For designer Cliff Fong, serenity is located in a very simple, sustainable lifestyle. Nowhere is this far more obvious than in the 1953 ranch-type home he moved into four many years back in a peaceful neighborhood in Central Los Angeles.
Below, Fong, the principal powering the Los Angeles style and design agency Matt Blacke, adopted the visual vocabulary he usually employs in his jobs, mixing vintage Scandinavian and French masterworks with understated nevertheless luscious floor coverings, up to date artwork, and family heirlooms that convey to a story.
Fong experienced been exploring for a new property for about 9 months when he found this 1, a midcentury house that experienced been through an considerable renovation in the 1990s and retained these postmodern vestiges as quirky cutouts and finishes. Some of these specifics worked with his eyesight, though others—like the unique mismatched mahogany flooring—had to go. “It was a quite unremarkable composition,” claims Fong. “But the fantastic matter about it becoming standard was that it was uncomplicated for me to see where variations could be designed.”
Fong built numerous interior alterations: He changed the floors with poured concrete, expanded the home’s entry, and made an extension to accommodate a new bedroom suite. Exterior the residence, he cleared a dense thicket of bamboo, creating way for a backyard loaded with tropical crops and palms. To set the scene for the supper functions he loves to host, Fong dreamed up an entertaining oasis on the patio, where a desk is under an iron canopy hung with a Poul Henningsen artichoke light—the form of obtain you could quickly envision among the stock at Galerie 50 percent, the influential Los Angeles design and style store of which Fong is a co-proprietor.
The genuine star of the backyard garden is a wall displaying Fong’s assortment of a lot more than 400 species of orchids. These, along with the garden’s several other crops, are irrigated with wastewater from the concrete koi pond that Fong created. “A good deal of my inspiration arrives from nature,” states Fong, who phone calls himself an “armchair botanist.” He likes to recall the time when, as a 10-12 months-old, his mother permit him take more than the family’s basement. “I experienced 10 fish tanks down there with all kinds of reptiles and amphibians,” he recalls. “When I obtained this household, I required to revisit the points I beloved so considerably as a kid and working experience them once again as an grownup.”
Entire-circle moments like this recur all over the residence. In a specifically meaningful gesture, Fong positioned a spouse and children heirloom from his parents—a 19th-century black lacquered secretary—in his son’s bedroom. Including levity to the youngster’s space is a Japanese paper blowfish suspended from the ceiling, which picks up the major blues and yellows that appear in a Gina Beavers painting hung earlier mentioned the bedroom doorway.
Fong’s primary suite is an completely additional modernist affair. In the closet, a Le Corbusier shelving unit functions as an island, influencing the custom cabinetry and millwork in the relaxation of the house. Yet another icon, Jean Prouvé, created the desk in his bedroom. The chair, also by Prouvé, was one of the 1st financial commitment pieces Fong purchased when he produced the shift from vogue to the interior design earth some two many years in the past.
Now, the residence displays each Fong’s pared-down sensibility and his energetic creativeness. Natural light-weight and strategically put windows generate a bridge among the designer’s layered interiors and the generative existence of nature. An angled window over the bookcase in the dwelling room abstractly frames Los Angeles’s vivid skies. Across from the Børge Mogensen leather-based sofa that dominates the space, a Jean Prouvé wall divider separates this room from the dining place, centered on a Charlotte Perriand table and stools. A skylight sliced into the house over a back again doorway allows in pure, unobstructed gentle, some of which is absorbed by a darkish round portray by Michelle Grabner. A round window in the lobby completes this mild-stuffed narrative, assuring that at every single move, the home’s lush exterior is not forgotten.
The eco-friendly that creeps its way into the home enhances Fong’s go-to palette of grays, browns, blacks, and blues. Everything in this 2,400-sq.-foot household is properly in equilibrium. It is a lifestyle change for this previous jet-setter who now enjoys practically nothing more than a quiet night at property with family and friends. “This household gave me the liberty to revisit issues I loved that weren’t about traveling the world or being in fancy hotels,” Fong says. “The gain of getting older is that we know our restrictions and our strengths. I believe a house should be an extension of that.”
This tale originally appeared in the April 2022 situation of ELLE DECOR. SUBSCRIBE
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