Los Angeles Archives - Kimberley Seldon's Dabble

Day in the Life of Lesley Anton


Dabble visits ceramic artist, Lesley Anton, in her 1923 Spanish-style bungalow in LA and follows her to the office for a ‘day in the life’.

Read the entire article ‘Industry Profile – Lesley Anton 4’ in Issue 9 of Dabble.

Everything’s Coming Up Roses and Butterflies


If you’re a believer that bigger is better, than you’re going to love these fabulous wallpapers from Phyllis Morris’ Circa Collection in Los Angeles. They are designed by the owner, Jamie Adler, and are truly unique. They are not for the feint of heart when it comes to interior design; the impact they have on a room is truly amazing.

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The first pattern I fell in love with is called ‘Hollywood Garden.’ It has large, beautiful roses superimposed over a gate-like background that is truly stunning. The roses look as if they’re floating on the walls.

The other wallpaper I adore is called ‘Jamie Adler Butterflies’ and it is chock-a-full of the most beautiful monarchs you will ever lay your eyes on. The background comes in either silver or gold, which adds a bit of a retro 70’s touch to the design.

This piece was written by Interior Designer and guest blogger Gail Shields-Miller. To read more from Gail, visit Dezignlicious

Rough Luxe

  • Floor-to-ceiling windows give way to three of Hollywood’s most famous sights: the iconic ‘Hollywood’ sign, Griffith Observatory and the conical Capitol Records Building at Hollywood and Vine.
  • A faux fur throw is the perfect addition to this black tufted leather sofa. To create the look, pair a distressed leather sofa with a luxurious faux fur throw.
  • Oversized lighting underscores the masculine drama. An “antler” chandelier shines above the dining table while a 70s grid illuminates the living room.
  • Kahi recalls, “When I started this project, everything in the room was white, My mantra is, don’t be shy about using bold colours, especially on walls. Dramatic colour creates a powerful mood.”

Rough Luxe = Distressed + Vintage + Luxury

“You’d expect to find drama in West Hollywood,” says interior designer Kahi Lee, “right?”

The photogenic LA designer is clearly ready for her close-up with this latest project for Jonas Brothers’ musician Nick, a penthouse suite that she describes as Rough Luxe.

Tasked with creating a modern masculine space, Kahi looked to Hollywood for inspiration. “Think Marlon Brando—the ultimate man’s man—elegant but rebellious.”

“I don’t do subtle,” says interior designer Kahi Lee

A handsome pair of tufted, black leather sofas dominate the living area, from their central perch on the shaggy area carpet. A large, pine topped coffee table services the seating.

An adjacent sitting area (above) gets its own star treatment with a custom designed wall covering. “It’s a splurge,” says the designer, “but it really makes a powerful statement.”

When asked, Kahi describes the condo’s style as, “Rough Luxe.” Though it’s masculine in appearance, it’s not without its glamour. Decadent touches include the faux fur throw on the living room sofa and the grass cloth covered walls with just a hint of iridescent sheen.

At Home with Suzanne Rheinstein


Looking stylish in a black linen ensemble and chunky gold bangles, renowned LA-based interior designer Suzanne Rheinstein takes Kimberley Seldon on a private tour of her gracious Hancock Park home and garden.

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Suzanne’s living room is luxurious and serene. She spotted the blue and white striped Regency chaise in a London shop window and insisted her husband pull over so they could run in to make the purchase.


‘I design rooms clients can live in, and in this house we live in the family room’, says the designer. We can see why. Who wouldn’t want to relax on that cozy velvet-striped sofa with some late night reading?


Natural lighting, soft hues and luxurious cotton print drapes accent the elegance of the master bedroom.


To read the full article on Suzanne Rheinstein, check out Industry Profile, Issue 3 July/Aug 2011.

Masterful Mixing

  • In the living room, he transforms a formerly heavy, Indonesian coffee table by swapping its carved wood base for a new, sleek metal frame. The change lightens up the space and adds a contemporary accent to the more traditional furnishings.
  • LEFT Dave is the author of several books including Daytime Drama, Male Model and Summer Cruising.
  • One way to improve styling skills is to start by producing small vignettes. This table scape features framed pieces of photography, clear and pottery vases and coral. 
  • LEFT Fluted wood lamps from Target mix handsomely with woven console table and repurposed stools. RIGHT A cozy side chair, is layered with a kidney shaped sisal pillow, 18” x 18” block print pillow and Belgian ticking stripe runner. Dave painted the blue coral artworks to add punches of colour to the white walls.
  • In the living room, two ottomans tuck neatly beneath the large coffee table, taking up little floor space but providing extra seating when required.
  • Bookshelves line the walls, providing an artistic backdrop to the predominately blue and white design scheme as well as a creative canvas for displaying objets d’art and accessories.

Nothing matches but it all goes together.

