After three years looking in Los Angeles for a mid-century original home with a garage and backyard (for their three-year-old son), the couple finally moved into their Beverly Hills retreat designed by sculptor Morris Levine, who lived there until the 90 years. Actress Robin Tunney has solid taste and some live-in help: her partner, Nicky Marmet, is an interior designer whose client list includes names like Robert Downey Jr.
The bathroom space of four and a half bedrooms met all requirements: it had a backyard with a pool and plenty of natural light, and many original details.
“The houses of the middle of the century can be super beautiful and have an incredible light” – says Robin Tunney.
Although one of the members of the couple is an interior designer, that doesn’t mean that filling the space with the right mix of furniture and art, what Marmet describes as “1960s elegance with a contemporary twist,” happened quickly. In fact, they didn’t had furniture for two years.
So when it came to filling the space with furniture, the couple made sure they steered clear of leaning into the home’s original style too much by adding modern-day touches. “There’s a line,” Tunney says. “And juxtaposition works well in this house.”
As a result, a cozy B&B Italia L-shaped sofa is where Nicky kicks back and watches sports. Much of the lighting is new. A Richard Serra painting hangs in the living room. And their mutt, Rufus, can usually be found lounging on the yellow Piero Golia ottoman.
Much of the home’s warm, neutral palette was inspired by its original offerings, like the off-white terrazzo and rough-sawn redwood. An Alexander Calder tapestry hanging in the dining room set the tone for the rest of the pieces.
The kitchen is all original, including the oven. “And all of the kitchen cabinets are completely pristine—nothing’s been touched,” Tunney says.
Robin Tunney says: “There’s something about a house where you walk by a room that nobody enters that freaks me out”. So they designed the family room to be sunny, and, well, livable, thanks to a plush B&B Italia sofa.
One of the few not-original features of the home is the leather headboard that Marmet fashioned himself. A Boccia Pendant lamp by Luigi Caccia Dominioni hangs over the dressing area.
Robin Tunney describes the main bathroom as strange, in size and scale. This is because such large bathrooms are not common in mid-century houses. Undoubtedly a luxury of the time.
Seagrass wallpaper covers the guest bedroom, where a Asahara Shigeaki for Stilnovo lamp cozies up next to an aubergine bed that Tunney moved from her last house.
Bird reliefs by ceramists Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman decorate the front door, and a Piero Golia panting hangs in the entryway.
The main goal for the perfect family home was to have something original. “Finding a place that had a pool and grass for a kid was very difficult,” actress Robin Tunney says of her Beverly Hills home.
But in the end, their house tells a story that’s distinctly theirs, and it was worth the years-long process of putting it all together. “You can tell when somebody went out and bought all their furniture at once,” Tunney says. “I feel like your house should feel like a journey, like you’ve collected things over time.” And in this couple’s case, they have.
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