EUROPEAN ELEGANCE AND AMERICAN GLAMOUR UNITE AT DESIGNER DAVIDE CASAROLI'S FAMILY HOME IN L.A.
"As soon as we walked in I fell in love," says designer Davide Casaroli of his family home in the historic Romanesque Villa apartment complex in West Hollywood. "It's very charming. There's this feeling of being somewhere else." Famed architect Leland Bryant—who also designed Sunset Tower Hotel—is behind the timeless design of the building, which was constructed in 1928 and lived in by stars including Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich. When the Milan-born designer and his husband, Shawn Partyka, first saw the space—only blocks from their home at the time— they were immediately intrigued by its style and atmosphere. "The interiors, distinguished by the arched entryway and high wood-beamed ceilings, were surrounded by the aura of mystery and character."
Although elegant, the nearly century-old building was showing its age. "It was fantastic but a little run-down," Casaroli explains. To remedy this, he brought in his team to give the space a face-lift. "We didn't do much work, only cosmetic stuff," he says. "I decided to polish it up and make it look pretty."
After a few minor upgrades, the real fun began, with Casaroli embedding the space with a cohesive mix of vintage and antique items, custom furniture and exciting art. "There are a lot of pieces from trips to Europe," he says of the numerous furniture and decor items he's picked up over the years. "Every time I go to Europe, I always end up buying something.
With its soaring ceilings, shapely arches and windows, and beautiful wooden beams, the living room is the home's crown jewel. "I decorated this space to create a harmonious contrast of black and white, strengthening the curves and texture of the New Spanish Baroque ornaments of arches and columns with black glaze," says Casaroli. His custom Milano sectional—covered in black linen and adorned with cashmere, suede and wool boucle accent pillows—is the perfect match for the stately room, and is precise right down to the inch and its placement. "It's exactly centered on the dining room arch," he says. "I'm like an engineer. I really, really want things to be precise." A custom Nero Marquina coffee table designed by Casaroli sits atop a white silk rug from Woven, while two acrylic paintings by Dana Kern—perched above the sofa—draw the eye in. "To find comfort in rigorous geometry is one of my goals," says Casaroli. "I designed the Milano sofa with this mindset; its minimal shapes matching the coffee table and the cashmere pillows make this family space elegant and cozy."
In the dining room, Casaroli sourced a vintage table by Tobia Scarpa for Knoll, and surrounded it with Cab and Bellini chairs by Mario Bellini for Cassina. With its glass top and chrome legs, "the table was masculine enough to not look like it was from Grandma's house. I like antiquity, but never exaggerate it," he says. A cerulean blue rug and photograph of waves in the Sicilian sea temper the sharpness of the table.
The master bedroom is a beautifully balanced space that's at once chic, sexy and comfortable. The Casaroli-designed Milano bed in black suede serves as a visual anchor, drawing the eye in and creating a lovely balance between the soft blush area rug and faux-alligator wallpaper by Donghia.
Other areas of the home, including an office and twin daughters Diana and Atena's room, also exude a confident and balanced mix of the old and the new, the European and the American. When asked what the connecting thread is, Casaroli points to family. "This is our house, not a store. It's for our family," he explains, mentioning the personal photos and artifacts throughout. "You can see from the moment you walk in that real people live here."
Davide Casaroli (far right) with husband Shawn Partyka, twin daughters Diana and Atena, and nanny Fabiola Chavez
Curtains and blinds throughout
Master bedroom P60 ottomansby Antonio Citterio
Dining room Cab chairs by Mario Bellini
Master bedroom custom bed and nightstands, living room custom sectional and coffee table
Living room wallpaper
DESIGN WITHIN REACH
Dining room Bellini chairs by Mario Bellini
Dining room Andre high table by Tobia Scarpa
Living room, dining room and master bedroom rugs