When an interior designer works with a client, a magical thing happens where two personal styles meld together to create a gorgeous space that's a product of their collaboration. Yet when a designer decorates their own home, it is a total reflection of their creativity and tastes.
As we first took a peek into Elizabeth Law's West Hollywood pad, we felt like we took a trip into her design dream. The classic SoCal home is anointed with natural materials, beautifully crafted pieces, and filled with vignettes that we only wish we could arrange ourselves. While the space looks perfectly styled, the use of texture and warm accents makes it feel absolutely livable. Another confounding fact? She was able to pull all of this off in a rental. *Cue our jaws dropping*
As we know how difficult this balance is to master, we had to ask Law to let us in on her design secrets. After all, this interior designer has essentially nailed that je ne sais quoi of Cali-cool. Read ahead to explore the entire home and get insight into the South Carolina native's curated design process.
How would you define your design aesthetic?
Elizabeth Law: My design aesthetic changes with every place somewhat because each space has its own energy, story, or style. I tend to mix elements as much as I can. I find it important to include wood, glass, stone, metal, and upholstery. I notice more and more of a pattern I suppose, in that I usually incorporate leather, something wood that is soulful and substantial, and then something with fabulous patina.
I mix old and new, rough and smooth, and worn and polished all together to create a lived-in, curated but comfortable space. When it’s mine I keep it neutral, when it’s for a client I like for it to reflect them as much as possible.
What was the home like before you began to redesign the space?
E.L.: I was really lucky to find this gem in West Hollywood and a rental no less. It was a perfect clean slate to furnish but I otherwise did not have to do any work.
How is it different working on your own home vs. your clients' homes?
E.L.: Working on my own home means it’s never finished! It is ever evolving and I love to collect things as I find them. I’ve been buying home furnishings since I was literally 10. The first thing I recall is a beautiful silk rug that I picked out with my dad on a trip to Morocco. I still have it.
Did you face any challenges along the way?
E.L.: I created a challenge. This move was in the middle of a busy time and I had a narrow window to get settled so I could focus on work and life! So I truly did this entire house in two weeks. And by the way, it was starting from scratch because most of my actual furniture is back east!
What is your favorite room in your home?
E.L.: My living room is. It has an amazing window with beautiful light and it is a very happy and comfortable space. The mirror opposite the window allows for even more light.
I love the fireplace, my sneaky Samsung Frame TV — I would never put a normal TV above a mantle again by the way— and my comfy black leather chair. I’ve had many gatherings and it has been an inviting, serene sanctuary for many!
Are there any decor pieces with interesting stories behind them?
EL: I have a thing for birds and I find feathers everywhere, so when I saw a painting that my friend Amy Wickersham did, I realized there was a “sister” one still in existence. It was given to me as a gift and it is one of my favorite things in my house.
I also have a vintage iron table with glass top that I love every time I see it. Really I could tell a little story about each item so I’ll leave you with those!
How did you curate your outdoor area?
EL: Because I entertain a lot, it was important to me to have ample seating and a fire pit. Otherwise it was pretty straight forward! I found myself drawn to lots of iron when I designed this house so that flowed nicely into the outdoor area with these CB2 sofas.
As someone who works from home, how did you make your office feel different from the rest of your space?
EL: Because it is physically detached, that already helps. But I wanted it to be open and minimal so that I can have all the mental space I need. I have my desk, a computer, a drafting table, and that’s all! I keep samples in a closet and it’s otherwise simple. I did a burst of floral wallpaper behind my desk just because it’s so cheerful and there is no such thing as too many flowers.
Is there anything else you would like to share about the design?
EL: I keep candles and flowers everywhere because to me it is so important to keep the atmosphere and space clean energetically and visually. I also keep palo santo or sage around. I feel that a home should not only look great, it should also feel great, smell delicious, and make you instantly relax when you walk through the door.