For their first project as a married couple, the founders of OSKLO crafted a stylish yet livable home furnished with one-of-a-kind pieces—from Jean Prouvé to Charlotte Perriand.
On his first visit, it took Michael Martin—one of the creative minds behind design studio OSKLO—two tries to find the private driveway of this property. “It was like A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the middle of the Hollywood Hills, as doves and robins hopped from wisps of bougainvillea and massive lemon trees dropped fruit in front of your eyes around this very forgettable 1990s house,” he recalls. “The house had to go, but the property was one of a kind and really unbeknownst to everyone.”
Located a mile above the Sunset Strip, along one of the quieter roads of Los Angeles’s famed Bird Streets, the flat lot offers the utmost in privacy. Spread over 5,800 square feet on a single level, the new four-bedroom house gives a feeling of spaciousness, especially in the 13-foot-high great hall flanked by a central atrium with a centenarian olive tree.
A light-filled room with a view of an olive tree from the late 1800s. The Pierre Jeanneret daybed was reupholstered in Cavallini olive pony hair from Edelman
and the artwork, Yesterday’s Treasures (1989), is by Ed Ruscha.
“The house is a variation of whites, from the creamier white walls of stucco on the exterior and masonry walls to a lighter, powdery Decorator’s White (Benjamin Moore) on interior walls and within the atrium that makes it an extension of the interior living space,” says Arya Mohammadi Martin, cofounder of OSKLO. “We only used ultra-matte paints and surfaces, to the dismay of visitors that are often reprimanded for touching them by Michael,” he says, smiling. The kitchen was an inversion of this, with matte black cabinetry and blackened steel exhaust that carries over to the stained oak cabinet details in the bar and powder metal shelves in the main living area.
Working together for the first time as a married couple on this personal project, the OSKLO duo had to match their different ideas and approaches to what the house should look and feel like. “I wanted poured concrete and more of an industrial finish, but Arya liked the Trousdale feel of all-white architecture that came to define the property,” Martin says.
The main living room houses a comfortable custom-designed sofa by OSKLO, a bronze Rick Owens Alchemy Bench from Carpenters Workshop Gallery next to a Jean Prouvé daybed, and a collection of Pierre Jeanneret’s Chandigarh cane chairs. One of the bedrooms houses a pair of Milo Baughman chests of drawers from West Coast Modern LA, a kilim rug from Lawrence of La Brea and a midcentury-era, two-arm sconce from Stilnovo. These are just some of the gems that adorn the home.
Each side of the custom bed was upholstered in Ralph Lauren
cashmere, and the side tables were created with a pair of Milo Baughman chests of drawers from West Coast Modern LA
. The white wool kilim rug is from Lawrence of La Brea
; the midcentury two-arm sconce is from Stilnovo
; and the untitled artwork, a self-portrait, is by Chinese painter Guo Jinyi.
“We have acquired many items through our travels, like an Oscar Niemeyer chair in Brazil or chunky stools in Japan,” Mohammadi Martin says. “We placed them in a way to make them feel part of a larger narrative. We find items that need some care and modernize them with updated upholstery and materials. There are also a lot of L.A. designers we pull from our inventory because we have so much.”
“A house is not a museum; it should emanate comfort and warmth in spaces that encourage conversation, inspiration and a desire to linger,” Martin adds.
Mimicking L.A.’s midcentury architecture in a more monumental way, with angles inspired by Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra infused with voluminous ceilings and bespoke stonework, the house plays with different themes in the bedrooms (beachy or all-white, for example) while reflecting a sense of free-flowing, effortless unity among all the areas.
According to the couple, designing a home is like writing a book: “Each room should connect a central story, with the occasional diversion in spaces like the powder room, where we did a stout custom sink in honed ceppo with an integrated shelf and mirror that fades into it ever so softly. We like to create visual experiences, so that if there were 30 people in one room, they would each sit somewhere different and experience a different visual.”
In the kitchen of a midcentury-inspired Hollywood Hills home designed by OSKLO, the blackened steel hood was custom-made, the countertops in honed negro d’Alba are from Stoneland
, the spun fiber table lamp was purchased in Morocco, and the American Folk stool is from the 1930s. The knotted burl bowl on the custom concrete finished island was bought in Japan.