A look inside Wattles Mansion’s 2017 Design Showcase

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Since the late 1960s, the Gilded Age Wattles Mansion has been owned by the city of Los Angeles, but in recent decades, funds for its proper upkeep got repeatedly slashed, and time was taking a toll. Rather than let the landmark property continue its slide into dilapidation, the recreation and parks department invites designers to turn the home into a temporary design showcase.


Top left: Patrick Dragonette’s vivid dining room tableau. Top right: Iron accents add melodrama to the entry vestibule, designed by David Dalton. Bottom: The living room, by Woodson & Rummerfield’s House of Design, includes a portrait of silent film star Norma Talmadge found in the parks department’s storage warehouse.

Presumably an annual occurrence from here on out, the Wattles house—the only remaining example of an estate built in Hollywood prior to the film industry—just kicked off its second design showcase.

Designed in 1907 by Myron Hunt and Elmer Grey, architects of the Huntington Library, the Rose Bowl, and Mount Wilson’s Observatory, the Mission Revival-style mansion occupies a sprawling lot of nearly 50 acres below Runyon Canyon.

Whereas last year’s showcase had an Old Hollywood theme, this year’s focus is on sensitively decorating a historic home to contemporary tastes. This year’s donated improvements include new tile, sinks, plants, and landscaping.

Designer Melinda Ritz’s French bulldog Lulu is a perfect complement for the side hall’s checkerboard marble floor.
Gentleman’s lounge by Melinda Ritz and Mae Brucken
The ladies’ lounge was designed by Kelley Jackson, who donated the period pedestal sink and new tile for the bathroom floor.
Fernando Diaz decorated the library. Original features include intricately carved walnut bookcases and a hand-painted ceiling.

Top: The kitchen and butler’s pantry were decorated by RJ DiCamillo, Heidi DiGiacomo, Jeanne Kelly, and John Saint-Denis for Williams-Sonoma. Bottom left: Jessica Brende designed the upstairs landing. Bottom room: Sitting room by Nicole Gordon.

Along with tiger-themed wallpaper, the upstairs bar—designed by Nicole Gordon—features a jungle-cat-shaped side table.
The game room was designed by Jonathan Winslow and Fariba Cohen
No, this isn’t Heaven’s waiting room—it’s an upstairs bedroom designed by Kathleen Beall.

Top left: Designer Ryan Saghian gave the upstairs guest room a deep-purple makeover. Top right: Featuring hand-painted wallpaper and a vista overlooking the estate’s acres of lawn, the master bedroom was designed by Kym Rodger. Bottom: Accented with cool greens, this dressing room was decorated by Victoria Reitz.

Designer Leslie Shapiro Joyal spruced up the mansion’s front loggia.

The showcase is be open to the public Thursdays through Sundays until April 16. Admission is $40 per person, with proceeds benefitting three charities: No-Kill Los Angeles; Save Iconic Architecture Projects; and Los Angeles Parks Foundation.

The mansion’s expansive backyard received fresh landscaping courtesy of Anna Hoffman Designs.

The Wattles Mansion

1824 N Curson Ave, Hollywood Hills, CA

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