Be ready for a brand-new home decor experience
My passion is rooted in cherishing historic architecture and original design details. My name is Jennifer Robyn Laskey (Instagram: @jennlaskey) and I reside in Los Angeles, CA. Science tells me I’m 41 years old, although I don’t feel a day over 30! I’m a creative spirit at heart, and I run both an event planning and interior design business.
I own a 2,478 sq. ft. craftsman-style house in the Harvard Heights area in Los Angeles. My partner Hunter and I share this space with our pup Kingsley the Puppyman and our two cherished cats, Mr. Muffin and Kitty Capone.
My mission was to find a house built between 1900 and 1939 – and I couldn’t be happier with my extraordinary property.
Frozen in Time
My home, designed by architect Frank Tyler, is a designated “Mills Act Home within an Historic Preservation Overlay Zone”. I was lucky enough to purchase this piece of history in 2018, and it took me two years to perfect the interior design. However, the original details were stunning from the get-go.
The home has classic features such as stained-glass windows, built-ins, hardwood floors, remarkable woodwork, wall paneling, tiles and more! I kept some of the original lighting and added some from the same era. I also found vintage switches, sinks, knobs and a salvaged French door at a thrift store! The only downside of living in an old home is the energy bill, but the atmosphere is worth it.
A Commitment to Curation
I poured love into the restoration process, making improvements such as:
- Rewiring all the existing lighting fixtures.
- Replacing the entire electrical system
- Repaired the front masonry / brickwork that was damaged
- Repainted all the walls inside
- Installed A/C
- Replaced some plumbing fixtures, hardware, etc
- Added a laundry room extension
- Whole house duct cleaning, replaced and added ducts, got an air scrubber, worked on clean / healthy air in the home
- Created cement tile floor with custom paint / stenciling in the master bathroom
- Installed a French door between the kitchen and the staircase
- and, of course, furnished the entire place
My design draws on the past of the house. I aimed to achieve a contemporary take on vintage glamour that paid tribute to the original area.
The mix of old and new had to look effortless. As you can see from the photos, I have a penchant for anything ornate, chandeliers, steamer trucks, velvet, candelabras, and anything tufted.
The Dichotomy of Design
A bold, rich color scheme was necessary to create an enrapturing environment. I used a variety of visible textures to transport myself (and my visitors) to another place and time. Some of my favorite acquisitions for the home were the custom shades from Smith and Noble, a very distressed leather Chesterfield couch from Timothy Oulton, and some grand floor mirrors from Anthropologie and Horchow. I also continuously fawn over my replica of a Ralph Lauren Desk custom-made by a Hollywood set designer and my lavish peacock chair from Etsy vendor called the Wicked Boheme. House of Hackney had a huge hand in bringing my space to life, with wallpaper, pillows, and other accents by the iconic brand.
It was imperative to make all the rooms feel cohesive without sacrificing their unique contribution to the home. Each space needed to have its feeling and style. Because my work as an event planner requires me to be so social, I seldom entertain people in my home. It’s my sanctuary. I do, however, have the lucky side business of hosting Hollywood films and photoshoots on my property. My home is lovingly known as “The Historic Hobart House.”
Design Tip: Don’t underestimate the power of a good interior designer! I recommend hiring someone whose style aligns with your own.
A Grand Entryway
As soon as you step foot in the home, you are immediately greeted by a view of all of my favorite rooms. While I don’t have a formal entryway, the grand front door is a spectacle of its own. It is complete with ornate stained-glass with a diamond glass design inset. A few of my favorite elements you can see from the entryway are the hardwood floors, wood wall paneling and built-ins, and the original fireplace!
A Luxe Living Room
In my opinion, the living room is one of the most well-designed spaces in the home. One of my most personal pieces is my oversized Persian rug, which has traveled with me from home to home for over a decade. I found some amazing treasures on Craigslist, including my antique travel trunk, which I use as a coffee table. Of course, like all the rooms, the original sconces and vintage light fixtures are defining elements in creating the ambiance of the space.
The crowning jewel of my living room is the distressed brown leather Chesterfield by Timothy Oulton. I waited many years to splurge on this stunning centerpiece – and it was worth every penny. When my neighbors peek through my living room window, they’re almost guaranteed to see my white Pomsky dog peering out!
A Dining Room Dripping with Charm
My dining room is competing for my favorite room in the house. Aesthetically, I’m in love with the classic details.
I already owned the remarkable Spanish dining table, found at an antique store in Pasadena. I added antique dining chairs found on One Kings Lane.
