, capable of welcoming guests with both comfort and style.