From the moment you see the exterior of this property in West Hollywood, you instantly think cool, modern, angular. A striking piece of architecture indeed, you would be forgiven for finding it a bit intimidating, with its straight lines, sharp edges, and grey tones. Step inside and you’re welcomed by a different scene, albeit not entirely removed from the exterior. The angular shapes are still there, creating a cohesive design that flows from the outside in. However, there is an unexpected sense of luxurious warmth that prevails above all.
It's unexpected because, for most of the last couple of years, curved furniture has reigned as the supreme interior design trend. It's been seen as a way to create convivial spaces in which you can relax. But this house shows there is a new way to decorate.
From the walls to the staircase, and, most surprisingly, the furniture, you will see a lot of straight angles, and the look achieved is incredibly now. What makes this modern home so special is this exact mix of angularity with the softness of colors, materials, and light that are opposing in concept, but work so well together. I’m intrigued to take a closer look and observe this delicate balance of sharp form and soft feel.
A very modern townhouse with sleek lines and angular shapes
The Garden House, located in the Golden Triangle where West Hollywood meets Beverly Hills, was designed by the architecture practice Olson Kundig in partnership with the multidisciplinary ATRA Form studio in charge of the interior with its strikingly shaped furniture. The interior design vision was focused on creating a sophisticated environment that felt perfectly suited for LA living: modern, natural, and luxurious at the same time.
James Williams, Managing Partner of ATRA, shares the thinking behind choosing the mid-century modern furniture for this home: ‘ATRA is often about blurring the lines between furniture and sculpture. Most pieces in the Garden House are a re-imagination of some of the staples of a luxurious and bourgeois interior with a contemporary and sculptural twist. Our ultra-contemporary and sculptural approach to pieces that are reminiscent of “mid-century classics” is a big part of our DNA,' he tells me.
The coffee table and side tables in particular stand out due to their sharp, irregular edges that give them such a unique, imposing look in the space. ‘The Geometrik coffee and side tables are part of an ever-evolving collection,’ Williams says. ‘It started a few years ago as a play with stone, having Japanese origami in mind, the idea of using the same material and thickness both for the base and the tabletop. Like the folded paper technique, it gives the impression to defy gravity,’ he adds. The singular and surprising shapes can be seen even in the upholstered furniture, like the sofas and living room accent chairs.
Balancing warm colors and materials to create a comfortable feel
What I find surprising in the design of this home is the delicate balance between form, color, and textures. The angular shapes of the furniture were softened by the use of colors such as deep burgundy, rich greens, and warm yellows in beautifully tactile velvet. The result is a very warm, cozy, and inviting home where the pieces of furniture stand out not just as utilitarian objects but almost as artworks in themselves, due to their sculptural qualities.
A sense of calm and timelessness complements the slick architecture through carefully chosen neutral color schemes and earthy tones. To add natural texture, interest, and visual softness to the space, ATRA used a variety of porous materials such as recinto volcanic stone and silver travertine alongside fabrics like velvet and mohair. The team also opted for carved marble and woven wicker for a look that feels eclectic and sophisticated.
It’s incredible how modern this home feels, and yet one could imagine living there for many years to come. This is a testament to the team’s successful mix of contemporary design elements with colors and materials that are warm, natural, and therefore easy on the eye. ‘We try not to pay too much attention to trends,’ says Williams. ‘We’ve been employing for more than a decade the same master carpenters and stone workers, using century-old techniques and only noble materials. We are interested in defying time both with our quality and our style,’ he concludes. And who wouldn’t love to defy time in such a wonderfully unique space?
Get this modern home look with these angular furniture buys
Cato Coffee Table
This striking coffee table features a balance between sleek edges and rounded corners for a very modern look. Will be the center of attention in your living room.
Ashton Caned Accent Chair
This accent chair with sharp edges will look striking next to a sofa in a warm earthy color and soft texture like velvet.
Reese Curved Chair
Recreate the look of this modern home with similar accent chairs mixing grounding angular shapes with soft colors and textures.