Beverly Hills Bibliophile

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by Kelsey Betancourt

Nestled in a chic high-rise building, this colorful Beverly Hills suite features the owner’s impressive collection of books and art, custom furniture and installations, and natural, luxurious materials throughout.

The entryway and halls are lined with one-of-a-kind fine art. Paintings, drawings, mixed media art, and the owner’s own embroidery cover the deep blue walls. The thoughtfully curated collection includes contemporary artworks from across the globe with a focus on feminist portraiture and fiber art.

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Floor to ceiling windows on two sides of the living room reveal clear views of the city outside and are framed by a dracaena specimen and a large sculpture by Renae Barnard. Custom furniture was commissioned for the homeowner, who needed the seat height of her chairs and sofa to have a custom raised seat height to enhance its ease of use. Tillandsia, low-maintenance “air” plants, dot the space throughout and are reminiscent of the environment outside.

The dining area features custom wall to wall shelving, displaying the owner’s beloved collection of books, plants and sculptures. Bright blues and purples make the airy and light space feel both grounded and vibrant. Around the dining room table, a variety of vintage office chairs and a bench seat were upholstered with the same teal linen textile, allowing guests to comfortably experience their favorite seat.

An agate-inspired grasscloth wallpaper adds a natural and organic element to the plush, achromatic office. A custom desk was made in a black powder-coated steel was designed to perfectly fit the owner’s specific needs. A custom bookshelf was also chosen to keep her books close at hand while seamlessly blending with the modern desk. Pillows embroidered with Picasso illustrations add sophisticated interest to the sleek dark sofa while a fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) adds life and color to the elegant workspace.

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The master bedroom features a luxurious, award-winning, american black walnut bed frame by Autoban. It’s curving, handcrafted headboard is lined with purple velvet, blending natural texture with dark, feminine styling. The California king bed features an organic coconut mattress and is outfitted with a 300 thread count Egyptian cotton reversible duvet in custom color scheme. Above it, custom neon artwork reading “phantasmagoria” adds an ethereal glow. Plush black carpeting feels soft and comforting underfoot, and curtains allow the owner to sleep in total darkness. The two-tone purple walls were specially designed to draw attention to the art and to fulfill the owner’s request to have the bedroom “feel like a hug”.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art. With a contemporary approach that employs traditional vocabulary, Barnard’s range of style is innovative yet time-honored.

The ideas most essential to her practice and design process are wellness, historic preservation, and the infinite ways in which design can enhance life. Barnard is intrigued by clients who have unusual requests and lives for a challenge. She hasn’t met one yet that she didn’t like. Barnard loves designing for anyone with pets! She adores people who are avid collectors of anything they love. Barnard is incredibly down to earth, and people love her for her frankness.

Barnard has been featured in publications internationally and was named a “Ones to Watch Scholar” by the American Society of Interior Designers. In 2018 Locale Magazine named Barnard “Los Angeles’ Favorite Interior Designer”. Barnard holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Claremont Graduate University as well as undergraduate degrees in Art and Interior Architectural Design.

Barnard is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), is certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), and is recognized by the International WELL Building Institute as a WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP), the International Institute for Bau-Biologie & Ecology as a Building Biology Practitioner (BBP) and by the United States Green Building Council as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP). She has served on the Santa Monica Conservancy's board of directors and has written several articles for important publications including the USGBC, United States Green Building Council.