You'd Never Believe That This Modern, Energetic Home Used to Look Like the 'Father of the Bride' House

Hancock Park Home Tour living room
Tessa Neustadt

For interior designer Isabelle Dahlin, reinventing cool is part of the job. Her firm, DeKor Living, has outposts in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and New York, which means her design aesthetic is hard to pin down—and her work reflects a broad range of tastes culled and executed cohesively together. Namely, she's adept at taking formerly traditional homes and turning them on their heads, which is exactly what she did when tackling this house in Hancock Park, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. She was referred by a former client to design the home of German film producer Michael Schaefer and his wife—and Dahlin immediately knew where to take the project.

"This house was the most Father of the Bride, white-picket fence, traditional house I'd ever seen," explains Dahlin. "I almost fell over. [The client is] very edgy—he's from Germany. He's got that cool guy, industrial look about him. When I saw that he bought this house, I was taken back. I was so shocked. He said, 'You can make this cool.'"

And so she did. From blending metal frameworks and selecting unexpected paint colors to sourcing dozens of vintage rugs and bringing certain elements of the house all the way back to basics, Dahlin managed to add depth and colorful visual intrigue to this too-classic home's interiors—including its guest house. Interestingly enough, she pulled out as much as she added in, transforming an outdated, drab, boring space into something with that undeniable Dahlin cool factor: a modernist marvel.

01 of 09


Hancock Park Home Tour living room ottomans
Tessa Neustadt

Vintage art and kilim ottomans add character to the white-washed living room. "The leather chair in the living room is great," says interior designer Isabelle Dahlin. "We did all the floors lighter and had custom doors made to bring the light in and make it feel a little more edgy."

02 of 09

You're Projecting

Hancock Park Home Tour sofa projector
Tessa Neustadt

For her clients "in the business," Dahlin crafted a colorful living room with the big screen in mind. "We used this projector here, too—it has a big screen [that drops down] in front of the door," she says.

03 of 09

Sitting Around

Hancock Park Home Tour sitting room
Tessa Neustadt

At the front of the house, a small sitting room is full of vintage furniture; a collection of books rests on a shelf wrapping around the doorway. "I love when people bring their own books to the project," says Dahlin. "It makes the whole house feel more lived in and happy and not stuffy at all."

04 of 09

Opening Up

Hancock Park Home Tour dining room
Tessa Neustadt

The sun-soaked dining room quickly became a cornerstone of the entire project. Between the modern, industrial windows and vintage seating, the dining area is the best representation of the clients' style. "Both he and his wife are young and cool," says Dahlin. "I found those windows at a salvage yard. It was the most depressing kitchen I'd ever seen, but then I put the windows in—they go all the way down to the floor—and now it feels very nontraditional."

05 of 09

Dark Blue

Hancock Park Home Tour kitchen
Tessa Neustadt

Dahlin overhauled the hardwood seen throughout the home ("We redid the floors to a light oak and took out the dark tints on all the wood," she explains) and changed the color of the kitchen's cabinetry to this deep-sea blue. The industrial pendant light ties the dining room and kitchen together.

06 of 09

Guest House, Best House

Hancock Park Home Tour guest house entrance
Tessa Neustadt

"We did a funky guest house, too, in the back," says Dahlin. Two key decisions in this space? Opening the doorway to the patio area and bringing in vintage rugs and upholstery.

  • How to Comfortably Host Visitors If You Don't Have a Guest Room
07 of 09


Hancock Park Home Tour guest house kitchenette
Tessa Neustadt

From retro-inspired art to the kitchenette and wet bar area, the guest house boils some of the broader elements seen in the main home down to their structural level.

08 of 09

Raise the Roof

Hancock Park Home Tour guest house roof
Tessa Neustadt

To give the guest house some character, Dahlin and her team pulled out the existing ceiling to reveal the original wood planks that ran across the pitched walls. "I love to blow out the ceilings and use what's there," says Dahlin. "It works with the modern, metal aesthetic. It gives the room a bigger feel and makes it feel pulled together."

09 of 09

The Great Outdoors

Hancock Park Home Tour patio
Tessa Neustadt

The home's cool factor extends to the textural patio area, defined by its elevated tile, modern wooden sofa, and cement-topped coffee table.

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