This LA home uses a neutral palette of natural materials

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Few homes connect as seamlessly to their surroundings as lifestyle and fashion guru Jenni Kayne’s Los Angeles home, which is arguably one of the best homes in the world.

Nestled in a canyon to the west of the city, the building is the work of Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen, whose modernist-inspired design seems to bring its wooded setting right into the house itself. “There is no real barrier between the outside and the inside; the architecture merges with the exterior,” he says.

Jenni, whose eponymous label offers fashion and home décor must-haves, approached Vincent in 2015. “There was an immediate connection,” she says. “He’s amazing to work with because he really cares about who you are as a family and how you want to function in the space.”

Taking into account the lifestyles of Jenni, her husband Richard Ehrlich – owner of a real estate agency – and their children, Tanner, Ripley and Trooper, Vincent designed the house as a series of interconnected volumes arranged around a courtyard . “The open plan creates an informal atmosphere, where the flow of spaces transforms the rooms into a continuous experience,” he says.

Living room

white brick walls, built-in seating, a white sofa, white sheepskin chairs and a wooden coffee table

(Image credit: Stephen Kent Johnson/Otto)

Inside, the volumes are punctuated by full-height glazing framing woodland views, most notably in the living room where living room ideas include a sliding glass wall opening onto a hill dotted with oak and sycamore trees. “We wanted to get as close to nature as possible,” says Jenni.

Stairs

woman and dog by plaster spiral staircase

(Image credit: Stephen Kent Johnson/Otto)

To adapt to the environment, the materials are limited to light oak, French limestone and textured plaster. One of the hallway ideas was to use textured plaster for a spiral staircase that leads to an office, the only space on the first floor in the house. “The only reason we put the office up there is because I insisted on having a staircase – Vincent does the best,” says Jenni.

The dining room

family room with white brick walls, limestone flags, wooden seats with white cushions, a coffee table and a vintage lounge chair

(Image credit: Stephen Kent Johnson/Otto)

Integrated seats maximize space and provide a clean feel. The restful palette is enlivened by textures such as oak, limed brick and limestone French flags.

The architecture was complemented with vintage Scandinavian artwork and pieces sourced from Jenni as well as upholstery made by her friend Molly Isaksen.

Kitchen

kitchen with oak cabinets and island, wood and rope bar stools, plaster walls and suspension

(Image credit: Stephen Kent Johnson/Otto)

Kitchen ideas include the use of beautifully crafted oak cabinets that have been tailored to the needs of a family that loves to entertain. The piece’s textured plaster finish matches the pendant lights and lends subtle movement to the scheme.

Pale as the interiors are, Jenni insists that “nothing is too precious; I believe everything is a living surface, so I don’t get mad if there’s a ring mark on a counter.

Bedroom

white bedroom with 1940s white sheepskin chair, white bed, wooden screen, white rug and lamp and bedside drawers

(Image credit: Stephen Kent Johnson/Otto)

“I wanted everything to feel grounded and timeless,” notes Jenni of the simple furniture, which includes a 1940s sheepskin chair.

Among the bedroom ideas is an oak room divider, designed by Vincent, to bring a sense of privacy to the space.

Bedroom

bedroom with oak slats on the ceiling, wooden floor, plaster walls and vintage wooden chest of drawers

(Image credit: Stephen Kent Johnson/Otto)

The oak slats of the ceiling provide an interesting interplay of light and shadow. The doors leading to the couple’s two bathrooms were designed to disappear into the wall.

Bathroom

neutral bathroom with white tub, white drawers, marble floor, fireplace, black pendant light and black metal framed windows

(Image credit: Stephen Kent Johnson/Otto)

One of the bathroom ideas was to use dark bronze frames on the glazing to match the finish of the fireplace. A vintage Swedish pendant light helps accentuate the high ceiling

Outside

exterior of a modern white brick house

(Image credit: Stephen Kent Johnson/Otto)

The house is a succession of whitewashed brick “volumes” around a courtyard. The building’s whitewashed brick facade, a quintessentially Belgian feature, particularly struck Jenni: “It reminded me of LA homes built by Cliff May, a quintessential California ranch architect,” she says, adding : “I wanted something that felt architectural and bold. but at the same time very organic and soft.’

The house also accommodates a pair of large dogs. Indeed, the family has accumulated a menagerie that includes three miniature ponies and a miniature donkey, as well as two goats and 10 chickens.

“We’ve been here for a year and it was truly divine timing – we were able to embrace nature and spend as much time outdoors as possible,” says Jenni. “It’s quite magical, knowing that we are only five minutes from the city.”

Interior Design / Jenni Kayne (opens in a new tab)

Architecture/Vincent Van Duysen (opens in a new tab)

Photographs/ Stephen Kent Johnson

Text/ Rachel Leedham

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