Floral, floor-to-ceiling rooms and Sherle Wagner marble toilets aren’t typical touches of modern, upscale Hollywood homes. But for a reimagining of a 1960s property, the cute was shunned at all costs, in favor of eccentric individuality.
“These are things that most people don’t want or might tear from an old home,” the presenter, model, and philanthropist said of the more exotic decorative options including gold-plated fixtures, and Dorothy Draper’s velvet and fringed alloy pieces. Swimming pool umbrellas. Mid-century materials such as vinyl, linoleum and cork were also incorporated. “I just love that it feels fun to me,” Kitchen added.
Mary Kitchen, wearing an Oscar de la Renta gown, sitting in her living room. attributed to him: Stephen Kent Johnson / Architectural Digest
Kitchen revealed her unwillingness to embrace the current trend of subtle and soft simplicity. “I wasn’t looking for a gorgeous mid-century house in the Hollywood Hills, with very tasteful interiors,” she said. “I didn’t want a house that looked like everyone else.”
To achieve this goal, she hired interior designer Jamie Bush, architect William Hefner, and landscape architect Raymond Jungles. The result is a mixture of genres and eras: playful yet sophisticated, retro blended with contemporary.
In the kitchen, lozenge-shaped skylights mirror the kitchen islands below, which are topped with emerald quartzite. attributed to him: Stephen Kent Johnson / Architectural Digest
The team tried to imagine what the house would look like if it had “really old-fashioned architecture,” according to Hefner. This meant working within the original footprint, flattening its pitched roof and adding corner windows and modern eaves.
In the living room, a Waterford crystal chandelier hangs over pastel pink sofas from Coup Studio, 1960s French armchairs, a cocktail table by Armand Jonkers and a 1970s brass sculpture. Celadon and green tones dominate the kitchen, with skylights mirroring the shape of the islands below.
The three Mary Kitchen daughters sitting poolside is pictured on the front cover of the July/August issue of Architectural Digest. attributed to him: Stephen Kent Johnson / Architectural Digest
Tulip-style wallpaper and patterned fabrics dominate the three little Kitchen Girls’ bedrooms—albeit in different colors. In one room, a pink, green, and white floral pattern covers the walls, curtains, bedspreads, and even the bed frame.
“Dividing the house by color allowed us to control for the amazing variety of pieces and themes that Marie gravitated to, all these great things from periods and places far away. Once the rules were made, we were free to play within those boundaries,” Bush said.
He added, “The house is a charming throwback fantasy, but it’s also grotesquely unfashionable. Mary pushed it in in the most courageous way. Most people simply wouldn’t have the rudeness.”