You’d expect Dave Benbow to have a well-designed life. After all, he’s a manager and buyer for one of LA’s hottest La Cienega design shops, Mecox Gardens. Naturally, his passion for work translates seamlessly into stylish living quarters.

Dabble jumped at an invitation to visit the Runyon Canyon condo and see firsthand how this “master of mixing” brings it all together.

Never ask a designer for an opinion….that is, unless you want one. Dave Benbow, like other successful decorators, says his personal design philosophy works for anyone, “Rooms should look collected, not purchased.”

But Dave is not one of those ‘anything goes’ designer types, insisting instead, “There has to be a cohesive vision.”

Certainly, quality is part of Dave’s vision. Some of the items in his home—the William Birch armchairs and down-filled sofa—are investment pieces he’s had for years. When it’s time to revitalize rooms, instead of starting from scratch, he recovers and repurposes, getting lasting value from his purchases.

According to the industry veteran, mixing price points is also part of his philosophy. “It keeps everyone guessing,” says Dave, and it’s one of his favourite ways to stretch a budget. Case in point, he pairs a high-end woven console table with well-priced lamps from Target in the dining room (see page 36).

Despite a philosophy that espouses mixing and matching, Dave is serious about starting every design project with the right floor plan. Function is first, then decorating. He relies on casual furniture (and it must be comfortable) to set the tone, typically upholstering major pieces in neutrals, then accenting with colour.


The Georgia native says he’s naturally drawn to colours that work well in his adopted LA homeland; tones that mimic sand, sea and sky. “Khaki,” he jokes, “may not be from the earth, but I live in it,” so that’s another favourite choice. A former Ralph Lauren Home employee, Dave says he appreciates the brand’s tailored colour palette and chose Ralph Lauren’s Cove Point (WW29) for walls throughout the spacious condo. Painting the cabinet backs in Shale Blue (VM124) brings white and off-white accessories into sharper focus.

“Be true to yourself. If you like it, that’s what matters.”


A collection of organic-shaped vases in shades of oyster and white, stacks of books and personal photos fill the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. The artful display features a wide range of price points and changes frequently according to the designer.

Like most professional decorators, Dave doesn’t redecorate often, preferring to work with classic pieces that age well.

In the dining room, Dave searched for a fabric as comfortable as his favourite khakis. Turns out, a fashion fabric supplier had the real thing. Perfect.

“I know from experience that people keep things they don’t like because they cost a lot,” says Dave. “My advice then, is don’t spend a fortune unless you absolutely love the piece or can afford to change it down the road.”

Industry Profile: Celebrating Frank with Jeffrey Herr

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American architect Frank Lloyd Wright was born on June 8, 1867, making his upcoming birthday (were he still living) number 144. Immortalized in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects as “the greatest American architect of all time”, FLW’s personal life made headlines as often as his professional one.

Dabble talks to Jeffrey Herr, curator at Hollyhock House in Hollywood.

1- DAB: Jeffrey, thank you for the private tour.Tell us about Hollyhock House, FLW’s first Los Angeles project.
JH: FLW built the house from 1919 to 1921 for American oil heriress, Aline Barnsdall. Sitting on 12 acres, Hollyhock House is adjacent to a 10,000 square-foot gallery, 299-seat auditorium and junior arts education center.

2- DAB:Why the name Hollyhock House?
JH: Hollyhocks were Barnsdall’s favourite flowers so FLW incorporated its stylized motif into the architecture, even using it in the design of the furniture, carpet and concrete bas-relief over the fireplace.

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3- DAB: How would you describe the style of Hollyhock House?
JH: FLW designed the house as part of its LA surroundings, with panoramic views of the hills. The style is attributed to his Romanza Period, which falls after Prairie Style and before Block style.

4- DAB: Describe the furniture FLW designed.
JH: Many of the original pieces have been lost over time. Part of my job is to research the furniture and accessories and find duplicates—or have precise copies made. We were able to reproduce some Tiffany vases and, in the case of the upholstered chairs, we found a swatch of the original fabric.

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5- DAB:Is it true Frank Lloyd Wright was fired from the project?
JH: Yes. At the time FLW was building the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. He also fancied himself as a Japanese art dealer and actually sold several pieces to his client. Cost overruns, conflicting schedules and clashing personalities led to a feud that resulted in FLW’s removal from the project.

6- DAB: Once Frank Lloyd Wright was fired, who took over the project?
JH: Hollyhock House construction was managed by one of FLW’s talented apprentices, Rudolph Schindler. Later, Schindler brought on an architect friend and another burgeoning talent, Richard Neutra. Both of these now famous architects were no doubt influenced by FLW.

7- DAB: What’s next for Hollyhock House?
JH: Hollyhock House is now a National Historic Landmark. To keep it accessible for future generations, the restoration process continues.