I’m obsessed with the stunning dark hardwood floors, wall paneling, curved French windows, and the elaborate built-in cabinetry with stained-glass!
Restoration with a Retro Touch
It was extremely important to me to preserve as much of the original kitchen as possible. I opted against modern countertops, cabinets, or a dishwasher. One of the key pieces is the mint green Wedgewood vintage stove. I saved it from a (craigslist) estate sale in a historic Hermosa Beach home that was sadly being demolished. I have a special love for Wedgewood and O’Keene & Meritt vintage stoves!
I accented the original cabinets with mint-green glass knobs that are vintage replicas. The soft green hue ties in the molding and the vintage stove.
The French door between the kitchen and the stairwell landing were the result of an ambitious restoration project that I completed with the help of a handyman and his assistant. I also had to add a chandelier – as I do in almost every room! Another favorite addition to bring soul to the space was a luxurious vintage Persian runner rug.
At first, I was intent on saving the built-in burgundy fridge. After two years and over ten repair visits, I realized it had reached its life span. It now functions as a storage cabinet, and I purchased a (functioning) mint green fridge for the laundry room.
The Green Room
The green bedroom is covered in custom paint that I conceptualized with Michael Foulkrod. I added my favorite Fortuny chandelier as an accent piece.
The room originally had no sconces, but as an avid collector, I had to add a few ornate additions! The bed is a cream suede sleigh bed from Z Gallery. I use blackout drapes and a weighted blanket to keep the room as cozy as possible. Other features I love include the French windows and door that lead to a charming, screened-in balcony.
The floor-plan originally included four bedrooms, but I turned one into a home office and the other into a walk-in closet/dressing room.
The gold bedroom had one of the biggest transformations. When I purchased the house, it was painted white with a light pink rim – and filled with terrible furniture! I had a lot of fun adding antiques to this space. I incorporated one of my longtime pieces, an Italian hand-painted dresser, along with a Baroque tufted velvet headboard with a matching foot bench! The headboard/bench combo was the first piece I bought for the house.
Once again, I created the custom gold paint with the help of Michael Foulkrod.
The Anthropologie floor mirror was a luxury purchase that I scored with a Black Friday discount! I finished the room with a treasure trove of vintage sconces and a crystal wedding cake chandelier. As an accent piece, I included my antique cash register.
Proper Powder Rooms
I have three vintage bathrooms, two of which are utterly expansive! The largest bathroom includes the only modern element in the home – the standing shower.
While I’m not a fan of the contemporary addition, I do love the vintage clawfoot tub. I chose a light mint paint color for the walls. I added sconces and a chandelier, and I switched out an atrocious modern pedestal sink for a vintage sink I found on Etsy.
The Persian rug ties the powder room together perfectly. I commissioned some high-end roman shades with a complementary fabric. Designing bathrooms is an underrated pleasure!
In one of the other bathrooms, I made it my mission to cover the ugly epoxy floor with a stenciled design. My goal was to emulate encaustic tiles. As with the other paint projects in the home, I completed this transformative project with my talented painter, Michael.
A Future Sanctuary
The yard is a project for another day. I did decorate my screened-in patios with potted plants and other outdoor accessories. One day I will hire a landscaper to create my dream garden.
I must admit, projects that require a green thumb are not my strong suit. However, my greatest joy is watching the wild wisteria bloom with soft purple flowers.
I did have fun designing the back patio though. I added an outdoor rug, a peacock chair, a vintage white marble table set, and a fountain. It creates a nice vibe for Zoom meetings, yoga, and meditation. Our dog is particularly fond of this space!
I’m a big fan of collecting items from different sources. Your home or apartment should feel curated rather than staged. Shop for used items on Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, etc. Visiting antique stores and estate sales can also be a great way to find hidden gems. If you’re on a budget, consider DIY projects. While I’m not the biggest DIY enthusiast, I do like adding a personal touch to certain pieces or projects. You can even find some unexpected accent pieces at Home Goods, Target, Wayfair, Overstock, and Living Spaces. Although, I would stick to higher-quality pieces to furnish the majority of your space. Get inspiration from Pinterest, print magazines, and even Instagram. The key is to allow yourself to be inspired. If you choose to renovate a historic home, keep in mind that they require a special level of patience and care to upkeep. I still have endless projects in store for the future. The challenges have made me a better homeowner and designer, and the learning process never ends! Although I may have splurged on some key items, I’m happy that I never “settled” on pieces that weren’t exactly what I was looking for. I believe it’s better to be patient for what you want, even if that means waiting, saving, hunting for a bargain, and all that jazz 😊