As the founder of LCD, a fashion boutique that promotes young, emerging designers, Geraldine Chung has a daily life filled with color. To balance out her vibrant clothing and art, she looked to employ serene, neutral hues in the remodel of her 1953 house in L.A.’s Mar Vista neighborhood. Though the previous owner had already flipped the interior with standard white tiles and wall paint, it lacked the depth and detail of a true home.
Geraldine entrusted Kristin Korven and Jeff Kaplon of architecture and design studio Part Office with the challenge of transforming and personalizing the blank slate — all while keeping it predominantly white. By playing with a mix of tones and materials, nuance and intrigue were achieved. “The quick antidote to a renovation is just painting everything white, and the more unanimous your palette is, the more generic it feels. Using different shades throughout subliminally reminds you that you’re in a very custom space,” Kristin explains, comparing the existing and updated decor.
With soothing Benjamin Moore Dove Wing on the walls and a glossy version on the wood floors, the contrast is minimal yet impactful. Lacquered millwork and powder-coated hardware match Benjamin Moore Classic Gray for a slightly richer note, as a silvery Concrete Collaborative Venice Terrazzo backsplash and a milky Caesarstone countertop supply layers of optical stimulation.
While the variety of whites offers subtle originality, a plush sunken pit makes an idiosyncratic splash. An effort to maximize volume, the retro feature was proposed jokingly when the team realized that raising the ceiling would be impossible. “If we can’t go up, let’s go down,” Geraldine had suggested. Though the trio initially laughed off the idea, it eventually became a defining element of the project. Outfitted with oatmeal wool carpeting and washable linen upholstery, it’s a striking nod to the home’s midcentury roots.
A seat in the cozy crater provides a unique, lower-than-usual perspective. Through original glass sliding doors, a lush garden view lies ahead. The cabinet bases are also eye-level, so Kristin and Jeff celebrated this often-ignored spot with graphic avalanche marble. The same material composes a sculptural, built-in coffee table that’s flush with the floor.
Similarly strategic sight lines were devised throughout the airy open plan that resolved a previously cramped, dysfunctional layout. A nonstructural pole and a pony wall define the entry sequence and intentionally impede a glimpse beneath the ash table. In the dining area, a giant mirror sheet reflects the verdant backyard. “It was a trick to create a feeling of a much bigger room,” Kristin describes, adding that the surface precisely aligns with the curved maple banquette and cased door frame.
Skylights are utilized to enforce a sense of vastness, as well. One of them, above the kitchen island, is host to a bold, cylindrical hood that mysteriously descends from the cavity. The two items were combined so that the range could settle in a functional location without sacrificing natural sunshine, but the futuristic construction is more than just a practical solution. “It’s such a visual focal point,” Jeff opines. “It elevates the whole room.”
Even with her commitment to a calming scheme, Geraldine could not resist incorporating a few bright, funky moments. Kelly green, peach, and pale pink cushions were sourced from a coveted Kvadrat/Raf Simons fabric collection, while she tapped her friend Eny Lee Parker for a psychedelic Oo Lamp and a Stranger Things–reminiscent Stitch Stool. In Geraldine’s tranquil, pearly oasis, her radiant personality shines through.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest